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How To Become A Chartered Surveyor

The journey to becoming a Chartered Surveyor is a long and arduous one, but if property is your thing – it can be well worth your while.

Chartered Surveyors in the UK earned on average £54,839 in 2016, with RICS (Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors) qualified members earning £12,000 more than their unqualified counterparts.

So how can you join those ranks? Here’s our step by step guide.

Academic Qualifications

Depending on how old you are as you read this, you might need to consider which academic qualification would be the best route to take forward.

In short, it doesn’t much matter too much which degree you choose, but it must be an undergraduate or masters qualification and it must be ‘accredited’. Fortunately, there are over 500 such courses available worldwide – so there’s plenty to choose from. You can use the RICS’ own tool right here to find something that suits you.

When we say it doesn’t much matter which you choose, that’s because a surveyor with a building surveying degree can later convert to valuation or vice versa. You don’t necessarily have to pick your specialisation so early on therefore, and most degrees will start with a broad introduction to various useful concepts – like economics, management and building pathology.

On The Job

The crucial next stage involves an ‘Assessment of Professional Competence’ (APC) – a period of usually two years or more where your performance ‘on the job’ is assessed, culminating in a gruelling interview.

In order to complete your APC, you do need a job – usually a trainee role at a surveying firm. You also need to have decided which route (‘pathway’) you want to go down – building surveyor, valuation surveyor, built infrastructure, commercial surveying, facilities management etc.

It’s at this stage that you begin to really specialise, with lots of on-site work and the guidance of a supervisor and counsellor to shape your development. You’ll need to keep a diary of all the work you do and hit certain requirements specific to your chosen pathway.

Of course, you’re not certain to qualify even if you get as far as the interview. Many fail at this stage. The breadth of knowledge required to pass is considerable – which has helped the RICS retain their reputation for quality over almost 150 years of operation.

Chartered Status Without Academic Qualification

If you’re a senior property professional without an accredited degree or masters qualification, you can still qualify for MRICS status. The route is a little different, however.

If you’re in a senior management / expert role with 10+ years experience, you can obtain chartered status by:

  • 20 hours of continuing professional development (CPD) for the last 12 months
  • completion of the senior professional assessment documentation
  • senior professional final assessment interview.

Is It Worth It?

On earnings alone, the answer is most certainly yes – remember that £12,000 differential between RICS and non-RICS surveyors.

It isn’t easy. You will need to dedicate several years of your life to gaining qualification, but thereafter the rewards are considerable. The title of Chartered Surveyor is well respected worldwide and can be an important stepping stone on your pathway to promotion.

BBL Property are the UK’s leading property recruitment agency. If you’re seeking a new role in the property sector, you can register your CV with us today (for free). We’ll be in touch to explore the options we have available.

Andy Welham