Graduate to Professional - Approaching the RICS APC pathway
Adam Kings

At 3SIXTY, we are committed to the development and empowerment of our young Surveyors in order to encourage and ensure they have all the tools and experience to approach their own personal development, for the benefit of us as an organisation but also for their own long-term development.

A core part of this is the RICS Assessment of Professional Competence, a gruelling 2-year process of development. In this article, Adam Kings (our most recent Graduate) explains a little more.

Completion of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Building Surveying Assessment of Professional Competence (APC) is commonly considered the logical route of progression for graduate surveyor’s post completion of their degree. This is because the RICS is a widely renowned body of professionals who promote the highest standards throughout the construction industry at international level. Though RICS accreditation is widely recognised by fellow professionals, client organisations and the general public alike, very few will understand the process members must undergo in achieving this. As such, this short article will look to summarise the key considerations for any potential candidate on their pathway to receiving accreditation. 

Following completion of an accredited degree, candidates may now enrol on the APC programme and a process which will ultimately require a minimum of 24 months structured training. During this structured training, the candidate will then be required to reach various competencies throughout a structured training period to either Level 1 – Development of knowledge and understanding, Level 2 – Application of knowledge and understanding or Level 3 – Reasoned advice and depth of knowledge. Altogether, the candidate must demonstrate a total of fifteen competencies to Level 1, twelve to Level 2 and seven to the highest Level 3.

In order to achieve the standards outlined above, the structured training shall incorporate the following elements: 

  • Candidate Diary - Day to day, continual development will comprise the logging of all activities undertaken within a Diary. Though this Diary will not form part of the final submission, its completion gives the candidate a succinct method with which to track their progress on a daily basis.
  • Log Book - Information as recorded within the Diary is utilised in filling out the RICS Candidates Log Book. This document differs from the Diary in that it forms an integral part of the final submission. The Log Book will be used to record the specific number of days the candidate has spent undertaking each of the competencies during their structured training period.  
  • Continuing Professional Development - To further enhance their wider knowledge and understanding, the candidates must undertake 48 hours of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) per 12 months of structured training. This will commonly be split via a 50/50 ratio between Formal Development in attending seminars, professional courses and alike, or Informal Development, which will usually comprise private study.  

Once a candidate is deemed to have reached the required competency levels, their Supervisor and Councillor shall put them forward for final assessment. This is the much anticipated final hurdle within the APC programme, culminating in the following two components:

  • Case Study - Within this written study, the candidate will be required to consolidate all of their knowledge and experience gained throughout the structured training period, into submission of a 3,000 word case study. This must draw reference to specific professional skills and competencies achieved as they were utilised on undertaking a specific project. 
  • Final Presentation and Interview - Widely perceived as the final piece in the puzzle, the candidate must now attend an hour long interview, in which they shall give a ten minute presentation to summarise key considerations within their case study and details any further conclusions taken from this. Once the initial presentation is over, the candidate will then face questions from a panel of Chartered Surveyors, who will look to establish whether they feel the candidate does indeed possess the required level of competence to become a member of their Chartered Institution.

Providing the candidate successfully completes all of the above, they will receive their much anticipated chartered status and become a fully-fledged member of the RICS. Though a considerable amount of work will have gone into achieving this, it shall be far outweighed by the long-term benefits, in provision of a solid foundation on which to develop a successful career as a professional within the construction industry.

With the RICS national pass rate for Building Surveying residing at circa 58%, 3SIXTY Real Estate pride ourselves on our 100% pass record for graduates, a statistic we believe truly reflects the breadth and quality of training and support provided to our graduates.