Three Years Post Qualification –  how my role as a surveyor has changed

26 May 2020

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George Watts joined Cooke and Arkwright in 2014 and went on to pass his APC in 2017, becoming a Chartered Building Surveyor. George has reflected on how his role has developed in the three years since becoming chartered.

How has your daily role changed?

My daily working routine as a Chartered Building Surveyor looks much the same now as it did when I was a graduate surveyor. However, the change comes in the type and complexity of job that I now work on. For example, as a graduate surveyor I acted as Contract Administrator on relatively straight forward refurbishment projects which would have limited complexity and typically, a lower contract cost. This was to develop my confidence and skills and prepare me to pass my APC. In comparison, I recently acted as Designer and Contract Administrator on a complex office refurbishment for the Public Sector with a contract cost circa £800,000.00. The instruction was complex for various reasons, but I would highlight that the co-ordination of various moving parts within the client-imposed short time-frame was the biggest challenge.


How has your career progressed?

The APC process ensures you have a good level of knowledge, skill and experience across a broad range of Building Surveying competencies. This range is key, but as my career has progressed, I have found that my expertise has developed in certain areas in particular. For example, I have acted for both Landlords & Tenants in numerous Dilapidations matters in varying levels of complexity. Our Building Consultancy team at Cooke & Arkwright receives a range of instructions across a variety of services available to clients. This variety of instruction allows me to continually develop my knowledge, skill and experience in all areas of Building Surveying.  


Have you taken on more responsibility over time?

As a graduate surveyor my work was monitored and constantly reviewed by my line manager. This was to ensure quality control, but also so that I could continuously learn and develop my skills. Three years post APC qualification and while I have taken on more responsibility, much of my work is still reviewed by my peers or line manager. Although not essential, this review process ensures standards are maintained. My colleagues always make valuable contributions.


Do you develop good relationships with your clients?

Since I joined Cooke & Arkwright and particularly in the three years since becoming chartered, my client relationships have also developed. I have understood the importance of first impressions and making sure that the first meeting and first instruction exceeds their expectations. In turn, this helps to build long term relationships. One of the most satisfying aspects of my role is undertaking work for long-term clients as you can build up good relationships. You learn how they operate and how you can best satisfy their requirements.


On a professional level, I have moved from a Graduate Surveyor to Senior Surveyor, and in recent months, to Associate.  I see my long-term future at Cooke & Arkwright and look forward to reflecting again in the future.

Mansford has expanded its investment portfolio over the last few years. Over this time Andrew West has provided us with a full rating valuation service which has involved giving a view on liabilities prior to acquisitions, as well as conducting negotiations with Valuation Officers on our UK estate. The portfolio includes a wide range of properties from shops, offices and pubs to major leisure schemes. He has been particularly successful in mitigating our liabilities to empty property rate, which has been an issue on acquisition prior to implementing our development and letting strategy. I have no hesitation in recommending Andrew's expertise in rating valuation for all property types. The profile of property within his portfolio and the successes achieved are testament to his position as an extremely accomplished rating practitioner.

Leopold Hall, Partner, Mansford LLP