Question of the Week: New job and APC challenges



I started keeping my diary for the APC -Building Surveying route at the start of the year whilst I was working for a consultancy company who specialised in social housing. At the consultancy company there was a lot of help regarding the APC which included having a mentor and supervisor. After my contract finished with the consultancy company I managed to find a role as a project manager for the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine.

I would like to carry on with my APC but there is no one within this organisation within a similar role or with similar experience of the APC. I have been at LSTM for 4 months now and have put all my focus into settling in and making a good impression but now I feel I should have a good go at starting the APC again.

We work closely with a consultancy company who have offered to help me through the APC but I was wondering if this is ok with my supervisor etc being from another company?

I am also concerned that I will not be able to reach the level of competencies whilst undertaking a multi-million pound refurbishment project.

I have started leaning towards the project management side rather than building surveying and was wondering if anyone could suggest paths to go down to better my qualifications if the APC route is out of the question whilst being in this role.

Any help or advice will be greatly received!



Hi there…lots of issues… I’ll try and pick them off individually:

I assume you are currently doing Grad Route 1…

1. Change of firm: OK, just make sure your new employer will commit to getting an APC Training Agreement set up. This basically confirms their agreement to support you.

2. Supervisor needs to be provided by your employer. They need not be chartered but do need to be able to confirm the work you are doing day to day. I suggest this would be your line manager. I would not suggest this role is done by an external individual who does not know the detail regarding your day to day work.

3. External consultancy offering to help sounds great and as long as they are chartered they can act as your counsellor and work with your supervisor to evaluate the experience you are gaining. I would also challenge you to consider that the counsellor needs to be from your pathway as your supervisor may not be and is not chartered.

4. Changing roles / pathway. If you are currently following the BS pathway but doing predominantly project management this is going to cause you a problem within BS if you cannot cover the competencies. Why not consider Project Management or Facilities Management pathways as a thought? Careful consideration needs to be exercised here and make sure you discuss this closely with your supervisor and counsellor. Ultimately the route you decide to follow needs to be based upon what you want to do in the future and maybe if Building Surveying is what you want to do then short term, in your current employment, you may not achieve the depth and breadth of competency immediately.

See my FREE APC Forums:

I hope this helps
Kind regards

Question of the Week: Competency Achievement


Graduate Chartered Surveyor at Residential Surveyors in Scotland
I am on the residential survey and valuation pathway. I hit my core comps on a daily basis, as well as 2 other ones from the optional comps list. However, I do not get enough experience for the 3rd comp and plus comp to level 2. Any ideas?? Since it is to level 2 only, can i carry out desk based research without any practical experience? Also, is it possible to utilise my previous experience in other roles and apply this to the comps?




I would advise caution.

The APC Assessors are trained to seek out ‘Real-Life’ experience for all Level 2 and 3 competencies. Knowledge development (Level 1) alone will not be enough for you to achieve Level 2 or higher competencies.

You have not mentioned your APC Route? This may have further implications / advice on the previous experience bit???

A few thoughts of how you can progress this and focus on your APC training:

1. Review your OPTIONAL competencies? Maybe select others that are better suited.

++IMPORTANT++ Are you aware that RICS have now combined Residential Survey, Residential Property and Housing Management Pathways intone ‘Residential’ pathway??? This may give you much more option. However, I would suggest you discuss any pathway change (however slight) with your supervisor, counsellor and Membership Operations.

2. Seek secondment opportunities? This is not always easy and should be discussed with your employer

3. Seek work shadowing opportunities? This again is something to discuss with your employer, however, I don’t think this is as good as secondment.

4. Mock experience? This needs to be considered VERY CAREFULLY. For example if your employer manages properties that you can gain access to and you produce a piece of work in parallel to a colleague in your office who is doing it for real and then you compare and contrast your example and learn from the experience. Maybe your counsellor could play the role of the client and provide you with heads of terms etc… Also I would expect you to do your version in your own time as you still have the day job to do.
This is a part way towards Level 2 but personally I feel it is not completely sufficient.

5. Scary Option! Get a new Job that does cover the competencies. This, in the current market, is not really good advice, BUT it is an option. However, careful consideration because you don’t want to go from one job to another that doesn’t provide the full breadth of competencies.

6. Take your time! Remember the APC is about competence not time served! Therefore you can spend more time gaining broader experience and not focussing on the minimum timescales to get to the Final Assessment. Trust me..! You ONLY want top sit this assessment ONCE!

I hope this helps

Kind regards