by Sonia Desloges, APC Support Limited
With all the lively debate over the last few days regarding the value of our RICS membership, a few APC candidates have started questioning whether there was any benefit in them sitting their APC.
You should not doubt about it. Passing your APC will be the proudest moment of your career and it will make you the best surveyor you can ever be.
First, let’s clarify that this debate is re-ignited every couple of years and always by senior surveyors. Everybody will reach a point in their career when they will have achieved such high personal reputation that their employers and clients will trust them whether they still hold their MRICS letters or not. I can understand why these people are questioning the value in maintaining their membership at this level of their careers.
But how do you think that these senior surveyors have achieved success in their careers?
It is simple. They worked really, really hard to prepare for their APC and continued working hard to deliver high standards to their clients and promote trust in the profession. I do not believe that they would be where they are today if they had not gained their MRICS charterships in the early years of their career AND continuously abided (consciously or not) by the RICS Rules of Conduct.
You need to understand that the debate is completely different if you are trying to achieve recognition in the profession.
The fact is that clients and employers do value your MRICS status.
Everybody knows that no surveyor can pass their APC without months of intensive and dedicated work. Passing your APC is really tough and this is what gives it its value.
And I know that you will never be a better surveyor than the day you pass your APC.
I have supported hundreds of candidates through their APC journey and one of the comments I receive the most is;
‘How did my boss ever trust me before? I actually knew nothing and I now realise how many times I have messed up without even being aware of it.’ (or something in these lines!)
In order to meet the level 3 requirements, you must be able to advise your clients without supervision. This requires you to question why you made such or such recommendation to a client and identify all the other options that you have failed to consider. Soon, you become able to think outside the box and suggest innovative solutions to your clients that will add value to their projects and lead to repeat business for your company.
The APC is an eye and mind opener. It forces you to be curious about your profession and continuously seek better ways to serve your clients.
And once chartered, you can still find value in your membership.
When I support small consultancies, the first thing I teach them is the RICS best practice, and I develop templates and procedures that allow them to implement this best practice. Within a few weeks, their staff are able to work more effectively and their client’s satisfaction improves beyond all their expectations. More importantly, they learn how to take pride in their work again.
The RICS have developed and published countless global standards and guidance notes which are powerful tools for firms and that is why I still value my MRICS letters to this day and I would encourage all surveyors not to give up on the RICS and their APC.
Ignore the noise and follow your path!
About the author:
Sonia Desloges is the director of APC Support Ltd, a specialist APC training and mentoring consultancy. She has assessed and trained hundreds of APC candidates and witnessed how their APC success has driven their career progression. If you need support with your APC preparation, you are most welcome to drop her a line at sonia@APCsupport-ltd.co.uk for an initial chat.