29 Apr 2015
Stephen Hinson FRICS is an APC assessor and panel chairman who has helped APC professional by evaluating their preliminary reviews and providing guidance prior to their final assessment interview.
We caught up with Stephen to find out what you need to know about the preliminary review.
How does the process work?
The submissions are received at RICS for processing and the membership operations team check to ensure that every section of the submission is complete.
The submissions are then passed to two assessors who are selected to review the particular pathway that the candidate has chosen.
The assessors jointly review the submission and between them they prepare a report which either recommends that the criteria for moving forward to final assessment is met or not. The report is then fed back to the candidate with the assessors comments which often include guidance for the final interview or resubmission.
How is this review undertaken?
The assessors will examine the submission and will be looking to ensure that the candidate has a full understanding of the chosen pathway and that they have adequately demonstrated this understanding within their summary of experience. They will be looking to ensure that the candidate has followed the pathway guide and demonstrated their compliance with the competencies at the appropriate level.
The assessors will review the candidates work history and educational experience to ensure that this is supportive and relevant.
The case study will be reviewed to ensure that it is relevant to the pathway and displays application of the declared competencies.
CPD will be examined to ensure that it complies with the current RICS requirements.
Both assessors review the submissions independently then combine their findings into an overview and recommendation.
What are the examples of issues that arise?
Poor grammar, bad spelling, words missing and spellcheck corrections that often make documents unreadable.
CPD that is not relevant to the chosen pathway or gained in large sessions, which, whilst providing the hours may not give the broadness of learning RICS are looking for.
Not following the pathway guide or demonstrating knowledge and experience of the declared technical and mandatory competencies at the appropriate level.
Often the case study is not relevant or can be difficult to follow.
What advice can you give?
Remember your performance at the interview is probably one of the key presentations that you will make so do not devalue your one hour by simple things like not proof reading or not asking someone else to check your submission.
Do not overrun the suggested word counts, they are there in order to make your submissions more meaningful and concise.
Go through the pathway guide thoroughly and ensure that you fully understand the declared competency levels that you will be asked to display working knowledge of at the interview.
Also ensure that you are fully conversant with the mandatory competencies as lack of knowledge of ethics and rules of conduct could mean a referral is highly ilkely.
From an assessor's point of view a well presented, complete submission is great to deal with as opposed to ones which have basic mistakes.
So good luck and I hope that you find these suggestions helpful!
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