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 Part 2 of Alice's diary, she talks through the Final Assessment and the hard work, sleepless nights, and preparation needed to succeed!
The final assessment
Before sitting the APC, many candidates will hear a range of stories of what the final assessment is like. Out of all the assessments people do in their lifetime, it is very fortunate that there is a comprehensive suite of information that outlines how the process works and the assessment of ‘what good looks like’.
This article will outline three crucial aspects of the final assessment and how to prepare for success – the deliverables, the preparation, and the interview.
The first aspect of your final assessment is preparing a high standard set of deliverables which will form the basis of your interview. Assessors will use this as the starting point for questions as it outlines your experience and projects you have worked on.
By the time you are going for your final assessment, you will have prepared the following:
- A case study
- A summary of experiences for your competencies
- A presentation to deliver
Candidates need to invest a significant amount of time in these documents. In every instance, it is important to choose a case study and experience examples where the candidate was an active participant in the project matters being discussed. This will set the right foundation for success.
It is important for candidates to prepare for the final assessment and to have a good game plan. It is generally not a winning strategy to have a last-minute cram and/or preparation of your documents. Instead, preparing throughout the time of your journey and ramping up as the time gets closer is a less stressful approach. The goal of the preparation is to demonstrate your competence and to be ready to answer questions the assessors pose to check you are a good pair of hands as a professional.
There are several ways candidates can prepare including:
- Question and answer sessions
- Mock interviews
- Reading through project notes
- Reading through and being ready to expand on
- Study sessions with other APC candidates
- Attending CPD sessions
The key thing in preparation is doing as much as possible, with different people, and covering levels 1 2, and 3 of each competency where possible.
3. The interview
All the information on the structure of the interview is contained within the candidate’s guidance so the first recommendation is to read this thoroughly and understand each step.
It goes without saying, every candidate’s experience will be different. But everyone feels the nerves. Whether it is online or in-person, the best way to combat the nerves is excellent preparation in the form of practice and receiving feedback to get better, especially for the presentation. By the time you’re at your final assessment, your dog, partner, and friends may well know your presentation off by heart, and that’s a good sign.
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 Ambassadors and does various activities to promote careers in the construction industry to young people.