Changes to the APC submission process from Spring 2020

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by Sonia Desloges, APC Support Limited

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.

The Application Form and the 3 signatures

Your counsellor will approve your submission documents on ARC but you also need three proposers to sponsor your application in order for your submission to be accepted.

These three proposers do not need to read your submission documents (although some may request it). Their role is simply to vest your good character in a similar way to a passport application.

There are a few rules to follow when selecting your proposers;

  • All proposers must chartered surveyors but it could be from any pathway. (Your counsellor will traditionally be your first proposer)
  • All three proposers must be MRICS but there is no longer a requirement for a fellow (FRICS) to sponsor you.
  • One of the three proposers must not work in the same organisation than you. (It could be a former colleague, a client or a former university friend.)

This is nothing particularly new but what has changed is how they sponsor you.

Back in the old days, they had to sign a hard copy of a form which was available to download from the RICS website. Then the form was moved onto ARC where it was only available during the 2-week submission window twice a year.

From Spring 2020, this has changed again. There is no longer a Word Document form, instead they must complete some brief online information through ARC. It only takes a few minutes but…

Plan ahead

The online ‘form’ will only be accessible to your proposers once you have completed all the other sections and your counsellor has approved everything. In other words, all the ‘boxes’ must be green.

Please be aware that it can take a couple of hours for your counsellor to approve everything as the system is quite painstaking, so do not leave it to the last minute.

Please do also bear in mind that if you change a single comma or word in your submission, the box will turn red and your counsellor will need to re-approve it. I would recommend you to send a Word Document draft to your counsellor and ensure that he/she agrees with everything and only then, copy and paste the final version onto ARC. This will save your counsellor a lot of time and frustration.

Once all the boxes are green and you have provided the contact details of your proposers, ARC will send an automated email to your three proposers, requesting them to ‘tick’ an approval box. You will have guessed that you will need to know your proposers’ names, RICS membership numbers and email addresses.

Proposers are heavily solicited and you should not expect anyone to be sitting by his/her laptop a few minutes before midnight on deadline day, waiting for ten candidates to be ready to submit!

No, nobody will be willing to do so. You will really need to plan ahead!

Please show some consideration for the people supporting you through the APC process. Make sure that your whole submission is approved within the first few days of the submission window to give your other signatories enough time to sponsor your application.

You should receive an automated email confirming that your documents have been successfully submitted and all your proposers have sponsored you. If you do not receive this email, be proactive. Call the RICS immediately to identify the reason and resolve any technical issue.

Best of luck!

About the author:

Sonia Desloges is the director of APC Support Ltd, a specialist APC training and mentoring consultancy. She and her team have assessed and trained hundreds of APC candidates in almost every pathway. If you need support with your APC preparation, you are most welcome to drop her a line at for an initial chat.


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