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 Brief  Guide  to  the  RICS  Assessment  of  

Professional  Competence  (APC)  Interview  
Process  and  Common  Reasons  for  Referral  

Presented  by:    Aaron  O’Hara  -­‐  MRICS,  MSCSI  

To:          Sri  Lankan  QuanKty  Surveyors  Fraternity  
       15th  September  2014  
1.  IntroducKon   9.  Common  Reasons  for  Referral  

2.  What  is  the  APC?   1.  Not  Referring  to  APC  Source  Material  
  2.  Poorly  Presented  DocumentaKon  
3.  Routes  to  Membership   3.  Weak  CriKcal  Analysis  
4.  Lack  of  PreparaKon  
5.  Inadequate  PQSL  
4.  The  Final  Submission   6.  Competencies  
7.  Lack  of  Experience  
5.  Pre-­‐VeWng  the  Final  Submission   8.  Ethics  
9.  Not  following  recommendaKons  in  
Referral  Report  
6.  The  Final  Interview   10.  Points  to  note  

7.  Pass  or  Referral   10.  Conclusion  

8.  Referral  Report  

1.  IntroducKon  
•  Please  turn  off  mobile  phones  or  ensure  they  
are  on  silent  mode.  I  will  stop  the  
presentaKon  and  ask  you  to  leave  if  your  
phone  goes  off!!  

•  Speaker  IntroducKon/Profile.  

•  The  topic  
2.  What  is  the  APC?  
•  The  Assessment  of  Professional  Competence  (APC)  is  
the  pracKcal  training  and  experience  which,  when  
combined  with  academic  qualificaKons,  leads  to  RICS  
•  The  objecKve  of  the  APC  process  is  to  ensure  you  are  
competent  to  pracKce  as  a  chartered  surveyor.  

•  Depending  on  your  route  to  membership,  the  APC  

process  typically  consists  of:  
–  A  period  of  structured  training  
–  A  final  assessment  interview  
2.  What  is  the  APC?  
•  For  those  candidates  needing  structured  training,  this  will  
typically  conKnue  for  a  period  of  approximately  of  24  
months  during  which  you  must  complete  400  days  relevant  
pracKcal  experience.  This  may  take  longer,  depending  on  
your  progress.  

•  This  training  period  is  primarily  competency  based  and  

requires  you  to  demonstrate  the  skills  and  abiliKes  needed  
to  perform  specific  tasks  or  funcKons.  The  competencies  
are  based  on  aWtudes  and  behaviours  as  well  as  skills  and  
knowledge.  The  specific  competencies  you  must  
demonstrate  depend  on  the  APC  pathway  you  follow.  
2.  What  is  the  APC?  
•  Your  choice  of  pathway  will  be  determined  by  your  employment  as  
you  can  only  demonstrate  competence  on  the  basis  of  actual  work  
experience.  In  addiKon  to  achieving  the  required  level  of  
knowledge,  skills  and  behaviours  set  out  in  the  competencies,  you  
must  also  demonstrate  that  you:  

–  Are  a  good  ambassador  for  your  profession,  RICS  and  your  employer  
–  Are  aware  of  the  professional  and  commercial  implicaKons  of  your  
–  Understand  your  clients'  and  employers'  objecKves  
–  Have  an  up-­‐to-­‐date  and  developing  knowledge  of  legal  and  technical  
majers  relevant  to  the  work  you  do  and  the  law  of  the  region  or  
country  in  which  you  pracKce  
–  Have  the  confidence  to  work  unsupervised  
2.  What  is  the  APC?  -­‐  Pathways  and  
•  The  RICS  qualificaKon  covers  many  different  
professional  disciplines  in  land,  property  and  
construcKon.  RICS  has  idenKfied  competencies  
required  for  each  of  these  disciplines  –  known  as  
•  There  is  a  guide  for  each  pathway,  which  explains  
the  competencies  in  detail  and  in  context  –  visit  
•  It  is  essenKal  you  refer  to  the  RICS  Guidance  
documents  during  your  training.  
Pathway  Guide  

Assessment of Professional Competence

Quantity Surveying and

August 2014
Requirements  and  Competencies  

Assessment of Professional Competence

APC Requirements and

August 2014
2.  What  is  the  APC?  -­‐  Pathways  and  
•  A  competency  is  a  statement  of  the  capabiliKes  required  to  perform  a  
specific  role.  RICS  competencies  are  defined  at  three  levels.    
–  Level  1  –  knowledge  and  understanding.    
–  Level  2  –  applicaKon  of  knowledge  and  understanding.    
–  Level  3  –  reasoned  advice  and  depth  of  knowledge.    

•  Each  pathway  requires  three  types  of  competency    

–  mandatory  –  personal,  interpersonal  and  business  skills  common  to  all  
–  core  –  compulsory  and  relate  to  the  primary  skills  of  the  chosen  pathway  
–  opKonal  –  selected  from  the  list  for  the  chosen  pathway.    
3.  Routes  to  Membership  
•  RICS  recognises  combinaKons  of  
qualificaKons,  experience  and  training,  which  
form  the  routes  to  membership.  All  the  routes  
end  with  a  final  assessment  interview.    
•  The  following  table  outlines  the  basic  
requirements  for  each  route.    
Membership route Qualifications requirement Experience requirement Assessment

24 months’ structured training

(12 months must be after graduating)
Graduate 1 RICS accredited degree None
Written submissions
APC final assessment interview

12 months’ structured training

(must be after graduating)
5 years’ relevant experience
Graduate 2 RICS accredited degree
(pre-degree experience counts) Written submissions
APC final assessment interview

10 years’ relevant experience Written submissions

Graduate 3 RICS accredited degree
(pre-degree experience counts) APC final assessment interview

Relevant degree
+ 450 RICS study Written submissions
or RICS approved 10 years’ relevant experience
Adaptation 1 hours from
professional (pre-degree experience counts) APC final assessment interview
accredited degree

Degree (any subject) Written submissions

5 years’ relevant experience
Professional Experience or RICS approved professional Preliminary assessment
(must be after graduating)
qualification APC final assessment interview

Relevant degree 5 or 10 years’ relevant experience

(dependent on level of qualifications) Written submissions
Senior Professional or RICS approved professional (2 years must be after graduating)
APC final assessment interview
qualification + senior industry experience
4.  The  Final  Submission  
•  Most  routes  to  membership  will  require  a  final  wrijen  submissions  
demonstraKng  to  your  assessment  panel  the  knowledge  and  
understanding  you  have  gained  and  the  competencies  you  have  achieved  
during  your  structured  training.  The  wrijen  submissions  comprise:  

•  Record  of  progress  and  competence  

A  summary  of  your  training  achievements  that  you  record  over  your  
period  of  structured  training  and  experience.  
•  Professional  development  record    
Records  of  the  48  hours'  professional  development  you  must  undertake  
for  each  12-­‐month  period  of  your  structured  training  
•  Cri5cal  analysis    
A  3000-­‐word  report  of  a  project  or  projects  that  you  have  been  involved  in  
during  your  training.  Your  criKcal  analysis  must  explain  the  project  
processes  followed  and  the  raKonale  behind  your  decision  making.  
5.  Pre-­‐VeWng  of  The  Final  Submission  
•  Your  submission  will  be  pre-­‐vejed  by  the  RICS  and  the  
Assessment  Panel.  
•  The  Panel  will  review  the  candidate’s  submission  and  
advise  RICS  if  they  would  like  to  go  ahead  with  the  
interview  or  not.  
•  If  the  panel  decide  not  want  to  progress  with  the  
interview,  the  chairman  with  the  support  for  the  co-­‐
assessors  will  be  required  to  complete  a  pre-­‐vet  
•  This  report  will  be  sent  to  the  candidate  and  the  
candidates  counseller/supervisor  advising  on  why  the  
submission  is  not  to  the  required  standard.  
6.  The  Final  Interview  
•  Interview  Panel  usually  consists  of  a  Chairman  
and  two  Assessors  (but  can  by  just  2  people).  
•  Chairman  will  manage  the  interview;  
introduce  you  to  the  panel  and  introduce  the  
panel  to  you.  
•  Structure  of  the  interview  is  similar  the  world  
over  and  similar  between  pathways.  
6.  The  Final  Interview  -­‐  Structure  
•  IntroducKon  and  guidence  on  the  presentaKon  (4  minutes)  
•  Candidates  PresentaKon  on  their  CriKcal  Analysis  (10  
•  QuesKons  on  the  CriKcal  Analysis  (10  minutes  split  
between  the  two  assessors)  
•  QuesKons  on  Mandatory,  Core  and  OpKonal  Competencies  
(25  minutes  split  between  the  two  assessors)    
•  Chairman's  QuesKons  on  Common  Competencies,  
Professional  PracKce,  Rules  of  Conduct,  Ethics  (10  minutes)  
•  Interview  will  then  be  closed  by  the  Chairman  and  the  
Candidate  will  be  given  an  opportunity  to  clarify  any  of  his  
answers  (1  minute)  
7.  Pass  or  Referral  
•  Final  Assessment  –  two  part  process:  
documentaKon  and  interview.    
•  Assessors  take  a  holisKc  approach  to  the  Final  
•  Apart  from  the  Ethics  competency,  candidates  
are  rarely  referred  on  the  basis  of  one  item.  
•  The  Interview  Panel  will  review  their  notes  and  
reach  a  decision  on  the  candidate.  
•  The  decision  is  fully  documented  and  kept  on  
record  by  the  RICS.  
8.  Referral  Report  
•  Usually  wrijen  by  the  Chairman  and  approved  
by  the  other  two  Assessors.  
•  Aims  to  advise  the  Candidate  where  they  were  
deficient  in  their  submission,  interview  or  
•  Candidate  should  address  all  the  issues  in  the  
report  prior  to  resubmission.  
Session 2 2013 Critical Analysis

No title provided
Referral Report
Candidate Name:
Membership Number:
APC Pathway: Submit another 3,000 word critical analysis on another project; or
Route to membership: Re-submit the critical analysis from this assessment suitably up-dated or amended

The panel regrets to have to inform you that you have been referred.

The panel set out within the body of this report guidance to assist you with a future re-submission for assessment.
Presentation and interview
The APC is a holistic view (except for *Ethics) of your knowledge, practical experience, written submissions and
communication skills through a professional interview.

* If you fail to reach the required level of competence for Ethics, you will be referred

At your next assessment the deficient competencies outlined in this report must be signed off again by your
counsellor to show they believe that the deficiencies identified have been fully addressed.

You will need to record all your experience since referral, concentrating on the areas of deficiency highlighted. Mandatory Competencies
Please note: if there is no comment in one area, this is because the panel will have assessed you as
satisfactory and therefore no reason to make any comment. Competency name Level Level the Reasons for referral
and reference required assessor panel
number consider you
have achieved

Technical Competencies

Competency name and Level Level the Reasons for referral

reference number required assessor
you have

Professional Development

1 2
Conduct rules, ethics and professional practice


Next Application Date

The panel advises that you should not apply for re assessment until Session x in 201x

The panel hope that you will find the above comments constructive and helpful.

Kind regards

1.  Not  Referring  to  APC  Source  
•  APC  guides  and  templates    
•  Pathway  guides    
•  Website  InformaKon    
•  Correspondence  from  the  EducaKon  
2.  Poorly  Presented  DocumentaKon  
•  Grammar  
•  Spelling    
•  Overall  standard  of  presentaKon    
3.  Weak  CriKcal  Analysis  
•  Very  important  component  in  the  Final  
Assessment  process  –  takes  up  1/3  of  the  
interview  (20  minutes)    
•  The  one  area  of  the  interview  over  which  you  
have  control    
•  Important  to  take  a  careful,  planned  and  well-­‐
thought  approach  to  the  CriKcal  Analysis  
when  preparing  documentaKon    
3.  Weak  CriKcal  Analysis  
•  The  objecKves  and  requirements  of  the  
CriKcal  Analysis  are  set  out  in  the  Candidates  
•  Assessors  complain  that  in  many  cases  the  
CriKcal  Analysis  is  omen  a  bland  narraKve,  and  
provides  no  criKcal  appraisal  of  the  
candidate’s  role  on  the  project/s    
•  Many  candidate  pass  Final  Assessment  in  spite  
of  but  not  because  of  their  CriKcal  Analysis    
3.  Weak  CriKcal  Analysis  
•  CriKcal  Analysis  must  provide  a  criKcal  
appraisal  of  the  project  together  with  an  
outline  of  your  learning  outcomes.    
•  Provides  evidence  of  the  competencies  that  
you  have  achieved  –  mandatory  and  technical  
–  relevant  to  your  APC  pathway    
•  Must  include  Key  Issues;  OpKons;  Proposed  
SoluKons;  Conclusion  and  Analysis  of  
Experience  Gained    
3.  Weak  CriKcal  Analysis  
•  Assessors  will  use  the  CriKcal  Analysis  as  a  
starKng  point  to  quesKon  beyond  what  you  
actually  did,  probing  your  understanding  of  
the  wider  issues.  
•  You  will  need  to  think  about  these  while  you  
are  preparing  and  wriKng  the  CriKcal  Analysis.  
•  Focus  on  majers  that  crossed  the  whole  
4.  Lack  of  PreparaKon  
•  Rehearsal  of  presentaKon    
•  Mock  interviews    
5.  Inadequate  Pre-­‐QualificaKon  
Structured  Learning    
•  Assessors  looking  for  evidence  that  a  
candidate  has  taken  a  well  thought  out,  
planned  approach  to  gaining  meaningful  
structured  learning    
•  PQSL  acKviKes  can  include:  lectures,  
workshops  and  seminars,  in-­‐house  training,  
site  visits,  self-­‐directed  reading  and  research,  
postgraduate  study  –  and  even  voluntary  work    
5.  Inadequate  Pre-­‐QualificaKon  
Structured  Learning    
•  PQSL  must  be  linked  to  mandatory  and  technical  
•  PQSL  must  be  gained  across  a  range  of  media,  
and  the  Record  of  PQSL  must  not  over-­‐rely  on  
parKcular  forms  of  ajainment  –  eg,  reading  of  
periodicals,  site  visits.    
•  Increasingly  menKoned  in  referral  reports.    
•  PQSL  should  be  regarded  as  an  opportunity  to  
support  your  work  and  the  ajainment  of  APC  
competency  levels.    
6.  Competencies  
•  The  objecKve  of  the  Final  Assessment  is  to  
confirm  that  you  have  achieved  the  
competencies  of  your  chosen  APC  pathway:  
logbook;  record  of  progress;  PQSL  Record  and  
CriKcal  Analysis.    
•  Important  that  you  fully  understand  the  
competencies  of  your  pathway,  the  levels  to  
which  they  are  set,  and  how  you  will  
demonstrate  this  in  the  documentaKon  and  at  
Final  Assessment  interview.    
6.  Competencies  -­‐  Core  
•  For  many  APC  pathways,  there  is  a  set  list  of  
core  competencies  and  no  element  of  choice.    
•  Core  competencies  –  technical  skills  that  the  
professional  group  deems  essenKal  in  order  
for  a  candidate  to  become  Chartered  in  that  
area  of  specialism    
•  Many  candidates  present  for  Final  Assessment  
without  having  ajained  their  core  
competencies  to  the  required  levels    
6.  Competencies  -­‐  OpKonal  
•  Element  of  choice  –  but  important  to  choose  
7.  Lack  of  Experience  
•  Most  perKnent  to  those  undertaking  Graduate  
Route  1  –  24  month  APC.    
•  This  is  a  minimum  Kme  requirement  –  ulKmately  
you  must  have  ajained  the  competencies  of  your  
pathway  to  the  required  levels.    
•  A  judgment  that  must  be  made  between  the  
candidate  and  the  counselor.    
•  The  counselor  can  only  sign  you  off  for  Final  
Assessment  if  they  are  saKsfied  you  have  
achieved  the  competencies.    
8.  Ethics  
•  Appearing  more  and  more  in  referral  reports.  
•  Failure  to  demonstrate  an  awareness  of  and  
willingness  to  act  in  accordance  with  the  RICS  code  of  
conduct  will  result  automaKcally  in  a  referral.  
•  Stand-­‐alone  quesKons  by  the  Chairman  at  the  end  of  
the  interview.    
•  However,  panel  will  be  mindful  when  reading  the  
documentaKon  and  listening  to  your  answers  
throughout  the  interview  of  indicaKons  that  you  are  
aware  of  the  ethical  implicaKons  of  your  work  and  the  
requirements  of  the  Society.    
8.  Ethics  
•  Behaviour  at  interview  also  falls  under  the  
heading  of  ethics,  as  you  should  behave  in  a  
manner  that  is  appropriate  of  a  Chartered  
•  Unacceptable    
 -­‐  Bad  language  
 -­‐  ConfrontaKonal  manner    
9.  Not  Following  Advice/InstrucKons  
Contained  in  the  Referral  Report  
•  Referred  Candidates  must  read,  understand  
and  act  upon  the  informaKon  contained  in  the  
referral  reports.    
•  Subsequent  assessment  panel  will  be  seeking  
to  confirm  that  all  highlighted  issues  have  
been  addressed.    
•  Most  common  reason  for  a  candidate  to  be  
referred  a  second  Kme  or  more.    
10.  Points  to  Note  
•  Not  a  compeKKon    
•  Technical  interview    
•  Prepare  sample  experience  in  respect  of  each  
•  Don’t  waffle!  
•  Thanks  for  the  opportunity  of  presenKng  a  CPD  on  this  
•  I  hope  it  benefits  those  of  you  who  are  intending  to  go  
forward  for  the  APC.  

•  Finally  if  you  have  any  quesKons  on  this  presentaKon,  I  

would  be  happy  to  try  and  answer  them  now.    
•  No  quesKons  on  the  type  of  quesKons  we  ask,  this  is  
largely  dependent  on  the  Candidates  submission!  
There  is  no  standard  list  of  quesKons.