This blog article will help you check that you are on the right path with your RICS APC final assessment submission. This is relevant for RICS APC structured training, straight to assessment and preliminary review candidates.
Why is this relevant?
It also provides the basis of your interview - your assessors' questioning will concentrate upon the experience and examples provided in your written submission.
How do I submit?
What does my RICS APC submission need to include?
Summary of experience;
What is the summary of experience?
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 your mandatory competencies and 4,000 for your technical competencies - approximately 150-200 words per level per competency.
When it comes down to it – the word count is relatively limited, so you'll need to write succinctly and coherently. Always refer back to the pathway guide and competency descriptions to ensure that you hit the RICS requirements. Don’t confuse your competencies or include examples or details that are irrelevant or unclear.
What is the case study?
What is the CPD record?
The RICS require you to undertake and record a minimum of 48 hours per year, of which at least 50% must be formal. If you are undertaking 24 months (2 years) of structured training, 48 hours of CPD must be recorded for each 12 month period.
Each 12 month period is calculated on a rolling basis from your submission date, i.e. if you are submitting in February 2021 and undertook 12 months (1 year) of structured training, then your 48 hours of CPD must be undertaken in the 12 month period dating back from February 2020 to 2021.
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.
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 choices;
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.
How can I meet the word count requirements?
You can, of course, be under, although we’d recommend using as much as the word count as possible to provide sufficient depth and breadth to your submission. You don’t have to spend hours trying to hit the word count exactly, however!
We recommend keeping your submission in a word processor based format, e.g. Word or Pages, rather than uploading immediately to RICS ARC. This means that you can keep track of the word count easily using the software itself and can avoid any issues inherent to ARC.
These are our top tips for meeting the word count requirements:
Start by drafting or amending just one level of one competency – try to get this down to 200-300 words maximum (or less if at level 1). This will allow you to see what the right word count looks like on paper/screen and will let you practice working to a concise and coherent structure. Trying to do everything at once can be overwhelming, so break the task down into smaller elements.
Take out detail which could form the basis of desirable assessor questioning at your interview, e.g. mention a Calderbank offer in relation to rent review tactics, but don’t put in too much additional knowledge-based detail such as the caselaw behind it or what Without Prejudice Save as to Costs means.
Keep your examples focussed to just two or three per each level 2 and 3 competency. Any more than this and you will struggle to refine your examples to the level required. Keep the contextual detail relatively simple and instead provide a logical, concise explanation of what you did, how you did it (level 2) and the advice you gave (level 3).
Use a sub-heading as a title for each example, rather than using additional words explaining the project title. For example, ‘Word count blog - …’, rather than ‘I wrote a comprehensive blog on word counts for a website called Property Elite…’.
Ask someone else to proof-read your submission and identify content that doesn’t add to your overall submission. If this is a non-surveyor, this can often be helpful to take a step back and simplify what you have written.
Jen has extensive experience in providing training services to students, RICS AssocRICS, APC and FRICS candidates and corporate clients, together with academic experience as a Senior Lecturer at the University of the West of England, Lecture at the University of Portsmouth and Associate Tutor at the University College of Estate Management. Her RICS assessment experience includes sitting on final APC interview panels, APC appeal panels and being a lead APC preliminary review assessor.
She has also written published articles in Property Week, ACES Terrier, RICS Modus and the RICS Property Journal. She also writes a regular APC column in Estates Gazette Brick & Mortar podcast series with Sarah Jackman and is a contributing author to the Health & Safety section on RICS iSurv.
Jen works as a trainer and consultant with Built Intelligence on the APC Structured Learning programme - more details and to book on module two - Written Submission can be found here