Top Tips for starting APC
1 Become a member of RICS
Before you are eligible to start your APC, you can sign
up for free Student Membership of RICS and receive a
membership number which gives you instant access to
the RICS website which contains a wealth of knowledge
and other membership services. When you start the APC
your status will change to ‘Trainee Surveyor’.
2 Understand the APC process
Get the RICS APC Guides from http://www.rics.org. Make
sure that you have read and fully understand them as
about a quarter of the candidates I have assessed have in
part been referred because they don’t properly understand
the APC process. You should be reading them at least
once every 3 to 4 months. Candidates from outside the UK
also need to check the differences in the APC for their
world region, see the RICS web site for details.
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3 Get a relevant job
You can only start your APC if you are employed in a
relevant surveying role, gaining the experience expected for
the pathway you intend to follow. It is also beneficial if your
employer is committed and willing to provide you with a
Structured Training Plan.
RICS Training Advisors (RTA) can assist and advise employers regarding any aspect of
the APC process.
Find your RTA at www.rics.org.
4 Get a supervisor and counsellor
Depending on your APC route, you will need a supervisor
and/or a counsellor to mentor you through the APC process.
Whilst it is vitally important for you to take responsibility for your
APC and career, a supervisor and/or counsellor should advise,
guide and support you. Make sure they have the relevant, up to
date APC Guides and that they are aware of their role and
responsibilities. They should be supporting you with guiding you
towards the correct experience, monitoring your progress and
signing off your competency achievement.
5 Understand the competencies
At the final assessment, you will need to demonstrate to the
assessors that your full and detailed understanding (Level1) of
each declared competency has enabled you to seek out and gain
experience (Level 2) and the opportunity to advise (Level 3). The
APC Guides provide an explanation of the competency
requirements/options for each pathway. Your supervisor and
counsellor should help you interpret each competency and
discuss the experience available to help you achieve your
competency goals. If you have questions about the specific
competencies that you and/or your supervisor and counsellor are
unsure about then you could contact and discuss your queries
with an RICS APC Mentor from your pathway.
6 Understand the Levels
Unfortunately most the candidates I meet do not
understand the competency levels:
Level 1 – This is all about LEARNING. Do not try and
define the competency or regurgitate the APC Pathway
guide text, as so many candidates seem to do! Remember
you are trying to demonstrate to the assessors that you
have reviewed the requirements in the APC Pathway Guide
with your supervisor and counsellor, and have researched,
undertaken and achieved the required learning. Also,
remember not to talk about your project experience
examples at this level, unless you wish to refer to the
learning you have reinforced through your experience.
Level 2 – This is all about DOING. This needs to be a
focused description of the depth and breadth of your
experience and one or two (if you can fit it into the word
count) examples of your experience relevant to this
Level 3 – This is all about ADVISING. This needs to be a
description of the depth and breadth of your experience
and specifically where you have been advising clients,
colleagues and anyone else of relevance. Remember, the
ability to advise effectively comes from having had a large
amount of varied experience, relevant to your declared
7 Get stuck in
The APC is your career so you need to take control
and get stuck in. Far too often I hear candidates expecting
to be offered everything when it is really much better for
the candidate to drive the process forward. You should
continuously be seeking opportunities for developing your
knowledge, experience and that offer Continuing
Professional Development (CPD).
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8 Keep your documentation up to date
As the APC is based on your competency experience
it is hard to know whether you are on track if your diary and
log book are not up to date. It is a good idea to write up
your diary and log book weekly, including a detailed
description regarding your experience. We suggest writing
a sentence or two for each diary entry, sufficient to remind
you about what you were doing. This will help you identify
any competency experience where you are deficient. Don’t
forget to maintain regular communication with your
employer so you can discuss ways to tailor your experience
to fill the gaps. Your diary is an important document and
may be requested by your APC assessment panel, so make
sure you keep It up to date.
9 Get involved with the RICS
It is important that you get involved with the RICS for
your APC development as well as building up contacts.
Good networking opportunities can be found at RICS
events and RICS matrics. Don’t forget, you will be able to
record this sort of activity on the most part as CPD.
You need to achieve a minimum of 48 hours CPD for
Graduate routes 1 and 2, or 20 hours for Graduate route 3
and Professional Experience in every 12 months of
recorded experience. Read the APC Candidate’s Guide to
fully understand how to record your CPD, including how to
allocate formal and informal CPD against each entry.
11 Choose a suitable project / topic for your Case Study
The Case Study has the opportunity to effectively showcase
the key elements of your competency knowledge and
experience. The project/topic you base it on should be
broad enough to demonstrate that you have the depth and
breadth of experience required for your declared
competencies. Your Case Study will become the basis of
your Final Assessment ten minute presentation and the
assessors will take time to read and question you on it.