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News & opinion

8 MAR 2018

Female surveyors: giving something back

We talk to three female surveyors about their journey to chartered status and why they chose to help others with theirs.

Becoming a Chartered Surveyor with RICS, takes time and effort, but once you achieve that MRICS status, doors in your career open; giving you global recognition as a professional along with giving you and your input credibility.

Dana Azzam

Dana was the first RICS female surveyor in Jordan, and passed her APC in 2014. Now working as a director at NEA (Nabih Elias Azzam & Partners), she shares her thoughts on why she became a counsellor.

What made you become a counsellor?

I am interested in sharing my knowledge and assisting other candidates in their APC. By assessing new candidates, and reading their submittals and case studies, ensures my knowledge is kept up-to-date too.

Why do you want to give something back to RICS and the industry?

I believe in professionalism, and being part of the RICS provides me with the highest status known internationally. Therefore, I want to give something back to the institution in return for the abundance of information they give us.

Sally O'Neill

Sally passed her APC in 1996 and completed her assessor training in 2008. She now works for Currie & Brown as a senior construction and property professional.

How does helping candidates in their APC help you in your career?

Involvement in the APC process means that no matter my current employer or role, I am obliged to maintain and update my core technical knowledge base. Failure to do so would mean that I would be unable to fulfil my role as chair of the assessment panel. (and those CPD hours come in handy!) It also provides networking opportunities, with a chance to meet people working across all sectors of the industry. 

How has your experience been so far?

Challenging at times, but deeply satisfying. For example, UAE based candidates are drawn from all sorts of backgrounds and cultures. It's important for us as assessors, to be aware of cultural sensitivities and nuances, while at the same time ensuring that we uphold the RICS valuees of equality, diversity and inclusion. Living in the UAE, which is home to over 200 nationalities, means I have met candidates with completely different backgrounds and lifestyles to my own.

Charlotte Hill

Charlotte qualified in 2014 and is now a Managing Quantity Surveyor at Faithful + Gould. She completed her assessor training through the Faithful +Gould assessor training sessions.

What do you believe should be done to bring more female surveyors into the industry?

I personally believe more in general could be done to bring all surveyors into the industry, not just females. When I speak to peers outside the construction industry I would say only a very small percentage of people are aware of surveying as a profession, I find myself explaining what I do and what is involved on regular basis. Everyone seems pleasantly surprised after I have explained it. 

What advice would you give to current APC candidates or those considering beginning their APC journey?

For current APC candidates:

  • allow yourself to be passionate about your work and the projects you're working on.  It really does shine through in an interview.
  • don't think of  your APC as an assessment. Consider it a client meeting where you can advise and provide knowledge to a client to help them make the best and most informed decision. This really helped me to understand what the assessors are looking for.

For those who are just starting out:

  • sit down with someone who has recently passed their APC and fire them questions about the process and their experience. It was the best thing I did as a candidate, and it allowed me to get an overall picture of the experience and what to expect
  • don't set unrealistic expectations or goals. Your accreditation is for the long term and will be a great achievement. If it takes a little longer to get the experience and knowledge you need to sit the APC that's okay, it's also not the end goal there is so much more to your development and your career.