Building a better you
Property Elite’s sole aim is to build better property professionals - supporting your career every step of the way, whether you are an AssocRICS or RICS APC candidate or a MRICS or FRICS Chartered Surveyor simply seeking engaging CPD.
We provide a wide range of training and support, so why not find out more on our website about how we might be able to support you? We work with candidates across all RICS APC and AssocRICS pathways, routes to assessment and geographic regions.
Don’t forget to sign up online for your free 15 minute AssocRICS or RICS APC consultation, including a review of your referral report if you have been referred. You can also book your bespoke training or support services directly through our eShop.
What is this week's blog about?
In this article, we look at the various ways that you can keep your APC on track during Covid-19. This follows the positive news that despite the Covid-19 outbreak, RICS are still planning to run all APC assessment interviews as scheduled. Until 31 July 2020, these will all take place online.
The online interviews will take place using Skype for Business. You should make sure that you are familiar with the RICS guidance on how interviews will be conducted, ensure you test out the systems and equipment beforehand and have a suitable environment ready for your interview day.
What are the benefits of an online interview?
The key benefit of an online interview is the ability to control more of the ‘unknowns’, helping to reduce the stress and nerves associated with the final assessment interview.
Assessors are aware that many candidates will be facing financial and personal pressures during this time and are there not only to assess your competence, but to support and help bring the best out of you during your final assessment interview.
What about if I am furloughed or unemployed?
It is important to note if you have been furloughed or made unemployed, you can still sit your final assessment in Session 1 2020. You should also be aware that you may be eligible for concessionary fees if you are currently unemployed.
We would encourage any candidates looking for support to contact the RICS Lionheart charity. Lionheart can provide free and confidential advice, financial support, professional counselling and legal advice.
Can I continue my APC and CPD training?
Whilst working, on furlough or seeking employment, you are still able to undertake training towards your RICS APC and CPD requirements.
You will also continue to have personal access to the Assessment Resource Centre, with RICS specifically stating that:
Any work experience gained in the five years before assessment will be valid, so if a candidate is unable to gain experience for a period of time then their previous work will still count towards the minimum 400/200 days requirement
If a candidate has to defer or is referred at their final assessment, they will be granted a 6 month extension on the validity of their case study(ies), for example from 24 months to 30
What happens if my APC support network is unavailable?
You may find that essential APC contacts in your firm are not available over the coming months. Where you have already submitted for final assessment in Session 1 2020, you will not need any further sign-off by your Counsellor, Proposer or Seconders.
However, your support network and APC training programme may no longer be available and this is where we are able to provide you with 1-2-1 training and support.
If you’d like a chat about your position and options, we provide a free 15 minute consultation to all candidates with a current APC assessor and co-founder of Property Elite.
What are our 10 ways to keep your APC on track?
Here are 10 positive and practical ways that you can continue to keep your APC on track during the coming months:
1. Whether you are on furlough or not, make the most of taking some time out for personal and professional development. Take an hour out of each day when you would usually have been commuting, for example, and learn something new that interests you. Even better, make it relevant to one of your weaker APC competencies where you could do with improving your knowledge base.
2. Keep in contact with key members of your APC support network, these could be other candidates, your Counsellor, your Supervisor and Property Elite. Use a variety of communication methods – online video, telephone and instant messaging. Remember, we are always here to answer your questions using the chat box on our website.
3. Keep up-to-date with relevant social media relating to the APC and your sector or area of practice, including LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook. Feeling connected to others is an excellent way to stay happy and healthy. You might also learn something new too! Why not check out the Property Elite YouTube channel, Facebook Group or Instagram Page?
4. Keep an eye on the RICS website to ensure you are familiar with the latest guidance on how and when your online interview will be conducted. Test out Skype for Business and practice being on camera with family, friends and colleagues to ensure you are ready for your final assessment. You can also still book an e-mock interview with Property Elite at a date and time convenient to you.
5. Listen to podcasts relating to property and the built environment during your daily walk or other form of exercise. A great way to keep up-to-date with the market and wider industry, whilst feeling less like hard work. Our podcast can be accessed on a variety of channels, whilst we also love the EG Bricks & Mortar podcast.
6. Form a study group using an online video system with other candidates sitting this session. You could ask each other Q&A, give a presentation on a current hot topic or put together a CPD pub quiz. If you don’t have any immediate contacts, ask us and we will see if we can help put you in touch with others. We also have a Google Meet system where we can set up an online meeting room for you – just message us using the website chat box to ask!
7. Plan your final assessment environment, set up and outfit in advance. Don’t leave anything to chance and visualise what your interview may be like. Ask others to keep quiet during your timeslot and ensure you have a quiet, well-lit room to be assessed in.
8. Make a revision action plan, ensuring you cover all competencies, case study, level 1 knowledge, CPD record and familiarity with your experience and examples. Try to cover ethics all the way through as this is the only area for an automatic fail.
9. Keep yourself mentally and physically happy – this is of utmost importance in a stressful and unsettling world. You will not be able to present the best you at your interview if you are not comfortable in yourself.
10. Smile. Whilst it may sound silly, there is a lot to be said for presenting yourself with a smile – it looks confident, positive and professional and will help to set your final assessment interview off to the best start possible.
How can we help?
Head to our blog archive to access even more free CPD and AssocRICS and RICS APC training and support.
Download your free AssocRICS and RICS APC resources, including e-books and revision quizzes.
Find out more about our bespoke AssocRICS and RICS APC training and support, before booking your free 15 minute consultation.
Stay tuned for our next blog post to help build a better you
N.b. Nothing in this article constitutes legal, professional or financial advice.