What do we mean by Digital Skills?

This need to define and understand the range of digital skills within planning and for planners, has been accelerated by the 2019-2022 coronavirus pandemic but also by the increasing focus through Scottish Government planning reforms on improving accessibility to planning information and increasing engagement. The adoption of Digital skills therefore entails everything from online customer service to remote working, e- commerce to the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to improve operations and planning performance.

As found in the ‘Digital Task Force for Planning’ report (‘A Digital Future for Planning1, February 2022); “… it is not expected that every planner be a digital expert in planning, but the overall planning profession should have a diverse digital skillset….” (Page 73, Feb 2022). It is also the case from this and other sources including the Scottish Government Digital Planning Strategy 2020 itself, that by providing access to data and digital technology, including mapping or visualisation tools, at a local level planners will enable digital participation and inclusion to ensure no one is left behind in a digitally transformed planning system.