The path to Chartered Building Surveyor status

Commitment and sacrifice on the road to success

29 June 2017

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George Watts has been a surveyor with Cooke & Arkwright’s Building Consultancy for almost three years. He passed his Assessment of Professional Competence in June, becoming a Chartered Building Surveyor and a Member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. Here he explains the challenge of gaining the APC.

I am extremely proud to have passed my APC and to have become a member of the RICS after three years at university and nearly three years of concentrated study and work at Cooke & Arkwright.

The process of obtaining the status of Chartered Building Surveyor initially starts at university, but really intensifies once starting work as a working graduate. The acceleration of learning is vast, from obtaining first hand experiences and working daily with qualified and experienced professionals. The quantity of additional work required outside of the standard working day is large and takes not only commitment but sacrifice.

The Building Surveying pathway differs from other commercial surveying pathways in that the knowledge required is very technical and the scope for questioning in the APC final interview is broad. From experience, questions can range from explaining the cause and effect of timber decay such as Dry Rot, to explaining the process of preparing a terminal schedule of dilapidations. The case study I selected for my final interview perfectly displays how the various technical competencies can easily combine into one single instruction.

Going through the Building Surveying pathway and finally becoming a qualified Chartered Surveyor is extremely rewarding, not only personally, but also professionally. On a day to day basis I will be recognised by my peers as having reached this set level of competence. Furthermore, it will give my colleagues and clients confidence in my ability and the advice I provide.

Cooke & Arkwright helped me tremendously through the APC process. I was given technical support and guidance by my Director and the department when needed. Furthermore, I was given excellent advice and direction when progressing through the two years of training. Prior to the APC interview, I received support and guidance in preparing my submission and undertaking mock interviews which proved worthwhile.

My advice for anyone who is in the process or thinking about choosing the RICS Building Surveying pathway is to work hard and be prepared for the demands on your time outside of work. As well as this, utilise the meetings with your counsellor and supervisor to make sure you are fulfilling all the core competencies and identify where you need more experience, as any obvious holes in knowledge will likely to be a point of questioning in the final interview. Finally, organise a mock interview through the RICS Matrics. From personal experience, having a range of questions from experienced surveyors outside of your firm is invaluable and really highlights any gaps in knowledge prior to your final interview.