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RICS APC Lifeline - Nightmare APC referral?

RICS APC and AssocRICS mandatory competency business planning

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 web shop.

Not sure about signing up? Make sure you read what our recent successful candidates have to say in our Testimonials.

What is today's blog about?

In this blog article, we will focus on what to do if you were referred at your final assessment. Property Elite are here to support you through the process - give us a call for a free referral consultation and some friendly advice.

You can also listen to our CPD podcast on Anchor for more free AssocRICS and RICS APC training and support.

Help! I've been referred...

You can only control so many things in life - there's no going back to before your final assessment. Trying to control the uncontrollable only leads to unnecessary stress and takes vital energy away from what you need to do most. All you can do is look forward and put plans in place to control what you can and put yourself in the best position for the next sitting. 

Your mental health matters

Whilst it's all well and good for us to say that, we understand that you may be feeling upset, disappointed, frustrated and angry. It might not yet seem real and you may just want to hide away from the world. There's no timeline for feeling more positive about the process and we would encourage you to speak to those close to you about how you feel. 

We're not going to shy away from the fact that we all need to raise mental health awareness in an industry that can be highly stressful at times. If you need a friendly ear, just give us a call and we will do what we can to get you back on track.

Remember, being referred does not mean you are a failure - work is just one part of your life and does not define who you are. There are many reasons why things might not have gone as well as you had hoped on the day. Even Richard Branson gets it wrong sometimes...

What do I do next?

Emotions and stress aside, you need to put a plan in action to move on from your referral and work toward RICS APC success at your next final assessment. 

The APC pass rate tends to range between 60-70%, so you are most certainly not alone. If you know other RICS APC candidates in your local area, get in touch and speak to them about their experiences - it doesn't matter whether they passed or were referred. Use your support network to your advantage - you could form a study group with candidates sitting in the next session, for example.

Within 21 days of your assessment date, you will receive an email telling you that your referral report is ready to download from the RICS' online Assessment Resource Centre (ARC). This is the single most important document that will help you prepare for success at the next sitting.

Can I appeal?

Yes, you have the right to appeal - but this can't simply be because you didn't like the decision your panel arrived at.

An appeal can only be brought on the grounds that there was an issue with the assessment process and will not relate in any way to your level of competence as a surveyor. 

Contact us if you feel you have valid grounds to appeal and we can help to support you through the process. You will need to submit an Appeal Form from the RICS website, together with the required fee, within 21 days of receiving your referral report. The whole appeal process typically takes around 7 weeks from submitting your appeal. 

Appeal panels comprise three chartered surveyors who will decide whether your appeal is allowed or not - this is a final decision and cannot be revisited. If you are successful, then you will have the opportunity to re-sit as a first time candidate (rather than a referred candidate). 

What is the referral report?

This is vital to understanding what didn't go so well and how you can improve things for your next assessment. Read the report carefully, ask those close to you to read it as well and send it to Property Elite if you would like to objectively discuss the contents.

You may already know what went wrong, but having the specific areas highlighted by your assessment panel will form an action plan going forward. We can help you to assess your areas of weakness and turn these into strengths in time for your next sitting.

What are common reasons for referral?

  • Being under-prepared

  • Needing more experience, either in just one, some or all areas

  • Not having sufficient CPD

  • Submissions needing work, e.g. not sufficiently professional, examples not given at level 3

  • Failure to answer mandatory competency questions adequately, e.g. ethics, Rules of Conduct.

You are not expected to be the very best surveyor - but to demonstrate a level of competence and professionalism that is befitting of being elected MRICS. This means that you don't need to know every technical detail about your chosen competencies - but you are expected to know where to source information from, where your scope of practice begins and ends and how you should behave ethically and morally.

How do I plan to succeed?

Property Elite can help to write an action plan to seek success at your next interview. This can be supported by mentoring (in person, online or on the phone), mock interviews, attending an RICS APC revision conference or submitting your final assessment submission for checking and feedback. 

Our general recommendations for success are:

  • Working on your presentation skills

  • Controlling your nerves and stress on the day

  • Submitting a professional final assessment submission

  • Addressing any areas of weakness in your technical or mandatory competencies

  • Ensuring that you have satisfied the correct competency levels within your Summary of Experience, e.g. examples of giving reasoned advice in level 3

  • Gaining additional experience if needed

  • Maintaining your CPD hours in relevant areas

You will then need to ensure you submit your revised final assessment at the right time and in the right format via the ARC. You will want to make sure that the areas identified in your referral report are clearly addressed. This will give you the best chance of RICS APC success at your next sitting.

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 and signing up for your services online.

Not sure about signing up? Make sure you read what our recent successful candidates have to say in our Testimonials.

Stay tuned for our next blog post to help build a better you

N.b. Nothing in this article constitutes legal or financial advice.


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