Volunteering with RICS is a chance to give back to the construction industry for Anne Pugh.
Pugh, who is nearing the homestretch of her career in Oakville, Ontario, Canada, currently serves as an assessor for APC candidates in both the Quantity Surveying and Construction as well as the Project Management Pathways. "There's a certain amount of satisfaction in giving guidance to people on how they can progress in their career. That's particularly true when you get good candidates. It's wonderful to see people who have been well trained, are meeting standards, and are coming up the ranks of the profession," says Pugh.
As an assessor, she normally takes two hours to review an APC candidate's written submission, then two to three hours for the assessment process. That includes time to hold a phone call with the other assessors and Chair and decide - based on the candidate's submission - where to focus their questions during the assessment.
Sometimes she does assessments in person, and sometimes the assessments are done by videoconference with assessors from across North America. "If the candidates don't pass, hopefully you can give them some constructive, positive feedback. Even if they do pass, I try to tell them what are their skills gaps that they might want to work on in the future," says Pugh. Previously, she volunteered doing preliminary assessments for APC candidates, reviewing the applicants' submissions to see if they were complete enough to go forward with the APC.
Originally from the U.K., Pugh moved to Canada with a previous employer who was working on a joint venture with a Canadian company. "They asked me to come over, and I did, and I liked it, so I stayed." Pugh is now a project manager with EllisDon, a construction services company, where she enjoys the variety of work: "It's a challenge. There's always a new problem to try to solve. That's the most rewarding part of it."
For this long-time RICS professional, her support of RICS continued after her move to Canada because it's an international organization. "Had it just been a U.K. organization, I wouldn't still be involved in the RICS," says Pugh.
Pugh believes it's part of a professional's role to give back to their profession. "I think sometimes, if you care about the profession that you work for, you have to help the profession," says Pugh, whether that's by organizing professional development events, sitting on committees, or volunteering as an assessor. Replacing volunteer assessors with paid staff wouldn't be the same, she argues: "For the assessments, people are being assessed by their peers, somebody who's in the industry and knows what it's like."
“I think sometimes, if you care about the profession that you work for, you have to help the profession”
Project Manager, EllisDon
Over her career, Pugh has seen many changes in quantity surveying as a profession: "It's changed because of the way the clients procure the contract, with clients wanting to transfer risk onto contractors."
She would like to see RICS become more widely recognized in North America, in part because of the number of people who give cost estimating advice without any particular qualification: "Anyone can call themselves a quantity surveyor, but if you've reached the RICS level, then people know that you're really qualified. Otherwise, it could be seen as an unregulated industry."