We are delighted to be able to share a 3 part diary from recent APC candidate Alice Graham, who gives a personal insight into the process of APC and how to get through it!
In this first part of Alice's diary, she looks at getting started and -preparation for your APC journey
Getting started with your APC is both exciting and daunting. It marks the beginning of a new journey towards professional development. Having a good start will set candidates up well for preparing and being successful in undertaking the process.
This article will cover 3 key aspects of getting a good start to the APC journey.
1. Know the brief
The best starting point for all candidates is to fully understand the requirements of undertaking the assessment for professional competence (APC) as set out by the RICS.
A lot of candidates go into their APC not fully understanding the process. The tell-tale sign of this is the panic questions that may be posted on various forums during the submission windows. This might include things like how many words should my case study be, who does the sign-offs, or what is the structure of the interview.
Getting started is arguably the simplest part, where you sit down with a nice cup of tea and read the following key documents as a minimum:
- Pathway guidance for your discipline
- Candidates’ guidance
This reading will give you a mission statement of the purpose of the APC, the deliverables, and the anticipated outcome. This will not be a one-off exercise as you must constantly refer to the documents when undertaking a task to stay on track.
2. Have a plan and get organised
Once you have read through the brief, you need to set up a personal plan of how you are going to get there. There is a deliberate emphasis on personal commitment because everyone has their own journey and circumstances to consider when embarking on becoming a chartered surveyor.
The best advice I was ever given was to do my APC little and often. The best way I found for me was to break up the APC process into mini sign-offs and deliverables that I needed to achieve daily (diary entry).
3. Own the process
Lastly, it cannot be emphasised enough that the APC is YOUR journey. This means people will support you, but they will not do it for you. As such, all candidates must be ready to make a personal commitment to undertaking the process. I have great admiration of those individuals who undertake their APC when they don’t have resources from their employer to do their APC.
For those who have the resources, make the most of them and don’t wait for someone to drag you to APC sessions or to do your sign-offs. You as the candidate will be the ultimate beneficiary of getting chartered. As such, the effort to drive it forward will start with you.
I didn’t know much about the APC process when I finished university, but I knew that people get chartered status. When I started working at Faithful+Gould, we had sessions to explain the process and to get us started with registration recording our diaries and signing off competencies and support throughout the process.
My original plan was to sit it in 2 years, and I created a milestone plan for the following key events registration, prequalification, submission, and final sitting. In the end it turned out to be 2.5 years, but my milestone plan enabled me to keep sight of where I was going. I received great support from my company through my counsellor, supervisor, and many other people.
Join Alice for Part 2 of her Diary – During the Process (no pain, no gain!)
About the author
Alice Graham is a chartered quantity surveyor at Faithful+Gould, with a particular interest in the application of digital tools and innovation in the construction industry. Her current role involves delivering cost and commercial management services for public and private sector projects and programmes. She is also a STEM Ambassador and does various activities to promote careers in the construction industry to young people.