Since the fall of 2019, the RICS qualification team has seen a record number of candidates submitting applications for the qualification process. Even now, during the uncertain times brought on by the pandemic and the impact it is having on the economy, the importance of standards, professionalism and the confidence that the public has in the RICS qualification remains firm.
With staff operating out of Toronto and Sao Paulo, we have been focusing on supporting candidates as they seek to obtain the RICS qualification and take the next steps in their careers.
A big part of this success is tied to our strategy to focus on building relationships and working closely with organizations who hire qualified professionals. We offer them entry to our free Talent Management Program (TMP) - email us for more details.
TMP is a program that shows a shared commitment to identify and train employees in the professionalism, ethics and standards that provide the foundation for building confidence in the built environment. Through the TMP, we work with our lead contact within a firm to identify candidates for qualification and ensure their employees have access to the thought leadership and learnings required to excel in their jobs. Providing candidates with a support network and workshops has proven to be a successful focus for us and the firms where the newly qualified professionals work.
Focusing on supporting employers as they tool their employees for the ever-changing workplace means we can set up the infrastructure to build in-house support systems for all our TMPs. Candidates have access to a network of counsellors, mentors and peers that encourage them and help them prepare for their final interviews. When they do sit in front of a panel of their peers for their assessment, they’re more confident and more likely to be successful.
The global pandemic has forced us to rethink what we do and how we do it. This shift to working from home has been a transition but as a large region with lots of space to cover, we have the tools to support candidates as we work remotely.
Candidates have support online to help them every step of the way. My team is always a phone call away to answer questions and, of course, they have their own support networks if they work in a TMP. On top of all this, we’ve added regular webinars to the mix.
Starting this year, we’re hosting a new set of supports we call RICS Connect and it’s all about connecting local talent with local employers but it’s much more than that. RICS Connect reaches out to those in the industry who are RICS-curious and explains the value of the qualification in very broad terms.
We’re starting with webinars – interactive sessions that explain the value of our qualifications, include a brief interview with a qualified professional to speak to their experience and ends with an opportunity to ask me what’s on their minds. Though the first session was meant for the RICS-curious, it coaxed candidates out of the woodwork who were in danger of letting their candidacies lapse.
More webinars are planned to speak to direct needs of candidates who are already pulling together their submissions. We’ll talk about competencies, case studies, final assessments and end with a special ask-the-assessor opportunity. These are all workshops we’ve held at our TMP firms in the past but doing a webinar version means we can offer a similar level of support for those who don’t work for a big firm regardless of their location.
There’s a lot more in the works – like figuring out how to offer virtual networking, for example – but I’m really proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish while in lockdown. We’ve learned to adapt and some of our new methods of supporting candidates will be in use long after we’ve been released to rethink normal.
If you’re a qualified professional and you want to get involved in the qualifications process, contact my team to learn how you can be a counsellor, assessor or brand ambassador. And if you’re RICS-curious or know someone who is, we’d love to hear from you – we’ll add you to our mailing list so you don’t miss out on an upcoming session.
Candidates have support online to help them every step of the way. My team is always a phone call away to answer questions.
Team Lead, Professional Assessment
Becky has been with RICS for over ten years.
She started with a role in customer service in the UK, moved to Canada three years ago to work with candidates in the assessment process and now leads the qualifications team in the Americas.