The Irish Planning Institute is the independent professional body representing the majority of professional planners engaged in physical, spatial and environmental planning in Ireland.

The Council, which is the governing body of the Institute, is directly elected by the membership by postal ballot or via the Annual General Meeting and has a membership of 17 persons. 11 members of the Council are Corporate members or Fellows elected nationally, while 7 are Corporate members or Fellows directly elected from among the members of the regional and sectoral branches.

The Graduate members of the Institute are represented on Council by one Graduate member elected directly by all of the Graduate members, and there are three Student members, elected by the student members in the three recognised planning schools. Each Council member serves a term of 2 years and half are up for election in May of each year. A new President and Council takes up office each June and the programme of events for the year runs from June to May.

The aims of the Planning Institute are:

  • To raise the standards of planning.
  • To articulate professional planning opinion.
  • To improve and promote the status of the planning profession.
  • To contribute to planning education.
  • To encourage environmental awareness in the community.
  • To represent Irish planning interests abroad.

Established in 1975, the Irish Planning Institute has six categories of membership: Fellowship, Corporate, Affiliate, Graduate and Student, and Honorary. Members of the Institute are governed by the Code of Conduct.

These members are employed in Ireland and abroad in central government, local and regional authorities, state-sponsored bodies, institutes of higher education and as planning consultants.


There are a number of regional and sectoral branches within the Institute; the Cork Branch, Midland Branch, Mid-West Branch, Western Branch, South East Branch, Northern Branch, Greater Dublin Area Branch and the Private Practice Branch.

The Irish Planning Institute works in close association with University College Dublin, University College Cork and Dublin Institute of Technology and currently accredits planning courses in each of these Colleges. Where the Institute is requested, it will consider other planning course for accreditation following a full and rigorous assessment process. The IPI is one of the nominated bodies under the European Commission Directive on Mutual Recognition of Professional Qualifications and thus acts as a regulatory agency for planning practice in Ireland.

The Institute is a nominating body to Seanad Eireann and to An Bord Pleanála, and from time to time is requested to nominate suitable persons to other state bodies or agencies.

The Institute publishes “Pleanáil”, the only technical publication on planning theory and practice published in Ireland. It also circulates a regular “e-Zine Newsletter” to its members updating them with the latest IPI news and events.

The Irish Planning Institute lobbies central Government on new legislation and on planning policy at national, regional and local levels. It also from time to time issues statements on current topics of public interest and debate or issues of concern to the profession.

Through its annual National Planning Conference the Institute offers a major forum for the debate of planning and related topics. It also organises, through its branches, a wide range of CPD events throughout the year to promote best practice and to inform our membership regarding new approaches and policies; with one CPD event each year focused on legal issues or the latest guidance or policy developments.

Four major awards are presented by the Institute every second year; these being the Planning Achievement, Urban Design, Conservation and Participatory Planning Awards. These awards are aimed at raising the standard of planning in Ireland and giving the opportunity to showcase quality planning. Winners from the awards are entered into the European Awards competition run by the European Council of Spatial Planners, and a number of IPI nominated projects have won awards at the European level.

The Irish Planning Institute is an active member of the European Council of Spatial Planners and has held the Presidency of this organisation. Through this involvement the Institute not only represents Irish planning interests abroad but also forges important links with sister institutions in Europe and further afield.

The Irish Planning Institute offers an opportunity for informal contact between its own members and with members of other institutions and professional bodies through social functions, study tours and field trips in Ireland and abroad.