Welcome to December'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.
I am a chartered surveyor but I would like to move forward in valuation. I am also a professional member.
You will need to become a Registered Valuer rather than sit an APC unless the Pathway you qualified under meant your valuation experience was to Level 2 not 3. I would pick this up with Membership directly just email them on email@example.com
I am a referred candidate and have moved jobs since last being referred and changed a couple of competencies. I have been updating the referral template with experience relating to the referred competencies and the new experience i have gained in the new competencies since starting my new job. I noticed the guide for this is 200-300 words per competency. I have taken property management as my core competency which is also a new competency not referred to previously and the experience written amounts to circa 1000 words. Would assessors regard this as too much?
As part of the submission for Final Assessment your experience will come through - in terms of the referral template - I would stick to the word limit as part of the assessment is your overall professional competence - i.e. can you follow a client's instruction. If the assessors have areas they wish to probe they will. If you are still unsure it may be sensible to discus with Membership.
I enrolled on the QS pathway in December 2016 and was considered an 'inflight' candidate on ARC. However, I was asked earlier this year if I wanted to transfer onto ARC so that I submit everything on there instead so I have done this. The guidance on the RICS website said that you shouldn't record mandatory competencies as part of the diary for the competencies, however, ARC includes the mandatory competencies as well as the core and optional competencies on the drop down menu for the diary. Do we need to also be recorded the mandatory competencies for the diary or do they just appear on there because they are linked to the summary of experience?
I would record mandatory, yes. You have to do it, but also evidence it.
Thank you for the information but I am still unclear as to why the competency diary word template on the RICS specifically says that you shouldn’t record mandatory competencies on the day-to-day diary? I understand that for the final submission you would need to evidence your experience across all competencies in the summary of experience but I thought that was different to the day-to-day competencies diary? I have been recording my diary since December 2016 and haven't been including mandatory competencies in the log.
It's not essential that you record mandatory competency experience in your diary but the option is available in ARC if you’d like to. If you do this though, you need to be careful that you still record enough days against your technical competencies. The one downside with not logging mandatory competency experience here is that it won’t automatically copy over to your summary of experience in ARC. Heidi: Just following on with this. Membership ops are looking at improving ARC to better cater for this activity
That has helped. I couldn't understand how you could record sufficient hours for the core and optional competencies if you also had to record mandatory as its minimum half day recordings. Because of how the diary entries are input on ARC I don't see a benefit of automatically copying them into the summary of experience as there is a word limit for each competency!
You can always keep a log of mandatory comp experience separately and then copy those into your summaries of experience.
I'm sitting my final assessment in less than a fortnight, so looking at the finite details now. Sit or stand for the case study presentation?
I also advise do what you feel most comfortable to do - makes no difference to the Panel
I am about to go for final assessment in next week, but still sometime I lost my self-confidence though of Enough preparation I had before. What should I do?
So you have a lack of confidence - is this about a specific part of the assessment or generally? the key is to make sure you are prepared and that means practice. Practice your presentation to colleagues, friend etc - do you have the ability to have a mock interview? I would really practice and make sure you present in your practice to people so you get comfortable with it - it is scary, but the process of practice will help - remember you need to make sure you slow yourself down as human instinct is to rush the presentation.
I have recently enrolled on the APC but have worked previously in the profession whilst studying for my MSc. Through discussion with my supervisor and counsellor they recommend that they are happy (in theory) to sign off level one competencies however I’m aware that this would mean there is no evidence in my ARC diary to support my knowledge, but I also can't backdate my diary further than 1 month. Would you therefore suggest that we hold off signing off these comps until I have evidenced them in my ARC diary? I am conscious that I am recording a lot of level 2 comps as I am "doing" but not recording the knowledge that I have already gained enabling me to be at level 1.
I would get sign off when all parties are comfortable, including you - remember it won’t affect your final assessment if you sign it now or in a month or so, so if you are comfortable waiting then no harm done
Aware assessors ask in regards to current industry topics and influences. How big a role will the topic of BREXIT play in the final assessment?
Good question! As part of being a good surveyor you will need to demonstrate your awareness of the macroeconomic forces that could affect the real estate market - what I would say is have an opinion - there is no right or wrong answer, so respond in a considered (not political) way.
ARC doesn't acknowledge the supervisor now, just the counsellor who signs off the different levels. Do I need to record anywhere that the supervisor has signed off the competencies also or is it just taken that if my counsellor has signed them off then so has my supervisor?
The only sign-off needed is the Counsellor, but if you have records of your meetings with the Supervisor then these maybe useful to refer back to
I've been warned about how to respond to "stock" questions that may not be specifically be relevant to my experience or competencies within my pathway.
I would be careful as to suggest the questions isn’t relevant may appear to question the Assessors - if genuinely you feel this is the case, I would say that whilst you haven’t specifically dealt with it, your understanding is ... then either the Assessor will be happy or will ask further questions if it IS related to your competency - all questions should be based on your competencies
Are we allowed to know in advance who the panel of assessors will be?
No, they will be unknown to you up to the point you walk into the room - they will obviously know the identity of candidates in advance and if they feel it is not appropriate that they take part in the interview they will declare this so the candidate is interviewed by another panel. The Chairman will introduce the panel to you at the start of the assessment