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RICS APC Lifeline – Senior Professional Final Assessment Interview

Updated: Oct 30, 2023

Building a Better You

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What is this week's blog about?

In this week’s blog, we look at the Senior Professional Assessment (SPA) final assessment interview. If you use the Search box at the top of our blog pages, you can check out our previous articles looking at other elements of the SPA assessment process.

What is the SPA?

The SPA sits alongside the Specialist and Academic routes, as three alternative APC assessment routes to become MRICS.

RICS define a senior professional as ‘an individual with advanced responsibilities who is recognised for their impact and career progression within the profession’ (RICS, 2020).

For SPA, therefore, you must demonstrate your skills of leadership, management of people and management of resources. You must also have at least 10 years’ relevant experience, reduced to 5 years if you hold a postgraduate degree.

Briefly, how does the SPA process work?

  1. Initial vetting stage – you will submit an application form to RICS including employment history, qualifications, pathway and 400-word senior profile statement.

  2. If successful, you will have 12 months to submit your final assessment submission or you need to undergo the initial vetting stage again. The final assessment submission includes your initial application form, CPD record, ethics test certificate and 3 case studies of 1,000 to 1,500 words each.

  3. 60 minute online interview.

How is the 60 minute interview structured?

  • 10 minutes – Your presentation.

  • 50 minutes – Questioning based on your submission, senior professional role, responsibilities and wider professional issues, including ethics.

What should you include in your presentation?

You should introduce yourself and provide a comprehensive, yet concise, summary of your senior professional career history and current role.

You should not focus on one or all of your case studies, which is the requirement for the ‘traditional’ APC assessment routes, e.g. structured training, preliminary review or straight to assessment.

Don’t read from a script, as this won’t come across as natural and fluid. Practice your presentation extensively and consider supporting your delivery with cue cards.

You will be able to screen share a visual aid, which should be kept simple and professional. Examples of what you could include are an organogram showing your senior professional role or photographs of typical projects or instructions you have led or managed.

How is the interview assessed?

You will be assessed by a panel of 3 (or, in some cases, 2 assessors), who should be aligned to your pathway and competency choices.

Their assessment will be based on the following criteria:

  • 50% - Senior professional profile

  • 25% - Pathway competencies

  • 25% - Ethics and professionalism

The interview is not an exam; it will be a professional discussion focussing on your senior professional role and background. The panel will focus on your submitted documents, but with wider issues explored to assess the breadth and depth of your experience, professionalism and seniority.

You may be managing or delegating work to others, rather than undertaking much of the day-to-day technical work yourself. Your assessment will focus on your ethical and professional management and leadership skills when leading or managing a team of other professionals, contractors or consultants.

However, inherent to this is knowing what best practice is, for example key legislation and RICS guidance, as well as understanding the fundamental knowledge and skills behind your competency choices.

There is also no leeway on ethics. As a senior professional you are a role model and ambassador for the profession. You must display this in your assessment; a failure to do this will result in an automatic referral irrelevant of your performance elsewhere.

What are our top tips for SPA interview success?

  1. If you have more than one choice of pathway, consider your options carefully

  2. Choose your competencies making sure that they are relevant to your experience

  3. The Senior Professional case study should be on a strategic, not necessarily technical, project

  4. Try to use two different projects for your technical case studies

  5. Don’t use overly wordy Appendices

  6. Stick to the word count - there is no room for error!

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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