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Assessment of Professional Competence

Adaptation route
Applicant guidance
January 2014

Assessment of Professional Competence

Applicant guidance

Published by: RICS, Parliament Square, London SW1P 3AD.


All rights in this publication, including full copyright or publishing right,
content and design, are owned by RICS, except where otherwise described.
Any dispute arising out of this publication is subject to the law and
jurisdiction of England and Wales

Adaptation Route Applicant guidance

Assessment of Professional Competence

Applicant guidance

Adaptation Route
Introduction
Process
Written submission
Critical analysis
Interview
Outcome of interview

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Adaptation Route Applicant guidance

10

Assessment of Professional Competence

Applicant guidance

Introduction

Study hours

RICS offers this route to membership to give applicants recognition for


relevant experience. If you have been working in the surveying sector,
you may have been gaining the competencies you need for professional
practice. RICS recognises that the longer your experience, the shorter
the period of structured training needs to be.

Are you eligible to apply?


Check the following criteria.
Academic/professional
qualifications
Degree in any subject
OR

Relevant experience
At least 5 years post qualification
relevant experience before starting APC

RICS-approved professional
body membership
If you are in this position you are eligible for two routes to membership
the Professional Experience route or the Adaptation route. This guide is
about the Adaptation route only please see separate guidance if you are
interested in following the Professional Experience route.
The Adaptation route is suitable for you if you consider you need support
and study to help you reach the level of knowledge, understanding and
competence to achieve RICS membership. It requires you to supplement
your existing qualification by completing 450 study hours from an RICS
accredited degree or approved provider. You can then come forward for
final assessment. RICS does not require you to undertake any structured
training provided you have met the required competencies.

You must successfully complete the 450 study hours before applying for
final assessment. The study hours are not only class contact hours but
are made up from lectures, tutorials, private study, assessment etc, as is
normal for any module specific for this application.
The study hours must be taken specifically for the purpose of your
RICS membership application. You can start them before you have
completed your five years experience, as long as you have successfully
completed them before you come forward for assessment.
The study hours/modules must be from either

the final year of an RICS accredited undergraduate programme; or

any part of an RICS accredited postgraduate programme; or

a programme specifically approved by RICS for the purpose of


Adaptation.

They can be completed full time, part time or by distance learning.


Details of all accredited courses can be found through the online course
search on www.rics.org/courses. Applicants must follow the normal
study/content requirements and the normal assessment process for
the modules.
Proof of successful completion of the study must be submitted to RICS.
Failure to do so will result in your interview being deferred. A letter from
the university will be acceptable if a certificate is not given.
You should choose modules relevant to the APC pathway you have selected.
The modules selected should not repeat earlier study but should develop
your knowledge and skills as part of your lifelong learning and preparation
for the APC. You are advised to discuss your choice of modules carefully
with the relevant staff of the university.
If you fail a module, RICS would normally expect you to retake it.
However, RICS would accept an applicant taking a different module
provided the university considers this appropriate. RICS will allow
three attempts at retakes.

Adaptation Route Applicant guidance

Assessment of Professional Competence

Applicant guidance

The APC pathways


In addition, you must be working broadly within one of our defined
professional roles. The RICS qualification covers many different
professional disciplines in land, property and construction.
We have identified the competencies required for each of these disciplines,
and each set of competencies is known as a pathway. You must select the
pathway that reflects your role see www.rics.org/pathway
Please download and read your pathway guide, which will give you an
understanding of the competencies.
Contact RICS to discuss this with your local RICS contact if you are in
any doubt.

The competencies explained


A competency is a statement of the capabilities required to perform a
specific role and is based upon behaviours, knowledge, skills and attitudes.
RICS competencies are written in levels of expertise.
Level 1 is about technical knowledge and understanding.
Level 2 is about the application of knowledge and understanding.
Level 3 is about giving reasoned advice and/or depth of technical
knowledge.
Each pathway requires you to demonstrate three types of competency:

mandatory competencies personal, interpersonal and business


skills common to all pathways

core competencies which are compulsory and relate to the primary


skills of your chosen pathway

optional competencies which are selected by you from the list for
your chosen APC pathway.

Adaptation Route Applicant guidance

Assessment of Professional Competence

Section one

The process
Step 1
Send us your rsum using the rsum template. It should include details
of your academic qualifications, membership of any relevant professional
organisations and a brief career history. You will already have selected your
RICS pathway: your rsum should relate to the pathway.

Step 2
RICS will review your experience and qualifications and will advise you, in
writing, whether you meet the criteria for this route. If so you will be enrolled
by RICS; if not, RICS will inform you alternative routes to RICS membership.

Step 3
If approved to proceed and on receipt of enrolment documents you will submit

a critical analysis (3,000 words) record detailing the relevant technical


and mandatory skills required by the APC pathway (submitted to RICS
when you apply for final assessment)

mandatory and technical achievement records

professional development records for the previous 12 months,


consistent with the RICS rules of conduct

Full details of the written submission are in the following section.

Step 4
RICS will invite you to a professional interview, conducted by a panel
of RICS members. They will base the interview on your application and
written submissions.

Written submission
In this section you will see what each of the elements of the written
submission consists of. It is most important to note that in different world
regions there are specific downloadable templates for these documents.
Please ask your local RICS contact for details before you begin preparing
the submission.
The critical analysis is a written report of a recent project or projects
(undertaken up to two years before application) with which you have been
involved. It must provide a critical appraisal of the project together with an
outline of your learning outcomes. This provides important evidence of the
competencies you have achieved. The critical analysis must give detailed
evidence of your ability to work competently and to apply the knowledge
relevant to your APC pathway.
Your choice of project is very important and must reflect your specific APC
pathway. You may be working for a large organisation where you have been
involved with a complex instruction or project. Your role and contribution
could be an appropriate topic. Alternatively, the instruction or project may
be more straightforward and not of great financial value. It may simply be
typical of the work with which you have been involved. Ideally your critical
analysis should focus on one aspect of your work. You may want to use
a number of projects to highlight an issue or aspect of your work and the
project may include work undertaken outside your country of practice.
You are not necessarily expected to be running the project. It is your
involvement or role in the team that you must outline, analysis and
comment on. If the project has been running for some time, you may
not have been involved from the start, so your involvement may not have
been continuous, or the project may not be finished when you prepare
your critical analysis. In this latter case, you should provide a prognosis
of the outcome. If you know the outcome between sending in your critical
analysis and your interview, include it in your presentation.

Infrastructure

Assessment of Professional Competence

Applicant guidance

Critical analysis format and content


The critical analysis must be:

word processed

a maximum of 3 000 words (excluding the appendices)

signed and dated by you.

You must explain not only the project itself but the processes you followed
and the rationale behind your decision-making. Your focus must be on
analysing the project: do not simply provide a summary of what it involved.
It is quality not quantity that counts. Appendices should support your
report, not add to or expand on it.
You should include the following four aspects.
Key issues: your project may be complex. If you select too many key
issues you will skim the surface instead of providing a detailed analysis.
Be selective. Think about the depth required so you can provide evidence
that you fully understand the requirements of the various competencies
involved. There may be one key issue that can form the basis of your
critical analysis.

Your proposed solution: you must give a detailed account of the reasons
supporting your adopted course of action. Relate your reasons to the
technical competencies. Think about all the aspects that support your
decision, for example client care, financial, technical, professional, Rules of
Conduct, ethics and conflicts of interest.
Conclusion and analysis of experience gained: most importantly, your
conclusion must provide a critical appraisal of the outcomes, with a
statement of what you learned from the experience. This part of your
report should comprise approximately one third of the total number of
words. You should look at the project, consider what has gone well and
identify areas for improvement. You can then plan how you might progress
the next time you carry out a similar task.
The assessors will use your critical analysis as a starting point to question
you beyond what you actually did, probing your understanding of your
projects wider issues. You will need to think about these processes while
you are writing your critical analysis, so that you are well prepared for the
interview. Focus on matters that cross the whole project.

Options: before proposing a solution to a client, you should consider all


the options, demonstrating your ability to think logically, laterally and
professionally. You must demonstrate that you have genuinely considered
the options and give reasons why some options may not be feasible.

Adaptation Route Applicant guidance

Assessment of Professional Competence

Section one

Points to watch
Confidentiality: you must ensure you have your employers and clients
consent to disclose any sensitive details in your critical analysis. If you
cannot get this consent you should disguise facts that might otherwise
make the project identifiable.
(Note: the information contained in your critical analysis will be treated in
the strictest confidence by the panel of assessors.)
References: extracts from legislation, case law and other sources should
not be quoted at length but essential references must be given.

You will need to consider your submissions carefully so that you identify
which competencies can be evidenced by your rsum and critical analysis.
Where possible you should identify at what point in your career these
competencies were achieved. Your discussions with you mentor (see page
8) will have helped you in this process. This approach will be particularly
relevant to the core and optional competencies. The assessment panel
will be concentrating mainly on the level 3 competencies.

Mandatory and technical achievement record

Total word count: you must include a word count at the end. You can include
notes on what you have included in the count.

This is a detailed record setting out the competencies you have selected
from your pathway guide and, for each competency, explaining how you
have achieved the level required.

If using photographs and plans, they should be no larger than A4 size


when folded.

Continuing professional development (CPD) record

Finally: your critical analysis must reflect your abilities in the following areas:

written and graphic communication

professional standards of organisation and presentation

analysis, reflective thought and problem solving

learning from experience gained.

Concentrating on the key competencies


You must provide the assessors with evidence to support experience across
the full range and depth of competencies of your chosen APC pathway.
Some of this evidence may be drawn from the earlier part of your career,
possibly up to five years ago.
You may not have achieved all the required competencies of the APC
pathway to the required levels in the last two years. It is acceptable if
those requirements have been met in the last five years. It will not be
possible or appropriate to test the full five+ years of experience in a 60
minute interview. The panel will therefore assess which competencies are
covered adequately in your written submissions and identify where further
questioning is appropriate. You may, however, have to answer questions
about any of your competencies to convince the panel of your knowledge
and experience.

CPD is an important part of professional identity and is a requirement for


RICS members. Our rules of conduct require a minimum of 20 hours CPD
per year. We ask you to provide an account of your CPD to ensure that you
have similar professional standards in this respect. Your CPD should cover
the past 12 months.
Your CPD records should clearly demonstrate how your learning is
appropriate. It should show how you have continued to develop your skills,
and how you have organised and structured your learning to suit your
circumstances. It should show how you have planned CPD to meet your
own professional needs; sourced specific activities under the plan; and
reflected on the learning outcomes. Please use the personal development
planner (PDP) which forms part of the application form.
If you are unsure whether any particular activity would count towards CPD,
guidance can be found at www.rics.org/cpd

Built Infrastructure

Assessment of Professional Competence

Applicant guidance

Your mentor
Your application must be supported by a member of RICS. He or she
must be satisfied that you have achieved the required levels in all the
competencies needed for your chosen APC pathway. Your mentor may not
have first hand knowledge of your standard in all the chosen competencies;
you may have achieved some of them a number of years ago, and possible
in a different job.
You will need to spend some time discussing the competencies with your
mentor, referring to the Pathway Guide and explaining how and when, in
the course of your professional experience, you have achieved them. If your
sponsor is reasonably satisfied that you have achieved all the necessary
competencies he or she should confirm this as required by countersigning
the submission pack.

You should view the interview as a holistic evaluation of your readiness


to practise as a professional member of RICS. In addition to your
technical competence it will assess your ability to communicate
effectively in person, maintain a line of reasoning, and apply knowledge
and experience in a professional way.

Structure of the interview


Timings given in the chart are approximate
Chairmans opening and
introductions

3-4 minutes

Your presentation on your


critical analysis

10 minutes

Panels questions on the


presentation

10 minutes

Discussion on overall
experience including optional
competencies not covered

25 minutes

10 minutes

You will be expected to demonstrate that you:

Chairmans questions may


include professional and
technical matters, Rules
of Conduct, mandatory
competencies, CPD

have applied your theoretical knowledge through professional


experience

Chairman to close

12 minutes

act in accordance with RICS Rules of Conduct, possess the highest


level of professional integrity and objectivity, and recognise your
duties to clients, employers and the community

Total

60 minutes

are a good ambassador for the profession, RICS and your employer
(if applicable)

are aware of the professional and commercial implications of your work

understand your clients and employers objectives, and

have an up-to-date knowledge of legal and technical matters relevant


to the work you do and the law of the region or country in which you
practise.

Professional interview
The 60-minute interview is conducted by at least two (maximum three)
RICS members who have been trained as assessors. One will act as Chair
and will be responsible for managing the interview.
Before the assessment date, the assessors will check your documentation
to determine whether any conflicts of interest exist. If they do, RICS will
make arrangements to manage them.

Adaptation Route Applicant guidance

Assessment of Professional Competence

Section two

Conduct rules, ethics and


professional practice
This is one of the most important areas for all applicants. The interviewers
will place great importance on this competency.
You must be able to demonstrate:

Knowledge and understanding of the role and significance of RICS


and its functions

An appreciation of your personal professional role and societys


expectations of professional practice

An understanding of RICS Rules of Conduct and Regulations,


including the general principles of law and the legal system, as
applicable in your country of practice.

Referral requirements
In the event of a referral RICS will provide you with a written report setting
out areas of concern and what remedial actions should be taken before
re-sitting.

Appeal
If your interview is not successful, you may appeal against that decision.
We will provide details of how to do so on the feedback report.
For full details of the appeal process, please see www.rics.org/APC

Support
RICS provides training to help prepare you for the final assessment
interview. For details, visit www.rics.org/training

In particular, you will be asked questions about business ethics.


Further information on this subject can be found
at www.rics.org/regulation

Outcome of the interview


Within a few days of the interview (timeframes differ for world regions), you
will be advised of the outcome. You will receive either a pass or a referral.
If you are successful you will be awarded professional membership of RICS
and the designation MRICS.
Upon election as a professional member you must pay the additional
membership fees, which will be explained to you by RICS staff.

Adaptation Route Applicant guidance

10

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