26 May 2015
When you receive the referral report it may stimulate an emotional response. Read it, and put it aside for a day or two until you feel ready to accept the feedback and move forward constructively.
The referral report can be a useful tool to help you prepare for your next interview. The pass rate for second attempts is significantly higher and the key to this success is the referral report.
Think about using the feedback in two segments.
1. Soft skills
The general advice around your communication skills as represented by the Final Submission documentation, presentation and interview skills will help your general performance on the next occasion. Do not be tempted to dismiss any of these comments as less important than technical matters.
All skills can be improved with practice and your positive action should be to improve these skills through more practice, following the specific guidance in the referral report. For example, timing the presentation or improving eye contact.
The conclusion at the end of the report is a useful summary and often contains some useful advice on soft skills.
Assessors will be keen to check that the referral advice has been taken on board and will be disappointed if a mistake is repeated.
The feedback given in the mandatory and optional competencies should be viewed by level and competency description.
The next panel are likely to revisit the same areas of technical shortcomings to check the deficiencies have been addressed.
If the report describes your knowledge as lacking this is a clear revision pointer. Look at the law and RICS Guidance relevant to the competency. Go on any relevant training courses, so you can be seen to be addressing the gap in your record of professional development since referral.
If the report describes your breadth of experience as inadequate you will need to take steps to fill the gaps. Ensure you find specific examples. This may involve rotation, simulated experience or secondment. Discuss your options with your Supervisor and Counsellor. This should be overtly addressed in your experience record since referral.
If the report identifies a lack at level 3 you will need to try and gain a greater depth of experience where you get to advise the client in a specific example and make that clear to the assessors in the experience record.
Rule, Ethics and Professional Practice
Rules and ethics is a common area of referral because it is so important to the Institution and a high standard is expected. If you have been referred in this area, redouble your efforts for next time and give it priority.
Ensure you take on board the comments, give enough relevant detail and meet the requirements comfortably. Review your training to date and make a commitment to additional training in the referred areas.
If any PD is specifically suggested try to ensure you do it before your next attempt.
In the next week or two, a meeting with your Supervisor and Counsellor to gain employer support and create a referral action plan.
The RICS Regional Training Advisors can help you to make sense of your referral report and point you in the right direction. If the referral report suggests you contact an RTA, do so!
Their contact details can be found via the RICS website.
For pathway specific advice, I suggest you contact an APC Mentor (formerly APC Doctor).
If you believe there has been an error with the running of the interview, you can appeal. You cannot appeal against the Assessors opinion of your competence. You have 21 days from the date of your referral report, see the website for details. A successful appeal will not reverse the decision but ‘re-run’ the interview.
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