The Requirements of The RICS APC for Quantity Surveying


Introduction

As part of the APC, we need to do a lot of work on our own. While browsing through the enrolment guide and APC guide I realised that it is not just a simple walk in the park. The APC consists of a period of structured training followed by a final assessment (case study, presentation and interview).
We have to write a daily log of 200 days which covers all the competencies under my pathway (Quantity Surveying & Construction).

We will need to demonstrate to our mentor and counsellor that we are ready for the interview through our quarterly assessment as well as preparing a case study (critical analysis) for submission.

What I need to do (in detail) for the structured training

The best way to find out what you need to do in detail is to go through the Pathway guide for Quantity Surveying & Construction.
But I would also recommend going through the following documents:

  1. APC Requirements and Competencies guide
  2. The APC candidate guide
  3. Self-assessment form
  4. The counsellor guide*
  5. APC Mentor Guide

*The reason why I think it is a good idea to go through the counsellor guide is so that you get in the mindset of teaching the content you are reading. The reason you’d want to have this mindset is so that you focus on learning the material in a lot more depth and skim through the unnecessary information. This is why I use a lot of models or visual queues to get it out the way and hence why I am writing this blog in this way to learn and to place a stake to just not write notes but to place it in a presentable way to teach and learn from. While I am editing this entry I am also re-visiting my written content which will allow me to recall much better in the future. If you are interested in studying better I would recommend reading a book called Buzan’s Study Skill.

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Structured training

For my 12 months structured APC,  we will need to demonstrate to our counsellor and supervisor that we have achieved the relevant competencies. Throughout the training, we will need to demonstrate the skills, abilities, attitudes and behaviours to undertake our day to day activities that meet the competencies.
Therefore, you and I should be focusing not only on developing the skills and knowledge but also the behaviour to these. I will investigate this further with my supervisor to see what I need to work on.

record keeping photo
Photo by burrows.nichole28

1. Record keeping

As mentioned previously as part of our APC we will need to keep a log book which we will need to submit for the final assessment. So today, I will be working on drafting my first logs for the week. I have asked my supervisor if he could send me some examples as the ones I had from my mate was a bit too brief and I am quite worried it won’t be benefiting me on the long run.
I have downloaded the log book template from the RICS website and I will start writing. That should not be a problem. I may prepare an excel or web page at some point to allow for better recording. For now I am going to record some of my diaries here privately.

As I am unsure what to write fully in my diary, I am going to take the following assumptions…

Within my diary I will try to include:

  1. The problem I tried to fix in detail (the reason why I think I should write down the problem is that it is easier for me personally to justify a problem to fix rather than just say I filled the subcontract data for X subcontractor. This I believe should include the details of the situation/scenario of the problem so that I can use that as an example for the future.
  2. The solutions on how I resolved the issue.
  3. What I’ve learnt in the process and how I got to learn about it.
  4. Of course, the competency it covers.

I have now learnt that the diary only needs to be a couple of brief sentences explaining what you did. See this post here on writing your diary.

While writing the diary, I am hoping that I can start handing it off to my supervisor on a monthly basis so that he can review my progress and get some feedback. I believe strongly that placing small stakes and deadlines will help to get things done.

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2. Continuing Professional Development

Also as part of the APC we need to demonstrate 48 hours of CPD (Continuing Professional Development). From reading the Candidate guide I will need to prove that 50% of the CPD has come from Formal Development (professional courses, seminars or online events and the other 50% from Informal development such as private study.

There is a full guide on what the RICS considers Formal Development and Informal Development.

The Formal Development considers the following:

  1. Professional courses, seminars and conferences
  2. Structured seminars/discussions where there is a learning outcome (this can be online or in person).
  3. Formal learning and development within your firm or organisation (in-house training). (I get this from Systech International on a regular basis at the main office for 1–2 hours. This is great as it covers really good topics on procurement, claims, disputes, etc…).
  4. Self-managed to learn assessed by a 3rd party expert.
  5. Computer based training where there are clear objectives and learning outcomes and assessment measure e.g. multiple choice test.
  6. Taking part in online events or video sessions relating to Quantity Surveying.
  7. Technical authorship writing articles, reports, manuals which are published for use by members (that’s something I am interested in doing at some point. I would rather publish in the newspaper such as the ICE or construction news.).
  8. Sitting on RICS boards/committees that focus on technical matters (I don’t think any of the students going through the APC would be on the board.) But attending an RICS board meeting where there is a learning objective can provide you with CPD.
  9. Undertaking training on the RICS online portal, such as the free online ethics training module.
  10. Delivering a presentation on technical subject where research and preparation have been required to enhance your own understanding/knowledge ( I think I personally would like to achieve this, I am hoping that I will be able to start providing these presentations in the coming weeks). However, they consider that you do not gain any formal development CPD if you’re giving a presentation on a topic that you are an expert in and where you have had no research or preparation towards it. I think that’s fair…but just be warned if you’re trying to log this.
  11. Finally, undertaking an academic course that links to my profession. I have actually undertaken an LLM in Construction Law and Arbitration at Robert Gordon University. However, due to the amount of work I could not do my 12 month structure within the last year to count towards my CPD, I found it a bit too much to handle on top of preparing for my diary.

The Informal Development considers the following:

  1. Development of personal and practical skills through shadowing or delivering/receiving coaching. (This can be teaching my assistant to do certain tasks or activities.)
  2. Informal learning and development within your firm.
  3. Informal Teaching/training for others such as facilitating a discussion session at a seminar or conference. ( I am hoping that at some point we can generate enough interest to start this online via slack or Google Hangouts.)
  4. Private Study such as reading books, online materials, podcasts, etc… relating to Quantity Surveying
  5. Mentoring (providing support to trainees)
  6. Delivering a presentation on a technical subject that you are an expert in.

By the way…. running a personal website, blog or newsletter does not consider as a CPD. Hopefully the seminars I prepare and present can be counted towards some CPD.

3. Summary of experience

For the final submission, we also need to prepare a summary of experience. It is a brief statement of each mandatory and technical competencies where you demonstrate your experience covering level 1–3.
The summary should be able to demonstrate evidence that you can do the relevant job at the required level. It is all about demonstrating that you can do this.

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4. Case Study

This is a 3000-word report on a recent project or projects within 2 years of your assessment where you were involved. This is important as one of my peers did not get his RICS because his case study was on a project older than 2 years.

The case study should be a critical analysis of the project with an outline of the learning outcome with evidence of the competencies achieved. It should complement or aid to make your 10-minute presentation for the final assessment. So basically providing a brief on the case study through the presentation.

The report must be on a real life project that you were involved in to solve a problem, it should include details on how you critically analysed the issue and how you got to overcome the issue. This needs to refer back to the competencies of your pathway demonstrating your professionalism to solve the problem.

It is not just a summary of the fact but an analysis of the issue and how you dealt with it.

Appendices should only support your report not to add more content.

For my case study, I may be analysing the procurement of new work packages on a design and build project or the construction technology behind the rail industry. Or updating the cost plan while working on a management contracting project where work packages designed, tender and constructed.

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5. The Final assessment interview

The final assessment interview is the last hurdle you’ll have to face. It is an hour long where you will be assessed on

  1. Presentation skill so that you can clearly express yourself.
  2. Demonstrate your understanding of the knowledge gained and competencies achieved during your training.
  3. Have an understanding of the role and responsibilities of a chartered surveyor.
  4. Demonstrate your professional and technical skills to benefit your clients

As I am not that great on presentation in front of people I will need to work on this. I may be joining a Toast Masters group in the coming weeks/months to get started.

Summary

To summarise what I need to do:

  1. To keep a daily log of what I have done for the counsellor and supervisor to review.
  2. To study and gain the skills, knowledge, attitudes and behaviour required for the APC.
  3. Work towards gaining CPD hours 50% Informal and 50% Formal Developments.
  4. Work on a Summary of Experience for all competencies.
  5. Work towards the final assessment interview (10-minute presentation and 50-minute interview) – this means practising my presentation skills.
  6. Find out about the Attitude and behaviour requirements from my supervisor.
  7. Join a Toast Masters group.
  8. Prepare presentations on Google hangouts.
  9. Identify Formal Development courses that can add up to 24 hours of CPD.
  10. Identify Informal Development opportunities that will add up to 24 hours of CPD. This should be easy.
  11. Start writing my logs and publishing them so that I can work towards my quarterly assessments.

The deliverables:
Before going to the final assessment interview, I need to complete the following:

  1. Signed off assessment from my Mentor and Counsellor
  2. 200 days of training
  3. Summary of experience (1500 on the mandatory competencies and 3000–4000 words for the technical competencies = Roughly 150–200 words for each competency) – This is something I was not aware before writing this blog entry.
  4. 3000 words of Case Study (was a critical analysis)
  5. Prepare for a 10 minute presentation
  6. Demonstrate 48 hours of CPD, where 50% is Informal development & 50% Formal Development.

Actions
The action list below will get me started on discovering what I need to do in the next few weeks:

Photo by Marc Wathieu


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