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RICS APC Lifeline - Final Assessment Preparation

Updated: Oct 30

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.

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What is this week's blog about?

This blog article will help you check that you are on the right path with your RICS APC final assessment submission. Essential reading for RICS APC candidates.

Why is this relevant?

Your RICS APC final assessment submission is the first item that your assessors will see - helping them to form that vital first impression. It also provides the basis of your interview - your assessors' questioning will concentrate upon the experience you write about.

It's definitely worth putting the effort in to provide a professional, complete and comprehensive document - it'll give you a head start on your assessment day.

How do I submit?

All candidates now submit using ARC. In flight arrangements for existing candidates have been phased out by RICS.

What does my RICS APC submission need to include?

  • Candidate details

  • Summary of experience

  • Case study

  • CPD record

  • Ethics certificate

What is the summary of experience?

This tells the assessors about your experience.

Depending on your choice of competencies, you will need to attain one of three levels:

  • Level 1 - knowledge and understanding. This is all about explaining what you know, through your university studies, distance learning, work experience or CPD activities

  • Level 2 - application of knowledge and understanding. This goes one step further and requires practical examples of how you have applied what you have learnt

  • Level 3 - reasoned advice and depth of knowledge. This is the pinnacle of demonstrating competence and requires you to have given reasoned advice or professional recommendations to clients. You should be self-sufficient with minimal supervision, i.e. a safe, professional and competent pair of hands. This will require you to explain specific examples in your final assessment

You have 1,500 words for mandatory competencies and 4,000 for technical competencies - approximately 150-200 words per level per competency. When it comes down to it - this isn't much, so you'll need to write succinctly and coherently.

What is the case study?

3,000 words on a project you've been involved within the past 2 years.

What is the CPD record?

CPD is extremely important, and not just for the RICS APC - it is an essential part of being a Chartered Surveyor and will boost your career prospects in the long-term.

The RICS require you to undertake and record a minimum of 48 hours per year, of which at least 50% must be formal. This entails structured learning relevant to your specialism, generally with an assessment at the end or involving interaction with others in a formal setting.

If you are undertaking your structured training concurrently with the final year of an accredited degree, then some of this study time can count towards your CPD.

Ensure you record learning outcomes and sufficient detail within your CPD record.

Remember, in the final assessment interview you may be questioned about your CPD - so know what you have done and remember the key points.

How to get it right first time!

  • Ensure you include 2-3 specific examples of your experience in each of levels 2 and 3, as appropriate to your competency choice

  • Proofread to ensure that your submission is ‘client ready’

  • Make sure it's your own work - RICS have a system called Turnitin to check for plagiarism

  • Don't miss the deadlines

  • Make it neat, professional and coherent

When will my final assessment be?

You can select your priority assessment dates during the submission process on ARC. However, your interview date will not be confirmed by RICS by email until roughly 3 weeks beforehand.

All final assessment interviews are now conducted online.

How does the online interview process work?

At Property Elite, all of our e-mock interviews are conducted online, providing you with the most realistic preparation for your final assessment interview this Spring.

Working this way allows us to provide flexible timings for your e-mock, as well as enabling you to work remotely from your location of choice.

Your e-mock or online RICS final assessment interview will be conducted to the same standards as a face-to-face interview.

How should I set up my equipment?

Make sure you have an electronic device, e.g. laptop, tablet or phone, with the appropriate software (e.g. Microsoft Teams) installed. Test out the system beforehand with a friend, family member or colleague – don’t leave it until the day of your interview to do this as this is the most common area of disruption and delay during e-mock interviews.

Good quality internet or network reception is essential – plan ahead and make sure that you have sufficient connectivity for your interview. If you live with others, perhaps ask them to refrain from being online during your interview to avoid using up bandwidth.

You may need an external microphone or webcam if your device doesn’t not have these internally or if you are concerned about getting your set up right.

How should I set up my interview space?

It pays to put the camera a little further back if possible so that the panel can see both you and any visual aid. Try to keep the camera level and pointing directly at you or at a very slight angle.

You will be on camera, so you should try to ensure you are in a professional environment and you may be asked by the Chairperson to show the panel your surroundings.

The ideal setting would be against a plain wall with good natural or artificial lighting, so that the assessors can see you clearly.

Sit at a desk or table, where you are comfortable and with good posture to ensure that you present professionally during your interview.

Close the door and ask others to minimise noise and disruption for the duration of your interview, if possible.

We recommend that you dress professionally, as you would for a face-to-face interview. First impressions still count, particularly as you are one step removed from being face-to-face with your assessment panel.

How will my interview be structured?

  • 10 minutes - your case study presentation.

  • 10 minutes - presentation questioning.

  • 30 minutes - assessors’ questioning.

  • 10 minutes - chairperson’s questioning, with a focus on mandatory competencies, ethics and Rules of Conduct.

What are our 5 top tips for succeeding in your online final assessment interview?

Here are our top 5 tips for success in your online final assessment interview, based on our experience of providing extensive numbers of e-mock interviews to successful candidates:

1. Test out the system well in advance, checking that your microphone and video both work and are at the appropriate volume/brightness levels. A common issue is making sure that your microphone and webcam are turned on!

2. Make sure your device or laptop is plugged in to avoid running out of power during your interview.

3. Don’t forget that you are on camera – the assessors will still pick up on both verbal and non-verbal cues so don’t forget body language and facial expressions during your time on camera.

4. Review the visual aid you intend to use for your presentation. It will pay to keep this as simple and easy to read as possible, ideally just one clear page that the assessors can read.

5. Don’t treat your interview differently from how you would if it was face-to-face – present professionally, prepare well and be confident in your abilities as a future Chartered Surveyor.

Don’t forget, the best way to prepare yourself is by booking an e-mock interview with Property Elite. This will mirror your online interview with RICS and will help to boost your confidence in not only your practical knowledge and experience, but also your interview set up and presentation on camera.

If you are concerned about any aspect of the new online interview process, send us a message using the chat box on our website or sign up for a free 15 minute consultation. We are experienced in providing online e-mock interviews and will be able to provide you with relevant, helpful advice on the process and how you can become MRICS.

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.

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