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Quality vs Quantity Surveyors

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Why should you gain the construction world’s most sought-after professional status?

Good question!  Well, why should you have chartered surveyor status? After all, you’ve done alright without it so far, haven’t you?  

RICS logoWell, in truth, you probably have done very well so far, whether you’re an established and experienced professional or, at the other end of the career journey, a recent graduate who is simply chuffed to have passed his or her university exams. 

Of course, whether you are a recent grad or an industry-hardened pro, one of the things that might (and does) put people off going for Chartered status is the undeniable fact that it means more exams.  On the face of it, hard exams too, where just under one third of candidates fail to pass the final assessment.  In addition, if you have less than five years’ vocational experience, then it’s a 24-month course, although for more experienced individuals it can be slightly shorter. On top of that, is the fact that the APC is based on competencies, not only professional skills and knowledge but also personal qualities (e.g. communication) and general business skills as well as subjects such as professional ethics and RICS rules, and there are different competencies for the different disciplines under each RICS faculty.

Of course, the question we, as recruiters are commonly asked, is is it worth the effort?”

It certainly is.  If I can put it in the simple terms that appeal to the vast majority of us, you’ll make a lot more money if you have Chartered status. The RICS and Macdonald & Company Rewards and Attitudes Survey 2019 reported that qualification with the RICS resulted in a 38% salary increase. In our experience at Peace, at a minimum that’s an additional £5,000 a year.   

Moreover, if you take a glass-half full approach, then nearly 70% of APC candidates do pass, and if you are in the minority who don’t then there are some excellent firms (e.g. APC Academy) who will give you the training to make sure you do so the next time (as you’ll know, you’ll have to wait six months however before you can retake the examination).

Not only will you earn a lot more money, but, again from our perspective as recruitment specialists who speak daily with employers, having passed the APC significantly improves your chances of getting a plum job. If I can put it like this: when an employer is faced with two seemingly identical track records and equally affable candidates, at the end of the day, quality, as indicated by RICS Chartered status, is the thing that often counts.

This is particularly the case in the public sector.  The demand we are seeing here, whether indirectly from those firms which contract with the sector, or directly from the public authorities themselves, is most definitely for those with the APC qualification. 

Finally, and at the risk of adding a negative note, I am writing this on the day of the European elections. No-one, least of all me, knows what impact Brexit (if it happens) may have.  Similarly, we are overdue a full-blown recession and when one does hit (my guess is next year) then those with the best qualifications andthe best track records are most likely to be retained while others are cast to the four winds.  It really is a no-brainer: make time to pass the APC!

Lewis Potter, Peace Recruitment

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