APC: upcoming revisions

Growing new routes

8 February 2017

Christina Hirst explores upcoming revisions to the APC and routes to chartered status

The coming year will see a number of changes to the Assessment of Professional Competency (APC). Some of these will be made by RICS, while others relate to wider reform of apprenticeships. This article sets out what the particular changes will mean.

APC pathways and competencies

The pathways and competencies define the knowledge, skills, experience and proficiency required to become a chartered surveyor. These have been subject to long-term review by RICS to ensure that they are globally relevant and represent current practice. Draft requirements and competencies were published for consultation with members through September and October.

The new framework will recognise the diverse and evolving nature of the profession and the di¨erent skills that are required for each discipline, while aligning the framework with the RICS Futures report and the changing role of the surveying profession.

The feedback from the consultation is currently being analysed and the RICS will share the next steps as soon as possible.

A centre for resources The new Assessment Resource Centre (ARC) will be available for candidates, counsellors and assessors to use in managing the APC and maintaining and reviewing documentation.

RICS will move away from the requirement for 4 copies of all documentation to be printed before an interview and instead adopt an entirely online system that will enable candidates to submit directly through the ARC. The assessment itself, including the standards and interview, will not be changing.

Preventing plagiarism

RICS is already using a system for candidates called Turnitin, whereby one submission can be checked against others and the full contents of the website. In the UK, RICS will randomly select 10% of candidates to submit documentation through Turnitin, including the summary of experience and the case study. This will ensure that all documentation submitted by candidates is their own work.


In September 2015, the first apprentices started studying on the new degree apprenticeship in chartered surveying and the Level 3 technical apprenticeships leading to Associate status, following the UK government’s approval of the standards that have been developed by an employer consortium that was led by Gardiner & Theobald.

However, the means by which this apprenticeship can be funded will be changed in 2017. From April, any employer with a wage bill of more than £3m per year will be required to pay an apprenticeship levy, charged at 0.5% of that bill, although there will be an allowance of £15,000 that can be offset against this.

This is all taking place alongside a greater focus on skills and the quality of skills training, such as the government’s own Skills Plan and the higher education white paper, Success as a Knowledge Economy.


The APC channel on isurv will be updated and modernised to meet the needs of candidates and their employers better. The new channel will include the changes to the APC as they are introduced and will make more use of a range of modes of delivery.

The content will be used to supplement RICS guidance and publications on the APC and to give examples of submissions and documentation throughout the assessment process. Content will be for candidates, supervisors and counsellors. There are plenty of changes ahead, but the result should be a fit for purpose, fit for the 21st century APC.

Christina Hirst FRICS is a consultant and RICS Training Advisor and Project Manager for the Surveying Apprenticeship Trailblazer

Further information

This feature is taken from the RICS Property journal (December 2016/January 2017)