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RICS APC Lifeline - Candidate and Assessor Tips for Success




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What is this week's blog about?


In this week’s blog, we are going to take a look at some top tips from current and past RICS APC candidates and assessors. We will have even more tips and guidance for you in our next APC Series article in the Estates Gazette.


5 top tips from a recently successful candidate...


Firstly, we asked Lucy Anne Johnson MRICS (Chartered Surveyor at Carter Jonas) about her RICS APC experience and top 5 tips for RICS APC candidates:


1. Be up-to-date with recent RICS guidance and legislation - with the continuous development of COVID-19, RICS been releasing key documents to support members, e.g. RICS recommendations on physical inspections guidance. However, don’t forget their general updates too, e.g. recent updates on PII amendments. Also, be aware of how government initiatives are helping to boost property market, e.g. business rates relief and bounce back loans. Think…how is this going to help businesses and how do I need to adapt my advice (level 3)?


2. Practice – although you may not benefit from in-office mocks, make sure you practice your case study and answer questions over Skype to become familiar with the online system. My colleagues and I set up daily questioning during the week to get used to responding over camera.


3. Prepare - RICS invite you to an online briefing both the week and night before you sit the assessment. Take advantage of this; ask any questions/queries you have regarding the assessment and check your equipment. This helps to prevent any hiccups on the day.


4. Get Comfy – being online, we do have the advantage that we can prepare our surroundings for our assessment, with the opportunity to prepare where we will be seated etc. Get used to utilising that space with mocks and with the equipment you will be using on the day.


5. Stay Healthy - remember to take breaks, for both exercise and to relax your mind. Not only do LionHeart host daily webinars to the wider RICS community, they also provide dedicated support throughout the APC process. It is important to remember that mental health is just as important as physical health, especially during stressful times such as the APC.


Even more top tips via LinkedIn...


We also asked you, on LinkedIn, to give us your top tips to help other candidates sitting their RICS APC final assessment. Here’s some of the advice that you gave…


Jason Gawley MRICS Senior Quantity Surveyor at John Graham Construction Limited –‘Signpost your presentation / supplementary information well if sitting through Skype, ensuring to build in small pockets of time to allow the accessors to remain on track if utilising more complex visual aids’.


Keith Kelliher - Chartered Quantity Surveyor and Past Chair for CIArb Ireland – ‘When selecting the optional competencies, select ones that you either enjoy or wish to know more about. It’s always easier to retain information and answer questions on a topic that actually interests you’.


Mark McKay MRICS - Senior Development Surveyor Network Rail and Consultant to Property Elite – ‘Ensure that your submission clearly differentiates between levels 2 (showing it) and 3 (advising it). And know your submission inside out including all case examples. I cannot stress how vital the submission is. I use it for 90% of my questions’.


Martin Biu MRICS - Senior Cost Consultant at Arcadis – ‘1) Pull questions out of your submission competency by competency as your assessors will be asking questions based on this. List what questions could be asked at the interview and also send your documents to colleagues for form questions. 2) MOCKS!!! You will be surprised at the number of candidates I have seen that have just walked into the assessment centre without doing a mock or even a single Q&A and – it’s no surprise that they are often referred! 3) If you are struggling with a competency/competencies, focus on them with Q&A sessions specifically focussed on them. Try to get a many people to ask you questions on these competencies and you will become more confident with them’.


Mohammed Sharfuddin Taj MRICS B.Tech – Senior Contracts and Commercial Engineer at Sarooj Construction Company LLC – ‘As RICS is committed to ethics, candidates should have in-depth knowledge of this competency and prepare accordingly. Prepare questions from your Summary of Experience where you should have a full understanding of what is in your submission and, if possible, prepare for any follow up questions related to each competency’.


Nomore Chari Sorofa  - Claims Manager PrQS MCIArb MRICS – ‘If in doubt (or you need to think), pass and gather the courage to revert to it later (if you sure you can). Assessor tip: When a candidate is struggling answering a question, move on to other questions (do not waste time following up on such).


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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.