What you should be doing in the final days before your APC interview

For all those facing their building control, building surveying, project management and quantity surveying RICS APC final assessment interviews at the end of October and throughout November, here are some tips.

As an APC candidate you have to prove to three (or on occasion two) independent assessors from your specific pathway that you are worth your salt and ready to be accepted into RICS and become a fully fledged chartered surveyor.

The final assessment is not something to be taken lightly. That said, from experience as a chairman of assessors and through my face to face dealing with many candidates this sadly is sometimes the attitude I see. This is clear from the poor pass rate that often follows an assessment period.

On the flip side I also meet many candidates who are keen to glean as much information about the process as possible and ensure every aspect of their preparation is completed in good time prior to the assessment.

If you want to be among the successful students, this is what I recommend:

1. Review and re-examine your pre-submission documents regularly to ensure you are up to speed with what you have submitted to RICS.

2. Reread and be familiar with the definitions of your declared competencies and don’t forget the excellent Pathway guides. Note: QS & Construction have just substantially updated their version of the guide. Download it at www.rics.org/pathway

3. Read and fully understand the RICS Rules of Conduct, published on 4 June 2007. If you want to know more get the DeLever DVD on the Rules of Conduct at www.delever.com/dvd

4. Review RICS Business and other relevant industry website and journals like Building Magazine

5. Visit the assessment venue beforehand, to familiarise yourself with the surroundings and reduce stresses on the day.

6. Make a checklist of everything you will need on the day so that, on the morning of the assessment, nothing will be forgotten due to nerves.

7. Practice your presentation 20 to 40 times, and get someone to ask you questions relating to your declared competencies and documented experience.

8. Make a list of all of your declared competencies and their respective levels, and ensure that you can match personal experience on a project or process to each one. You can be questioned on any element of your declared competency experience. Having this list will help you draw directly from relevant and valid experience and impress your assessors.

However this does also have the effect of making it very clear where you have any experience gaps and where you could be letting yourself down at the interview. Don’t forget the APC is an experience based assessment therefore if you don’t have the experience you potentially should not be attempting the assessment.

Finally if you are a little unsure of what the final assessment is all about talk to your colleagues who have been through the experience, get involved in your local RICS matrics group as there is bound to be someone there who has been through the process or look out for the DeLever DVD ‘The Final Assessment Interview Explained’, which should be available very soon.