A Christmas message from the man who trains your APC assessors...

Christmas is upon us and tis the season to be jolly…well for most of you it will be, but for a few it will be the lull before the storm as 2009 brings the start of the process leading up to the next set of APC assessments.

I strongly advise anyone taking their APC at the next final assessment session to enjoy their Christmas and take some time out because come 2nd January 2009 your focus will need to be on the task ahead.

Don’t forget there are some critical dates that you MUST not miss and you are well advised to make sure you are fully appraised of the lead in to the APC Final Assessment. Find them at www.rics.org/apc or download my newsletter at www.delever.com/news if you want to make sure you have all of the relevant dates.

So what are the key stages?

APC Final Assessment Application (1 week window)

(15-22 February 2009 for Quantity Surveyors, Building Surveyors, Building Control and Project Management)

This is the point at which you, the candidate along with your supervisor and counsellor decide if you are going to go forward for final assessment. Please consider this decision very carefully and reread my last website article (24/10/08) where I detailed the competency crib list and the requirements for noting relevant experience against each declared competency level.

The assessors are well trained and can tell when a candidate has not had the full range of competency experience .You cannot expect to pass your APC unless you are fully proficient and have complied with the RICS APC competency requirements.

Don’t forget you only have a one-week window of opportunity to get your application forms into RICS. These can be downloaded at www.rics.org/finalassessmentuk

APC Final Assessment Documentation Submission

(15-31 March 2009 for Quantity Surveyors, Building Surveyors, Building Control and Project Management)

This is the next key stage where the candidate must produce and submit the full range of final assessment documentation. Make sure you get the relevant checklist for your APC pathway and ensure you follow the information on www.rics.org/finalassessmentuk as well as reading the RICS APC Candidate’s guide when collating your submission.

The final assessment session that is just concluding again demonstrated poor compliance with the APC guides. The presentation of the documentation has improved BUT the content lacked the level of quality experience and professionalism that I expect of APC candidates.

For example:

The Critical Analysis was generally a textbook style piece of coursework detailing basic pros and cons of procurement procedures or processes undertaken on projects. It is important to remember the critical analysis is about the how the candidate has been involved in the situation and how they have mitigated any issues not their ability to regurgitate textbooks and the basics of everyday processes.

The Log books were adequate but still clearly highlighted candidate competency deficiencies and weaknesses. If the candidate, supervisor and counsellor use the logbook properly throughout the training period early warnings in competency deficiencies can be eradicated before the assessment day.

Professional Development entries were often a little farcical as candidates are still not reading the guide properly and planning their PD effectively. I am still seeing random collections of PD activities, which vaguely contribute to a candidate’s development. Often there is very little in the professional practice areas and this suggests little knowledge of Rules of Conduct.

Final Assessment Records were all too little too late. I always have to waste time in the assessment asking candidates for examples of their experience. Not telling the assessors too much may seem like a good ploy to waste time but if we cannot get through the breadth of competency, because the candidate cannot provide examples of experience, the outcome of the final assessment is likely to be a referral.

My closing comment for this article is a small item of general knowledge. All the candidates I recently assessed were not able relate their knowledge of the RICS Guide to Surveying Safely! Please make sure that you read and digest the content of this guide, downloadable from here www.rics.org/surveyingsafely