Revising competencies: a new road

The path ahead

15 June 2018

The Quantity Surveying and Construction and the Project Management pathways have both been revised as part of an overhaul of the competencies framework, writes Chris Lindsay

Every day, we hear stories about how the skills of RICS professionals help to shape our world. These skills are evident all around us, and are in ever-increasing demand. However, we need to ensure our pathways to qualification recognise the diverse ways in which people enter our profession, while at the same time reflecting the changing nature of their practice.

In collaboration with RICS-qualified professionals, the organisation has therefore reviewed its pathways and competencies, and the comments we received in two consultations in 2016 and 2017 have shaped the revision of each pathway. The new framework will launch on 1 August, and the changes can be found on the RICS website.

These include:

  • the new requirements and competencies guide
  • each individual pathway guide
  • a document summarising the changes made, covering the mandatory competencies as well as an overview of each pathway
  • 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.

Second-stage consultation

One of the main outcomes of the first consultation in 2016 was the desire to see the proposed changes made in the individual pathway guides, the detailed documents that set out the requirements for particular areas of practice.

Working groups were formed for each area with representatives from RICS professional groups and employers, to draft the content for the new guides. These were then presented as part of a second-stage consultation that ran for 2 months in autumn 2017.

The wider optional competency list means more choice for APC candidates

We asked for your views on the following 4 key statements.

  • 'The competencies for your selected pathway(s) reflect practice in your country'; 93% of respondents either agreed or strongly agreed with this.
  • 'The competencies for your selected pathway(s) reflect the competencies required at the point of qualification'; 92% either agreed or strongly agreed.
  • 'Non-technical skills and competencies are appropriately set out in the mandatory requirements'; 97% either agreed or strongly agreed.
  • 'The pathways and competencies requirements provide an effective basis for assessing the competencies needed to be a chartered surveyor. The competency descriptors are clear and unambiguous' 90% either agreed or strongly agreed.

The proposed changes to the Quantity Surveying and Construction pathway were minimal: the Building information modelling (BIM) management competency has been removed from the list of optional competencies and is now embedded in others on the pathway, while the Project evaluation competency has been renamed Project feasibility analysis.

On the Project Management pathway the update is more significant, with the new competencies Managing projects and Leading projects, people and teams replacing some existing ones. There’s now a much wider optional competency list and greater choice for candidates.

Please refer to the summary of changes, which can be found online, for a full overview of each pathway.

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, that will be 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.

Proposed changes to the competencies were overwhelmingly supported in the consultation and will be introduced as part of the new framework

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), the 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 the 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.

Any candidates who enrol before 1 August this year will be able to come forward for assessment on the current version of the pathway, and we expect the last assessments on this to take place in late 2020.

If you have any questions or comments about the new framework, please do contact us.

Chris Lindsay is Global Education and Qualification Standards Manager

Further information