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

26 May 2020

Share this

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.

Cooke & Arkwright have been providing rating valuation advice to The Welsh Rugby Union Limited (“WRU”) and Millennium Stadium plc for many years. They were recently successful in achieving substantial reductions in the assessments of the Millennium Stadium, covering both the 2005 and 2010 rating list. These negotiated reductions yielded savings of c.£3.5m which, crucially, allows the WRU to re-invest in rugby throughout Wales. They advise the WRU across the group portfolio including the National Centre of Excellence in the Vale of Glamorgan. The valuation issues across the WRU portfolio are complex requiring a high level of understanding of the funding and finances of professional sport in Wales. Cooke & Arkwright’s experience and understanding of these issues and application to the rating valuation have yielded these substantial negotiated reductions. The WRU and the Millennium Stadium entrust our work to organisations with the required levels in experience and expertise in dealing with these complex issues. I am glad to say we have this expertise in Wales. I would have no hesitation in recommending ratepayers making use of this Welsh based expertise.

Steve Phillips, Group Finance Director, Welsh Rugby Union Group