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26 AUG 2020

Becoming Chartered: Achieving distinction within the industry

We meet one of our newly-qualified Chartered Surveyors, Ahmad Hadeed MRICS, to discuss the APC process and what he learned along the way.

Congratulations on achieving your MRICS status. Why did you decide to pursue your APC and become chartered by RICS?

Hearing about RICS during my time at University and work place as a graduate, made me really want to pursue the opportunity to become recognised as one of the people at the highest level of standard in their Industry. Achieving chartered status is a great distinction among professionals in our industry and sets example for clients that you are striving to achieve the best for your profession.

What did you learn during the APC process that you think will benefit you as your career evolves?

Being organised and punctual is one of the first lessons I acquired during the APC journey. Secondly, the learnings from each competency and case study eventually evolved into aiding my own self development to gain better outcomes in the future. For example, a key issue in my case study was about material selection and having learnt the implications of changing building material during construction, I’m now better positioned to provide informed advice in the future that reflect from my learnings during the APC process. Much of the structure in the APC reinforces text book learning with practical experience, this is what made it enjoyable and enforced the learning of that knowledge.  

What was the greatest challenge you faced during your APC?

Although not a common problem, the challenge I faced was finding a suitable Counsellor. This was due to limited exposure to RICS professionals where I worked at the time, however once a suitable person was able to help me I easily settled into the APC journey and the process became streamlined. I highly recommend finding a suitable Counsellor as it makes a world of difference once you reach the final submission and interview phase. Their guidance through that critical phase really helped me become prepared and informed of the expectations prior to making my final submission.

Choosing the case study

Simplify your case study, use plain language, choose your own topics based on your own interests or achievements, and really understand what it is you are being asked to demonstrate. There is no need to try and over complicate your case study, it does not need to be about an extravagant project either. Keep it simple and easy to understand for the readers, who are ultimately going to be your assessors.

How did your employer support your APC?

I was lucky to have found my Counselor through the company I worked for, who was a colleague. We held meetings after work hours in the office to go through my APC. Throughout the journey I was fortunate to have worked for employers that helped support and mentor me.

Do you think the APC process helped you to grow in your current role?

It definitely helped me grow, I felt that my determination to excel in the Quantity Surveying profession has increased. It also helps raise your personal profile and gives clients the assurance you are a professional who is distinctly accredited in the service you provide to them. Being MRICS demonstrates that you work to the highest industry standards.

What was a highlight for you going through the APC process?

Being assessed on the technical competencies of my profession, which is Quantity Surveying. This helped me reinforce my knowledge of the profession that I practise and preach daily. In some ways it was like going back to tertiary study again, however this time more focused on the core aspects of Quantity Surveying.

How did you compose yourself in the interview?

I practiced several mock interviews with my Counselor and by myself. I timed my presentation delivery into a paced and brisk manner which helped make all the difference. Feeling confident was key, this is where you have a chance to show the assessors you are confident in what you are presenting about. This is an attribute that is most commonly looked for by assessors when being interviewed. If there was something I felt I missed or could not answer immediately during the interview, I clarified that I would elaborate further or come back to it at the end of the interview. This gave me time to collect my thoughts and provide a better response later. 

Team spirit

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APC should not be viewed as just a means to gain MRICS status, it is a self development process and an opportunity to absorb as much knowledge as possible in order to be at your highest level of standard for your profession.

Ahmad's APC advice

My experience in the APC journey has taught me a few things that I would encourage others to do:

  • Read as much as you can from resource material about the APC process;
  • Organise and structure your time, and record your material in an organised fashion;
  • Keep your dairy up to date, speak to your Counsellor about tips and tricks on how to structure the number of days you should spend for each competency;
  • Have your summaries of experience checked a few at a time, spreading it out evenly throughout the APC timeline makes it easier;
  • Prepare and rehearse your presentation of both case study and interview, checking grammar, spelling and overall standard of presentation.

Final tip is to have something prepared to say in the outro of your interview, this can help shake off any stagnant feeling that may be there in an interview setting.