FOREWORD: Please be aware that this post is not an official RICS guidance.
All the advice given in this blog is based on my personal interpretation of the APC Candidate’s Guide which I have enhanced through many discussions with fellow APC Mentors and APC Assessors.
Routes to MRICS Chartership
There is no standard profile for APC candidates so the routes to chartership are varied and ever evolving. I thought it would be worth dedicating a post to the options available.
Option 1: You have an accredited degree (list available through the RICS wizard)
- You have less than 5 years experience after graduation. (Your final year if you completed your degree on a day release and your sandwich year if applicable count as relevant experience)
Once enrolled, you need to complete a minimum of 24 months or 400 days of structured training before being eligible for the interview.
- You have between 5 and 10 year experience after graduation.
Once enrolled, you need to complete a minimum of 12 months or 200 days of structured training before being eligible for the interview.
- You have over 10 year experience after graduation.
You are eligible to sit your APC as the next session after enrolment and do not need to complete any structured training.
Structured training is a period of work experience during which your counsellor will support you to develop the competence and experience expected of a chartered surveyor. You will need to keep a daily diary of your work activities (through ARC) which will automatically generate a summary called the log book.
Many candidates elect to defer their interview in order to make sure that they have gained sufficient relevant experience, so do not feel under pressure to rush into it!
Option 2: You have a non-accredited degree
This must be a university degree but it may have been obtained from abroad, be from a non-accredited university or be from another disciple.
- You have less than 5 year relevant experience (It must be in the role under which you want to sit your APC and may be before or after graduation)
Sorry, you are not yet eligible for the APC. You need to wait until you have acquired at least 5 year experience.
- You have more than 5 year relevant experience
You are eligible for the APC under the Preliminary Route.
You must prepare your APC submission documents in full and send them for preliminary review via ARC during one of the prescribed windows.
Two experienced assessors will review your documents and decide whether they are of sufficient quality to proceed to the interview. As you do not have an accredited degree, they just want to check that you have understood the various competencies before sending you to the dreading interview!
If your documents do not meet the required standards, you will need to submit a revised version at the next window, usually 6 months later.
If you are successful, this is your opportunity to fine-tune your documents based on the reviewers’ feedback. You will need to upload the final version on ARC a couple of months before your interview.
Option 3: You are a senior professional or an expert
Regardless of your qualifications, if you are a senior professional (= a director, a business unit leader or manage a large team with some business management involvement) or an expert (= you have published books and articles), you could apply under the Senior Professional Route (SPA).
Under this route, 75% of the assessment will be focused on your management skills. While this may sound easy, the referral rate is actually extremely high so choose wisely!
Option 4: You are already a member of another professional institution
If you have been a full member of Chartered Institution of Civil Engineering Surveyors (ICES) for over 5 years (with a degree) or 10 years (no qualifications), then you can become a full member of the RICS without even sitting the APC.
If you are a member of other professional bodies such as RIBA, ICE or CIOB, you can apply for your APC. If you do not have a degree or it is non-accredited, you will still need to apply through the preliminary review route. You will usually have to have been a member for at least one year by the time of your final assessment so if you have to submit your documents from preliminary review, you can do it within 6 months of becoming a member of another professional body.
The timescales may vary slightly depending on your membership. You need to call the RICS to discuss your personal situation.
Please refer to the RICS wizard for the full list in the UK and abroad.
Option 5: You do not have a university degree
At the moment, you do not fit in any boxes! Becoming MRICS will be a long process but it is possible. Here are your options;
- If you are a director or a manager with substantial responsibilities, you may apply through the SPA route within a few months.
- Contact the professional bodies (relevant to your role) listed on the online wizard and check which ones would allow you to become a member without qualifications. You can then wait for the prescribed number of years (usually 12 months by the date of your APC interview) and apply for your APC through the preliminary review. Some are easier to achieve than others. I would recommend MAssocE if you are a QS as it only takes a couple of weeks! You can send your documents for preliminary review up to 6 months before you have met the minimum membership duration.
- Become AssocRICS. This is a lower level of RICS membership and you do not need a degree. To convert to MRICS, you will then need to complete 900 study hours (conversion course – distance learning from one of the RICS approved suppliers), complete 4 years of further work experience and then pass the APC.
- Complete a university degree. If you have sufficient UCAS points, you may complete a degree on a day release. Some universities offer an accelerated programme over 3 years. You can then apply for your APC under the preliminary review or the structured training route (you may want to discuss this with the RICS before selecting your course).
- New APC entry route. The RICS is currently piloting a new entry route whereby candidates can complete an online qualification (conversion course) with the RICS to become eligible for the APC. This is very much work in progress so watch this space. This route will still require a substantial amount of studying but will be a faster option than the conversion from AssocRICS to MRICS.
If you are still unsure about the best way forward, please feel free to get in touch with us at Sonia@APCsupport-ltd.co.uk.
If you need support with your APC, we offer a complete programme of APC mentoring at all stages of the APC preparation including documentation review, on-demand revision modules, APC Questions packs, mock interviews and one-to-one mentoring. Please visit our website to discover the full range of our services: APC Support Limited.