Week 39: month 21

This article describes the candidate’s role and preparation leading up to the month 21 meeting.

Candidate Preparation

The counsellor or supervisor should refer back to the previous APC advice articles from the month three, nine, and 15 meetings and focus on producing a summary of the candidate’s experience and competency development to date.

In addition to reviewing the APC guides candidates should consider booking and attending the meeting and the pre-meeting documentation, comprising:

  • APC diary
  • log book
  • professional development
  • record of progress
  • interim assessment achievement records (summary of experience and training completed)
  • critical analysis (final draft)
  • final assessment achievement records (in final draft)
  • plan of pre-submission documentation collation and presentation.

The candidate’s main aim for the month 21 meeting is to make sure they are fully aware of what lies ahead in the next three months. The focus should be on:

Critical Analysis

Candidates should put the final touches to the critical analysis and review comments from the relevant contacts who have been willing to read it. They should discuss the comments received with their supervisor – and counsellor – and make sure that the critical analysis is robust and completed to the best of their ability.


Candidates must be aware that they have to apply to sit the APC at the relevant assessment period. Generally the RICS will contact the candidate to make sure they are aware that they are invited to come forward for assessment. Candidates can see the critical dates at www.delever.com and download the free APC information sheet.

If the RICS has not already contacted the candidate a few weeks before the start of any of the critical application date periods, candidates should contact RICS membership operations. Failure to tender a valid application within the set time periods will result in the candidate being deferred six months to the next assessment period.


Candidates must gain a full understanding of the extent of the pre-submission documentation required. The RICS publishes a definitive checklist for all different routes and types of candidate, available at www.rics.org/myrics/apc.

Candidates should again make sure they are aware of the critical pre-submission periods because, if they miss them, they cannot come forward for assessment for another six months.

The month 21 meeting is an excellent time for the candidates to resolve any outstanding issues relating to final levels of competency.

The last few months of the APC process can be very busy. It is the time to plan meticulously what needs to be done, and ensure that deadlines are met.

The RICS does not accept anything beyond the finite cut-off dates.

The mark of the professional candidate is one who has all of the final stages of the APC process well within their stride.

Next week: month 21 counsellor review, part 3 – counsellor and supervisor preparation

  • Jon Lever has set up an APC discussion forum on Facebook. Full details at www.delever.com.

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

Competency: Management of the built environment

This is what Chartered Surveyors do. At level 1 you are required to ‘demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the importance of sustainable management of the built environment as part of the urban planning and regeneration process’.

This is very close to the mandatory competency of sustainability, so you should be able to draw on the evidence you presented there.

At level 2 you need to demonstrate how you ‘apply your knowledge of sustainable management of the built environment … and demonstrate an understanding of the roles played by public, private and not-for-profit sectors’. Take note of some case studies in your notes about how and why appraisal techniques were used in the decision-making process in a project you have worked on.

At level 3 you must provide evidence of reasoned advice, write reports and negotiate on all matters relating to sustainable management of the built environment. This should include the roles played by public, private and not-for-profit sectors.

Again, make an audit trail through your notes to show why and how options were rejected, as well as why and how options were selected.

Do not forget you can demonstrate your competence by referring to environmental tools and how you have used them. These include the environmental impact assessment, the strategic environmental assessment, sustainability checklists such those from the South East England Development Agency and the Buildings Research Establishment and the green guide to specification and BREEAM, including eco-homes.

Remember also to refer to the RICS information and research documents such as Surveying Sustainability:
a Short Guide for the Property Professional (June 2007) and A Green Profession? (June 2007).

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