This month’s article addresses these two recently updated items in the APC process

Professional development (PD)

As I am sure you are aware RICS updated the APC process and templates a few months ago. Part of the update was the clarification of the PD requirements. The full detail about PD can be found in the APC candidate’s guide (Ver2-Dec08) on pages 14 and 15.

To briefly reiterate if you are a Graduate 1 candidate your PD requirement is a minimum of 48 hours per year with a total of 96 hours in the minimum 23/24 month training period. RICS are happy for you to record, say, 30 hours in your first year and 66 in your second. I always advise candidates to aim for the optimum 48 hours per year, or more, as it demonstrates a willingness to follow the process properly.

If you are a Graduate 2 candidate then it is a minimum of 48 hours in the minimum 11/12 month training period.

I am often asked what should I do if I record more than my minimum training period and the answer is that you should record a further 4 hours PD per month (or part thereof) for every additional month of experience achieved.

I am often asked what should be recorded against each of the PD splits (Personal, Technical and Professional) and the answer is that you should follow what is in the APC candidates guide. However, I also suggest that you avoid recording anything to do with the APC process in your PD. For example, 3-monthly meetings with your supervisor or counsellor is more about the APC process and a poor substitute for well planned PD relevant to your declared competencies.

Ultimately RICS want candidates to focus on the issue of continuous learning and development and that you get into the habit of maintaining your professionalism, not only during your APC but going forward for the rest of your career once you are chartered.

Lifelong learning (LLL)

This is more focused on the Graduate 3 and Adaptation 1 candidate who are required to follow the RICS Rules of Conduct requirements.

The requirements are stipulated in the Rules of Conduct - Help Sheet for Lifelong Learning. And that help sheet stipulates the need for a member to undertake and record an appropriate and sufficient level of learning throughout their career. Therefore the Graduate 3 and Adaptation candidate need to focus on this as their requirements and demonstrate that in their final assessment documentation.

Interestingly a recent development has happened with this help sheet in January 2009. This will be of relevance to all APC candidates as a general update to the Rules of Conduct but more so to the Graduate 3 and Adaptation 1 candidates who will have to comply with the change.

RICS Regulation have reinforced, in the help sheet, that the outcome and effectiveness of any LLL is as important as the number of hours achieved, however they have added that 20 hours per year would be an appropriate amount of learning to achieve.

It is worth reading the help sheet and also RICS business magazine from February 2009 where you will find a 3 page article about the latest LLL changes. Also see the Candidate Companion coming soon at

If you are imminently sitting your APC final assessment the above information is worth keeping in mind in case you are questioned on it. I wish you all the best with your final assessment.

Make sure you have the latest updates:

  • Professional Development: APC candidate’s guide
  • Lifelong Learning help sheet: (for members)