RICS expects candidates to be perfect in the final APC Interview? In other words, why would a candidate fail the APC?”

Jon Lever says … “I am often asked whether RICS expects candidates to be perfect in the final APC interview? In other words, why would a candidate fail the APC?”

Jon Lever’s advice on Why candidates may ‘fail’ the APC?

Firstly, The APC Final Assessment is not an exam; it is an experiential based assessment which is quite different. I find a lot of candidates think it the APC is something you can revise a few weeks before and hopefully your questions come up.  This could not be any further from the truth!

A test of your understanding?
You are attending an interview with three other professionally Chartered Surveyors to discuss your Knowledge (Level 1), Skill and Ability through examples of application and advice (Level 2 and 3).  This means that you need to know what the competency means and the depth and breadth of knowledge is important, but when taking a competency to a higher level then you must be able to discuss it, offering in depth examples of where you have had the experience and offered the advice relevant to the competency.

For example, if a competency you have selected has 10 steps from beginning to end, you should be able to:

Level 1 – Know the steps to complete the process and be able to discuss each step from a knowledge and process perspective.  Know the principles, parameters and key criteria without having to go back to the books or codes of practice etc.

Level 2 – You should be able to discuss your real life experiences from a range of different project types explaining how you have actually done each of the steps.

Level 3 – If and when discussing with a client about a relevant solution to a problem / challenge they have, you should be able to discuss with them and advise a suitable (correct) solution to cover each step.  This advice should be based upon and taken from your experiences you have had at Level 2. Assessors are also looking to see how you will conduct yourself and therefore presentation, communication and professional conduct also feature high in the assessment.

Assessors do not expect candidates to be experts in every competency they declare, but they do expect candidates to have made the effort to have fully understood and taken steps to experience the depth and breadth of their declared competencies.  The APC Final Assessment is not easy, it is not meant to be, it is a professional interview where a successful candidate demonstrates to other Chartered Surveyors that they are competent and can be trusted to be professional.

A test of your professionalism
It is a good idea to treat your panel as if you were attending a progress meeting with a client, be on your best professional behaviour, have your client’s interest foremost in your mind and be able to explain and discuss yourself professionally and succinctly.

At the APC Final Assessment a candidate must convince a panel of professional Chartered Surveyors that they are a ‘Safe Pair of Hands’ and should they achieve their Chartered Status and set up their own practice they know their business and they understand how they are expected to conduct themselves and not bring themselves, the institution and all other Chartered Surveyors into disrepute.

Why could you be referred?
Unfortunately, candidates are mainly referred at the Final Assessment due to a lack of understanding of the process or their competencies, or through a lack of experience so they are unable to demonstrate their ability. If a candidate is unable to discuss at the final assessment the basics as laid down in the competencies, then the assessors will refer the candidate.  You would be surprised how many candidates come forward for assessment thinking they can demonstrate a Level 3 competency by just having the outline knowledge without any real experience of it!

In the 15 years I have been assessing this is a constant issue and I often say that about 50% to 60% of candidates I see at the interview are poor.  This percentage is much higher at the mock interviews I provide, but thankfully they are mocks and I am able to identify and demonstrate to these individuals the gaps they have in their knowledge and experience.

I achieved my APC Final Assessment and Chartered Status over 20 years ago and I am as proud today as the day I achieved it. I believe that success comes from hard work, being realistic about whether you are ready to take the final assessment, a positive attitude to continually grow and develop and try to always do everything to the best of your ability.

DeLever Mock Interviews

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Hour long mock interviews followed by fifteen minutes of excellent direct feedback…

A 60 minute APC mock interview with real and current APC assessors. The DeLever APC mock interview is as close to the real thing as we can make it. The interview questioning will be based on your personal APC submission documents, just like the real APC final assessment.  The mock interview is followed immediately by a 15 minute feedback critique from the assessors based upon your performance.*

THEY SAY…

“Useful experience. Developed my knowledge of the process.  Helped to build my confidence”.

“A very real and formal experience. An understanding of what to expect.  Has been invaluable.  I would recommend it to anyone undergoing the APC”.

“It was a great opportunity to experience the format of the real Final Assessment”.

“My weakness was my inability to communicate effectively. The mock interview has helped me to work on this and really opened my eyes to the issue”.

‘BOOK SOON, Don’t miss out’.

March 2016 – Face to Face, 2 Assessors

  • 13th March 2016 (Sunday) | East Midlands | BS, BINF, CP, FM, MC, P&D, PM, RES, VAL
  • 14th March 2016 (Monday) | Harrogate | CP, QS&C, RES, VAL
  • 20th March 2016 (Sunday) | East Midlands | BS, BINF, CP, FM, MC, P&D, PM, RES, VAL
  • 26th March 2016 (Saturday) | East Midlands | BS, BINF, CP, FM, MC, P&D, PM

April & May dates also available.

ONLINE Mocks can be booked anytime to suit assessor and candidate.

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Tips 4 of 5 from Jon Lever FRICS for organising your time leading up to the final assessment plus FREE help.

Tips for organising your time leading up to the final assessment
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4. Revise, revise revise
At the final assessment you will be asked to explain your understanding, experience, advice and actions and give opinions and generally explain how you’ll undertake your business stressed-student-revising-008professionally.  Make sure you have plenty of competency experience project examples to discuss with the assessors.  Remember anything you have included in your submission documents could be the basis for a question at the final assessment.

If you missed the last two tip please see below, see below.

  1. Prepare your presentation thoroughly
    Once your Case Study is finished you should focus on developing your 10 minute presentation. I have seen a number of candidates present something different from their Case Study at the final assessment; you will be referred if you do this. If you bring a flipchart or handouts they should look professional. Your notes should be detailed enough to be a useful prompt, but not a script that you read to the assessors. A vital part of your preparation is practise to polish your performance and get your timings right.
  2. Practice your presentation
    You will be required to deliver your ten minute Case Study presentation at the beginning of the Final Assessment Interview. You will be expected to deliver an excellent and professional presentation, with well-produced verbal communication, top quality visual aids (if you are using any) good eye contact, good body language, clarity of thought and structure, professional and polite delivery and ensuring you can demonstrate top quality skill and awareness of the needs of your audience.  So often candidates don’t do well here so here is your chance to excel and stand out from the crowd.

3. Prepare for the Final Assessment day

Sitting the final assessment is stressful, understanding what to expect will help.  It is a good idea to visit the assessment centre beforehand and test such things as journey time and parking. You cannot be late for the final assessment! Prepare a checklist so that when you get nervous on the day you don’t forget anything. Absolutely anything in your submission documents can be the basis of questioning during your interview, so make sure you put in the preparation time and regularly review your declared competencies and submission documents.

Jon’s tips for the Final Assessment and how best to prepare. 

EXTRA Help 

Ned help ? The Forum will also feature an APC process question and answer session and is run by Jon Lever FRICS.

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APC Diary 

Our online myAPCDiary platform will allow a candidate to record all aspects of their APC program. IAPC_Diary_you_tube_covert will also provide all related supervisors and counsellors a means of tracking their assigned candidates, in a simple to use, and centralised location. All live, with the latest information.

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