Welcome to April’s APC Ask Me Anything (AMA) article. The RICS Training team are running free online sessions where candidates can ask an APC Assessor anything about the process, skills development and how to give yourself the best chance of success. Below, you can read through some of the key questions raised by candidates from this month’s session.
When undertaking the final assessment (presentation) will the assessors make it clear which level they are targeting with key words as 'advise' or is it a case of working that out?
Assessors are trained to signpost the competency but not the level, although sometimes they do. It doesn’t happen every time though for various reasons. Train yourself to listen out for key words.
Our Final Assessment courses will give you an idea of the types of questions that Assessors will ask and how to look out for the competency and levels you’re being questioned on. They’ll also go through what happens on the day and what skills and knowledge you need to give yourself the best chance of becoming Chartered.
You have access to a 2-part web class and a half day Face to Face course. You can also prep yourself by attending a mock interview and getting personal feedback form an Assessor.
If you’re on the Commercial Property, Building Surveying or Quantity Surveying pathways, you can also access our microlearning modules, which show you types of Final Assessment questions and test your ability to understand what you’re being questioned on. Some questions in these modules are free, others are unlocked when you upgrade.
Here are some helpful links:
If you need to change the name of the pre-registered counsellor or supervisor what is the process of doing this?
All candidates looking to change their Counsellor or Supervisor should email into the Membership Operations who can make those changes. All they need is the Counsellor’s name and membership number as well as your own name and number. The email address to contact is email@example.com.
Do you know when we will receive our dates and locations? (for Final Assessments in Session 1 2017)
These are being worked on at present and are being sent out in Centre order. Assessments in Coventry and Bolton have been sent. Heathrow sessions are being worked on at present!
Candidates should always receive 4 weeks’ notice. If you’re concerned about your dates, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
I understand there is a 10min Q&A section on the topic of Ethics at the end of the assessment. This is the one topic I'm most apprehensive about and wondered if you could offer advice on what to perhaps expect from this section? Or best place to go to revise Ethics further other than the RICS website as I've studied all their guidance notes etc. Or is knowing the guidance notes etc. enough as I haven't really experienced any ethical dilemmas during my structured training period?
It may be less than 10 mins and it’s sometimes embedded earlier. 5 P&E standards, setting up in Business, conflicts, money laundering and Bribery Act often arise. Also, make sure you understand the RICS ethics standards and the Rules of Conduct.
In addition to the mandatory online training, we have a selection of content that can give you a hand with developing your understanding of ethics type questions, what you’ll be expected to know and what you’ll be expected to have done. Below are some links to content that we’d recommend.
Competency Encyclopedia – there is a free ethics micromodule in here that’s relevant for all pathways. This tests your understanding of the types of knowledge, application and advice required for demonstrating ethics competence.
Conduct Rules, Ethics and Professional Practice web class and face to face session – you have access to a 2-part web class and 2-day face to face course if you want something more in-depth. These courses will go through ethics standards, the Rules of Conduct and the regulation framework with examples for you to work through and test your application of knowledge.
Course browser – also, quick tip; when you’re looking at a specific competency and how to train up your skills for it, use the course browser in Compass to filter courses by competency. The search is already filtered by your pathway so you should only see content relevant to you.
Helpful documents and web pages:
Go here to start your development in ethics. At the bottom, you can download each of the 5 standards.
Follow this link to download the Rules of Conduct for firms and for members
What’s the best way for guys to make sure they've covered what they need to know for a competency even if they're not topics included in submissions?
Everyone will have different specialisms but you need to make sure you’re able to get enough practical experience within your role. Always refer to your pathway guides (or in your account on ARC) to make sure you’re getting the experience you need for each competency. If you have concern about your breath of experience, talk to your supervisor and counsellor to see how you can address your gaps.
As with the above question, if you’re on the Commercial Property, Building Surveying or Quantity Surveying pathways, you can access microlearning modules, which show you types of Final Assessment questions and test your ability to understand what you’re being questioned on. Some questions in these modules are free, others are unlocked when you upgrade.
Also the Competency Encyclopedia will show you the types of knowledge. application and advice you’re expected to the competent in for each of your core competencies. These modules are pathways specific so are valuable for defining each competency in the context of your specialism.
I submitted my submission for session 1 of 2017 using the Word template. However, I understand after this session this is to be made obsolete by the ARC system. If I do happen to be referred following my first try, how difficult is it to transition between the old format and the ARC format?
If by any chance you are going or your Final Assessment in Session 1 this year and do not pass, you will still able to submit online by uploading your Word templates. ARC is eventually replace all Word documents with candidates submitting solely via ARC however when takes place is yet to be established.
What additional support is available around the assessments for candidates with dyslexia and for those who do not speak English as a first language?
The Membership Operations team review each candidate with special considerations on a case by case basis but there’re are some simple tasks you can go through to give yourself the best chance for success.
In terms of special considerations, RICS will endeavour to make reasonable adjustments to the APC interview process where a candidate has declared anything which would impact their ability to perform their role. For example, learning, such as dyslexia, hearing, access, speech or visual impairment. This information should be detailed in the relevant section of the final assessment application form and supporting information provided, where necessary.
For candidates who declare English not to be their first language, the Membership Operations team will let the APC panel know and offer them advice such as speaking clearly, using more simple language where possible and to be mindful that their accent may not reflect what the candidate learnt. There is adjustment as such, just guidance to support those candidates but if you are taking your Final Assessment in the UK, we would expect you to be able to communicate in English, as you do in your day-to-day role.
It is recommended that all candidates regardless of special circumstances get their written submissions proof read or reviewed by peers and colleagues to ensure that use of language is sufficient. You can also test your interview responses and use of language through mock interviews.
To find out about future AMA sessions, keep an eye on the Compass homepage and in your APC Training Newsletters.