Question 1: “How should I present my Critical Analysis report? I have seen so many different styles I am now completely confused!”
Answer 1 :
My opening statement is Don’t Panic! All you have to do is follow the RICS APC Guidance.
The RICS Candidate Guide, page 17, tells you everything you need to know but I’ll give you my added comments to assist you in your quest:
1. Write a report: It is relatively straight forward to make sure you have a report style with a cover, contents, introduction, main body, conclusion and relevant and supporting appendices. Well formatted into neat, easily read paragraphs and I would suggest numbering the paragraphs. Try not to have too many levels (i.e. 2.1.1). I tend to try and restrict it to about three levels; otherwise it looks like you have more numbers than text!
2. Contents: Follow the RICS guide to the letter using the five headings available, i.e. Key Issue, Options, Proposed Solution, Conclusion and Analysis of Experience. Pop an introduction at the front and there is your contents list. Add any relevant appendices afterwards.
3. Appendices: Try and keep this section as concise as possible and provide relevant and supporting appendices. Do not append the project file or full copies of contracts or leases, but just give referenced extracts that are relevant to your report.
4. Layout: Often candidates miss the importance of laying out the Critical Analysis report professionally and using the same fonts and formatting throughout to ensure the reader has a good experience. Use a simple font such as Arial, go for 12 point for headings and 10 to 11 point for body text, use bold or underlining for emphasis etc. I suggest 1.5 line spacing to enable assessors to make notes between the lines if they choose to when reviewing your documentation.
5. Spelling and grammar: Make sure this is 100% correct. No ‘ifs’ or ‘buts’ here, you must make sure your report is 100% professional. This is highly important as poorly produced reports may go against you at the final assessment. Often mistakes are made because candidates leave the Critical Analysis report writing to the last minute and rush this section.
6. Binding: When you create your document for the final assessment I tend to suggest you use a tabbed document (you can get tabbed dividers from any Office suppliers) and pop templates 1 to 6 in tabs 1 to 6 and then the Critical Analysis under tab 7. This suggestion follows the suggested list order in Template 2. Please note referred candidates will need to have more tabs; again follow the list in Template 2.
7. Word count: RICS request that a word count be added to the report (generally at the end) and think about the report weighting. Often too many candidates use up about half the report word count on introducing the project and then do a poor job of the conclusion as there is little or no word count left which is unfortunately the wrong way round. Candidate must not go over the 3000 MAXIMUM word count stipulated in the candidate’s guide.
I provide a FREE Critical Analysis template which is worth following.
Download it here (under FREE HELP): www.mydelever.com (FREE Registration)
Want to know more about the Critical Analysis then see my DeLever APC ONLINE Masterclasses. See the programme and available recordings here: www.delever.com/masterclass
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