Become Chartered is the ultimate aim for many surveyors that enter the profession. Becoming Chartered entitles a Surveyor to use the letters “MRICS” after their name – a mark that demonstrates to colleagues, clients and peers they have achieved one of the highest qualifications available to them. From a client’s perspective, it also gives confidence that the individual’s work falls within the highest industry standards.
Due to its prestigious nature, achieving Chartered Status is not an easy road. It usually takes at least 2 years of post-graduate study before a Surveyor can qualify as an MRICS Chartered Surveyor.
Here at Lea Hough Chartered Surveyors, some of our Surveyors are currently undergoing the RICS’s Assessment of Professional Competence (APC) and hope to receive the qualification of Chartered Building Surveyor or Chartered Valuation Surveyor.
From our experience of helping Surveyors become Chartered via the APC process, we have compiled some top tips for APC candidates who are determined to gain the prestigious qualification:
- Join a firm of Chartered Surveyors who have a track record of their employees gaining Chartered status– it is a big help if your employer has been through the process before, as they will be familiar with the APC requirements – giving you the confidence and guidance you need. For you to be able to gain Chartered Status, your employer must also have an RICS Structured Training Programme in place.
- Keep your APC diary up-to-date– daily or weekly is best; don’t allow yourself to fall months behind! Your diary will assist in when writing your submission when determining whether you have obtained the appropriate competency levels.
- Start early– It is never too early to begin to prepare your documentation such as the summary of experience, case study, etc. This can initially be done in draft and be added to and refined this in the fullness of time. Likewise it is never too early to start detailed revision of topic areas. Make sure you are familiar with and have read the relevant RICS Professional Statements and Guidance Documents.
- Continuing Professional Development– Don’t forget that you must partake in 24 hours of formal CPD, and also 24 hours of informal CPD per year. Ensure you document this well!
- Identify a Case Study project as early as possible – Once you have decided on the right project to focus upon, make notes throughout – this will assist you when you come to write the Case Study report later. Focus on two key challenges, and document how you overcame them.
- Regular review meetings– Ensure that you have diarised your regular 3 monthly and 6 monthly reviews with your Supervisor and Counsellor, so that you can regularly review your experience against the target competencies. Remind and nag your supervisor (if needed) to ensure that your reviews are held and recorded.
- Don’t leave it too late to make your submission– prepare your Case Study in draft and allow your colleagues to read through it and provide feedback well in advance of submission date, to allow time for amendments. Remember also that you need to have your application proposer form signed by an FRICS Surveyor.
- Revise, revise and revise – swot up on as many relevant surveying competencies and RICS related topics as possible. You can’t do too much of this.
- Practice your presentation– prepare a presentation and ensure that you repeatedly practice it, preferably until you know it off by heart. On assessment day, it needs to be exactly 10 minutes in duration, or you will lose marks.
- Undergo mock APC interviews– ask your Chartered Surveyor colleagues to give you at least 2 or 3 mock interviews. Take them seriously and treat them as real interviews. These are invaluable.
- Try to predict the question topics– review your case study and summary of experience, and CPD log to make sure that you are entirely familiar with your own documents and try to predict the questions that the APC Assessors may touch upon. You won’t be able to guess every question, but you can probably predict some topical areas and therefore have some pre-prepared answers ready in your mind.
- Look the part on the day– Have a haircut, wear a smart suit, arrive early – all the tiny “1%” improvements that might just give you the best chance of impressing the assessors!
- Lastly, work hard and be professional!– This applies throughout the entire training period – whilst you are doing your day job as a surveyor, but also through making the best use of your “spare time” to revise and prepare for the big day.
Lea Hough Chartered Surveyors is a multi-discipline firm of Chartered Surveyors and Property Consultants. Our team comprises of Chartered Building Surveyors, Chartered Valuation Surveyors, Chartered Planning and Development Surveyors and RICS Registered Valuers.
Lea Hough’s structured Training Programme is approved by the RICS.
We are always keen to hear from locally based APC candidates, graduate surveyors and year-out placement surveyors who would be keen on undertaking the RICS’s APC process. For a confidential conversation, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.