APC competencies: revisions to land pathways

The path ahead

2 May 2018

After extensive consultation, RICS has revised its land pathways and competencies. Chris Lindsay outlines the changes in the new framework

In collaboration with RICS-qualified professionals, we have reviewed all our pathways and competencies, and the new framework will come into effect on 1 August.

The comments we received during 2 consultations in 2016 and 2017 have shaped each of the pathways, and the changes we have made are detailed online in the following documents:

  • a new requirements and competencies guide
  • a guide for each individual pathway
  • a document summarising changes, including mandatory competencies and a pathway-by-pathway overview
  • a Q&A document that sets out the background to the review, the process undertaken and guidance on the transitional arrangements for candidates who are already enrolled.

New land pathway

We are introducing a new pathway into the Land cluster, and this is entitled Land and Resources. It is designed to be applicable across a wide range of land and resource sectors, and it combines the best qualities of environment, geomatics, minerals and waste management, planning and development and rural professionals, with the aim of producing a well-rounded chartered land surveyor.

Candidates taking this pathway will be professionals working in land management, the environment, infrastructure, planning and development – including rights of light and neighbourly matters – land administration, geography, real estate and extractive industries. They will need a broad understanding of their role in the entire property lifecycle from land registration and mapping through management and development to remediation and re-use.

The pathway is unique in that it has no core competency requirements. Candidates can instead choose from a wider list of optional competencies, although specific areas will need to be demonstrated to achieve an alternative, pathway-specific chartered designation as set out in Table 1.

Table 1 shows Competencies required for alternative chartered designations

Table 1

The 5 current pathways in the Land cluster – Environmental Surveying, Geomatics, Minerals and Waste Management, Planning and Development, and Rural – have also been reviewed and updated by experts. In some cases, there will be significant changes and new competencies will be introduced, such as Energy and renewable resources.

There is also greater flexibility for candidates, as they will be able to choose at least one competency from the entire list on 90% of pathways in the new framework, including all those in the Land cluster. This represents an increase from 55% in the current model.

New property technology competencies have also been developed – Big data, Open data, and Smart cities and intelligent building – while existing technology competencies such as Data management and Construction technology and environmental services have been modernised.

Mandatory competencies

These are the professional practice, interpersonal, business and management skills that are considered common to, and necessary for, all RICS professionals.

Proposed changes to the competencies were overwhelmingly supported in the consultation, and will be introduced as part of the new framework. They include a new competency, Inclusive environments, mandatory to Level 1 for all candidates. This deals with the principles to ensure accessible and inclusive environments, recognising users’ diverse demands and the need for people of all ages and abilities to be central to the process. There will also be greater emphasis on diversity and inclusion topics, and new detailed descriptors for each mandatory competency in the requirements and competencies guide.

Assessment Resource Centre

Any changes to the framework need to be reflected in the Assessment Resource Centre (ARC), a tool that allows candidates to manage all their training, CPD and selected competency records online. User guides and instructional videos for the ARC are available on the RICS website.

The ARC is also where counsellors can support candidates through each stage of the final assessment and, when required, sign off competencies and candidates’ summaries of experience. All new enrolments in English from 31 January 2017 and all final assessments taken in English have had to use the ARC since 31 July last year.

Chris Lindsay is RICS Global Education and Qualification Standards Manager

Further information