**PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT for Graduate Routes 1& 2**
Part 2 – Professional Development Skills Splits
I thought it would be worth commenting on Professional Development (Template 4). Along with the Summary of Experience, this template often gets neglected or left sparsely populated.
The Three 16 hour Professional Development Skill Splits
Unfortunatley, quite a large number of candidates pay little attention to the professional development skill split requirement which is a real shame as the APC assessors are expecting APC candidates to follow the guidance to the letter. By not following the guidance you simply let yourself down and if you have a bit of a bad day at the final assessment the errors made with the skills splits just serve to escalate the chance of being referred.
In the APC Candidate’s Guide (pages 15 and 16) it clearly discusses the requirements and the need to break down the 48 hours per year into three key skill areas.
You can read the guide, but to briefly summarise:
Personal Skills: This is predominantly focused on the Mandatory Competencies. You should consider what type of learning this would include with an eye on how the choices you make link back to your declared competencies. I would normally expect ‘personal skills’ to fit a high proportion of softer skills, such as, presentation skills, client care,communication and report writing etc., but don’t loose sight of the other Mandatory areas such as Health and Safety, Conflict Avoidance… and Sustainability. They are all very important subject areas. Useful documents such as the RICS Guide to Surveying Safely or the RICS Practice Management Guidelines or the current consultation on CDM are ideal learning. Also involvement in RICS matrics events etc would all fit neatly under this skill split.
Technical Skills: This focuses on Core and Optional competecy selection and any form of learning improving your knowledge and understanding of technical issues is ideal. Have you considered recent updates to the Red Book or Building Information Modelling (BIM)? These are all likely to be closely linked to your competencies
Professional Practice Skills: Interestingly this is often the most misunderstood skill split and often candidates just record a few hours here and there or allocate learning that would be better placed in one of the other skill split areas. This skill area clearly includes Rules of Conduct and Ethics. It clearly points out in the guide that client care or conflict avoidance or knowledge of your Institution’s structure and goals is also relevant. I am not entirely sure why this skill split is often so badly recorded as the Rules of Conduct and Ethics are such a large area of knowledge. Have you considered the Bye-Laws and Regulations, Members and Firms Rules with all of the associated back up Help sheets and Policy documents.
Also don’t forget all of the peripheral documentation such as guidance notes, templates and pro formas etc. For example there is Complaints Handling suggestion, a guide for engaging locums if you are a sole practitioner and so on…
Remember Professional Development is all about ‘currency’ of learning. By this I mean you are not relating all of your learning to historical or out of date information but you are keeping up to date with the latest journals, the latest thinking and industry buzz.
Good luck with your learning and recording and if you want to know any more get in touch and ask your questions…
1. Caution: REMEMBER what you write is ‘fair game’ for the Assessors to question. So make sure you can back it ALL up in the interview!
2. Tip: Use your word count to best effect. Often candidates only write a small amount when they could have developed the detail in their descriptions to a much more conclusive response.
3. Intelligence: Did you know the RICS recently updated the Requirements and Competencies and Pathway guides between January 2014 and April 2014.
Jon Lever FRICS