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RICS APC Lifeline – ARC Structured Training Diary



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What is today's blog about?


In this week’s blog, we take a look at the ARC structured training diary. What is it, who is it for and how should you fill it in? Essential reading for RICS APC candidates on the structured training routes.


Who needs to fill in the diary?


The diary is for candidates on either the 12 or 24 months’ structured training routes.

This will be if you either have an RICS accredited degree and up to 5 years’ experience, i.e. 24 months’ structured training, or an RICS accredited degree and 5-10 years’ experience, i.e. 12 months’ structured training.


For the 24 months’ structured training route, you need to complete a minimum of 400 days’ relevant work experience. This is reduced to 200 days’ if you are on the 12 months’ structured training route.


When do I need to start recording my diary?


As soon as you enrol on the APC, you will need to start recording your experience in your diary.


What should I record?


You should only record work experience relating to your technical competencies in your diary.


You should record experience in blocks of no less than ½ day. It is likely that your daily work (on various projects) will cover many different technical competencies, so you may find it more efficient to block your time together on each competency.


You do not need to record your mandatory competencies in your diary, although you will still need to write about them in your summary of experience. This is because they are considered to be part of your day-to-day work and not normally counted as part of your minimum days’ experience requirement.


What will I use my diary for?


You will use your diary as a helpful tool when drafting your summary of experience. It will provide a good reminder of the work you have undertaken, providing you have recorded sufficient, relevant detail.

You should also use it during your counsellor and/or supervisor meetings as a basis for discussion. It will help you to review your work undertaken against the requirements of your chosen technical competencies at levels 2 and 3. It may also help to highlight a suitable case study topic, if a project has been particularly interesting or involved.


Where do I record my diary?


You will record your diary using ARC. This includes former in flight candidates who will now be fully on ARC – you can read about the changes on our blog.


How do I record my diary using ARC?


When you are on ARC, head to the diary section. Here, you can add, view or edit diary entries.


You can also filter your entries by month, year, competency and level. This may be helpful during your counsellor and/or supervisor meetings, as well as identifying relevant work experience when drafting your summary of experience.


You may prefer to use a spreadsheet based format for your diary, to avoid data loss and provide a more personalised working document. An excellent way to do this is using our diary template, which can be downloaded for free here. You can then, providing you allow sufficient time, upload your entries to ARC at a later date before submitting.


What does a typical diary entry look like?


When adding a new diary entry, you will need to add the following:


  • Competency and level, e.g. Valuation – level 2

  • Days and start date – e.g. 2 days, 04/08/2020

  • Title – e.g. Valuation of a retail shop in Bristol

  • Diary entry – e.g. I assisted in the valuation of a retail shop in Bristol. This included pre-instruction checks, drafting Terms of Engagement, desktop due diligence and researching comparable evidence. I then assisted with preparing a valuation report, including market conditions and analysis of the comparables.


If you would like the Property Elite team to give you any advice on your diary or a sample entry, just use the chat box below or email jen@property-elite.co.uk.


You can then click reset or add – if you are happy with your entry, ensure you click the latter!


Do I have to record my diary?


If you are a structured training candidate, then yes.


Even though the diary does not form part of your final assessment submission, it can be requested by your assessment panel.


This might be because the assessors want further detail on your work experience or to verify that you have met the minimum days’ requirements.

What are our top 5 tips for getting your diary right first time?


  1. Don’t leave it until the last minute – the ARC diary takes time to fill out and it is a requirement to maintain if you are a structured training candidate.

  2. Ensure you put sufficient detail in to assist with preparing your summary of experience. This doesn’t have to be extensive, but it does need to provide you with a good aide memoire of what you did.

  3. Relate your diary entries to the right levels and the right technical competencies. Remember, you don’t have to record entries against your mandatory competencies.

  4. Use your diary effectively to inform your draft submission and case study choice – it’s there to provide a useful tool for you and your counsellor and/or supervisor.

  5. Remember, you can download our free diary template to provide you with a more personalised document.


How can we help?



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.