One pillar of the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG)’s current strategy, and an area of significant planned growth over the coming years, is support for the professionalism of geography and geographers. As a key part of this, we are delighted to have recently signed a three-year agreement with the Ordnance Survey (OS), which builds on our previous long-standing relationship and takes our joint work in a new direction.
The partnership will advance geospatial understanding through a programme of activities across the education, research and professional sectors, including a series of events, raising awareness of career opportunities, engaging with professional communities and promoting understanding in policy and government.
Professor Joe Smith, the Society’s director said: ‘Collaboration with the Ordnance Survey and our other partners provides a strong foundation for promoting the use of geography and geographic information across the public and private sectors. By 2021, the end of the current strategic period, our programme of professional support and accreditation for practising geographers will be significantly enhanced. Our work with the Ordnance Survey is vital in making this happen.’
In parallel to this is the development of a Geography Profession within the Government Science and Engineering Profession. The cross-government head of geography, David Wood, is supported by a team of deputy heads and the Central Government Geography Group, which represents communities of geographers across government. Together they are developing a strategy to grow, professionalise and champion geography, putting the discipline at the heart of policy design and delivery.
We also continue to build our partnerships with other organisations to support professional geographers. Our work with consultancy firm Environmental Resources Management centres on professional development for geography teachers, and involves a regional programme of events and networking opportunities focused on fieldwork. We are also working closely with GIS software company Esri UK to roll out a national Geo-Mentor programme, which involves professional GIS users from a variety of sectors helping local teachers to use GIS in the classroom.
These partnerships extend the range of employment sectors actively engaged with the professional geography agenda and raise awareness of the Chartered Geographer accreditation. Our community of Chartered Geographers continues to grow and there are now over 700 accredited professional geographers in the UK and overseas. Covering a wide range of careers and disciplines, Chartered Geographer accreditation recognises both the skills and knowledge of professional geographers.
This was published in the July 2018 edition of Geographical magazine
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