Surveying profession: apprenticeships

Earn and learn

1 November 2017

As part of the government’s trailblazer initiative, RICS has developed new routes into the profession through two surveying apprenticeships, as Barry Cullen explains

You may have seen media stories about apprenticeships in various industries and the levy introduced in April.

Firms that hire apprentices can access at least 90% of the costs of training and final assessment either from their own levy payments or from the government, and two surveying routes that lead directly to RICS-accredited qualifications are now open.

If your organisation has not been looking into apprenticeships, then it is time you did.

Future leaders

Apprenticeships combine working and studying for a qualification. The new trailblazer routes are a fantastic way of developing future high-quality professionals. RICS has been working with both businesses and the government to create professional trailblazer apprenticeships in surveying, which enable studying for a diploma or an RICS-accredited degree, or taking an APC or Associate assessment alongside paid employment.

We see apprenticeships as an important way to widen pathways into our profession. Those who learn better through part-time study with direct application of knowledge are supported from enrolment through to qualification without incurring study or tuition fees.

Apprenticeship levy

As of 6 April this year, all UK employers with an annual wage bill of more than £3m – which represents less than 2% of businesses – have been required to pay 0.5% of that bill as an apprenticeship levy, to fund new apprenticeships. In England, control of such funding will be put in the hands of employers by the Digital Apprenticeship Service.

Each employer receives an allowance of £15,000 to offset against this payment, payable to HM Revenue and Customs via PAYE. For construction firms already paying the Construction Industry Training Board levy, they are working with these employers on a temporary transition package.

What is available?

Currently, a Surveying Technician Level 3 apprenticeship and a Chartered Surveyor Level 6 degree apprenticeship have been approved by the Department for Education and are ready for employers to recruit new starters or upskill existing staff. The Associate assessment is the final examination for the Surveying Technician apprenticeship, while the APC is the end point for the Chartered Surveyor degree apprenticeship. These programmes cover the following areas of practice:

  • building surveying;
  • commercial property;
  • residential property;
  • land (level 3 only);
  • minerals and waste management (level 6 only);
  • planning and development;
  • project management;
  • rural (level 6 only);
  • valuation;
  • quantity surveying.

We are working with other employers and universities to develop other apprenticeships and areas of practice.

Funding and eligibility

All businesses get 90% funding for an apprentice’s training, assessment and certification, whether from their own levy payments or from the government, though some small businesses recruiting young people may be eligible to receive 100% of the costs.

Only apprentices whose workplace is based in England are funded under this system. To be eligible, the individual must spend 50% or more of their time at work, be training to a higher level of qualification, or be retraining to an equivalent or lower level provided that the apprenticeship is in a different area and giving them substantive new skills.

Barry Cullen is RICS Future Talent Director

Further information