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News & opinion

30 JAN 2020

Counselling future surveyors

As the built environment evolves, there is a growing demand for skilled practitioners who can offer the best technical advice and reassure clients they are working to the highest professional standards and ethics.

This demand for skilled professionals has ensured the value of RICS Chartered status has never been greater. The wider industry recognises the benefits RICS professionals bring, and candidates who begin the APC process are committed to the work required to navigate their way to Chartered status.

To assist them in their journey, each candidate has an RICS-qualified counsellor guiding and supporting them. Counsellors work with candidates one-on-one, reviewing applications and approving them before submission dates, and ensuring they are fully prepared to sit their final assessments.

The direction from counsellors is invaluable to candidates going through the rigorous APC process. To understand how counsellors’ support candidates, we speak to Anil Singh Rana FRICS, a Construction Project Manager and the recipient of the RICS Matrics Young Surveyor of the Year Awards 2016 in the Mentor category. Rana has mentored 66 Chartered Surveyors (MRICS) in the UK, Australia, Dubai, South Africa and Mauritius.

Why did you choose to become a counsellor?

I am incredibly passionate about surveying and mentoring young people, and the best way to sustain my passion is to give back voluntarily to the profession. Being a counsellor and mentor is essential for me to encourage, motivate, guide, inspire and pass knowledge to the next generation of chartered surveyors in my country, Mauritius, and around the world. For me, from a counsellor’s standpoint, it has always been about continually improving standards in the profession, maintain quality and bring new talent for an inclusive, diverse and forward-thinking institution.

It is all about making real changes to people’s lives by shaping the environment in and around them for an inclusive world and ultimately, leaving a lasting legacy to inspire the next generation of construction professionals with RICS being at the core of it.

Anil Singh Rana

How long have you been counselling RICS candidates for?

I have been counselling, mentoring and providing advice to RICS candidates for more than ten years and have assisted RICS in Africa in promoting and raising the standards of the profession.

How do you help the candidates pass their APC?

Now that we live in a “technology-based internet society”, despite the time differences, communication through various technological applications such as Facebook, WhatsApp and Skype has never been easier. APC support can now be provided to struggling APC candidates worldwide via instant communication, thanks to the social media phenomena.  I communicate with candidates every week from reviewing their competencies till the Final Assessment Interview, and this could be months or years until they gain the MRICS letters.

What advice would you give to someone thinking about a career in the industry?

Regardless of gender, age and background, the construction industry has a place for everyone with the right attitude, interest and dedication.

Construction is one of the best industries to be in due to its unique technical challenges and opportunities, and every project brings its own complexities and team dynamics. It is varied, fun and is unlikely to be a deskbound office job with plenty of exciting opportunities, notably with the rapid growth of real estates and smart cities.

The built environment touches every person, nation and business, and with a growing demand for skilled professionals, a counsellor’s role is integral in assisting candidates through their journey in becoming chartered surveyors with the required skills to help shape the future.