Week 37: month 18

As with the previous three monthly-meeting articles, it is essential that the 18-month meeting is concluded properly. Time is running out fast so it is important to plan the next six months well.

The counsellor and supervisor should confirm the candidate’s plan for the next three to six months and clarify any action points agreed, not forgetting to focus on the future training plan.

Once all the 18-month discussions have been completed, they should be documented on the RICS APC counsellors progress report template, which can be downloaded from www.rics.org.

There will invariably be the need for additional training and this should be properly planned and implemented as soon as possible. Direction, support and training are often great motivators and will give the candidate a feeling of progression.

Keep developing the following:

APC style competency-based testing Develop a range of technical questions to test a candidate’s knowledge, competency and ability. You should be seeking out areas of perceived weakness.

It is a good idea to question a candidate in the same way that the assessors do, focusing on the candidate’s declared competencies and real-life experiences.

Rules of Conduct The Rules of Conduct have changed. There is a new Rules of Conduct guidance note that I have helped the RICS develop to ensure candidates, supervisors and counsellors are focused and fully aware how the RICS is going to assess Rules of Conduct at the formal assessment interview. Download the guidance note at www.rics.org and the new Rules of Conduct at www.rics.org/newregulation.

Support the candidate’s development of the final assessment presentation 

Keep making opportunities every month for the candidate to deliver a 10-minute presentation on a relevant subject, either something applicable to their APC or a current affair in the industry.

The critical analysis Time has passed quickly and you are likely to be faced with a full-draft copy of the critical analysis to read. Make sure you do it justice and be critical to give the candidate the best opportunity to get it right first time.

The final assessment documentation checklist Obtain a copy of this document from the RICS website. Make sure you have the correct version for the APC route the candidate is following and make sure you understand every aspect of the check list.

It is important not to mess this up. A mistake here may end up in your candidate having their documentation sent back and deferred to the next assessment period six months later. Also get your candidate to develop a draft copy of every document on the check list for the 21-month meeting. This gives the candidate two to three months to revise or adjust any mistakes.

At the conclusion of the 18-month meeting the candidate, supervisor and counsellor should:

  • Agree the issues discussed in the 18-month meeting
  • Agree actions and targets for the next three to six months
  • Ensure training and professional development opportunities are set to complete in time for the final assessment
  • Sign off relevant achieved competency levels and focus on the few remaining to be achieved in the next three to six months
  • Complete the formal counsellor’s 18- month meeting template, available to download from RICS.

Keep focused and motivated. Three quarters of the process has been completed already and time is passing quickly.

Next week: month 21 meeting

By Jon Lever, managing director of DeLever, APC chairman of assessors, RICS training adviser and RICS licensed assessor trainer. DeLever produces APC resources, training and software: www.delever.com

Competence: Supplier Management

Supplier management is critical. Recognising the difference between contracting out and managing suppliers is also critical. The key is to identify who is responsible. But does contracting out absolve responsibility for the management of suppliers or just focus it on to a single source?

It is the nature of the construction and real estate industries that makes supplier management so critical think back to your economics lectures. One of the characteristics of this market is its fragmentation lots of different skill sets required at very specific time periods to complete a successful project or contract.

Much of the management of suppliers within many companies is well established and may be operated on a person-to-person basis. This can be challenging to the APC candidate trying to demonstrate competence.

Don’t be scared to articulate these personal relationships as they are often what make the process work but try and place them within the overall objectives set for supplier management within your organisation. Unless you do this it will be difficult to develop a logical structured portfolio of evidence.

At level 1, you must demonstrate knowledge and nderstanding of how to manage suppliers using a logical process to ensure the cost and quality of the service received meets organisational requirements.

At level 2, the focus turns to applying your knowledge and understanding by using an existing process to manage suppliers to ensure that the cost and quality of the service received meets organisational requirements.

At level 3, you must show how you have ‘helped’ define organisational requirements for supplier services. You must also develop an appropriate approach to the management of an individual supplier or group of suppliers, based on the scale of the service and the risk of service failure.

By Ben Elder, director at the College of Estate Management, the leading provider of distance learning to the property industry. He is a member of the RICS valuation faculty board and an RICS ATC assessor. Go to www.cem.ac.uk