Graduate Experience: how we support your APC

Caroline Faulkner
At Faithful+Gould we know a thing or two about helping our people pass their APC. Here is my experience.

I joined the Faithful+Gould Graduate Scheme in September 2014 working in the Quantity Surveying Property team based in the London office. In 2017 I gained my Chartered qualification with the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). Prior to joining the graduate scheme, I worked for Barclays Bank for a year but realised that by combining my interest in finance with my curiosity of the construction industry I was likely to get much more enjoyment out of my career. Like many other graduates in my situation, I began to research a number of Quantity Surveying graduate schemes. I was drawn to Faithful+Gould by their outward dedication to support graduates through the Chartership process. Having now been through the process myself, I can honestly say that Faithful+Gould did not disappoint.

When I joined Faithful+Gould on the Graduate Development Programme I signed up to a Structured Training Agreement which was useful in providing me not only with a summary of what was expected of me, but also of the commitment that the company had in supporting me through the process.

This commitment started by inviting all the new graduates to attend a full day induction into the world of the Assessment of Professional Competence (APC) which guided us step by step through the process from registering with the RICS through to sitting the final assessment to become a Chartered Surveyor. Soon after joining I was pleased to see that APC support is very much within the culture of the company. Taking time to help APC candidates is something that is actively encouraged at all role levels and positions. From very early on I was given a buddy, supervisor and councillor, all of whom had a unique role in helping me to pass my APC.

One of the things Faithful+Gould provides which I found to be most useful was the internal group APC sessions to talk through different competency topics and answer questions in a group setting.  This was a great learning environment as we were able to work through answers, practice how to structure them whilst also learning from our peers. The support from Faithful+Gould meant I was able to attend the RICS CPD Foundation seminars wherever they were relevant to my work. I could broaden my understanding and help towards the 48 hours per year of ‘continuing professional development’ (CPD) that APC candidates on my chosen route were required to attain.

Taking time to help APC candidates is something that is actively encouraged at all role levels and positions.

Three years of help, guidance and support from Faithful+Gould can only get you so far it still takes a lot of individual hard work and dedication, but I know I wouldn’t have felt half as confident walking into my APC Final Assessment without the preparation and experience gained from Faithful+Gould.

Since becoming Chartered, I have been able to take on more responsibility in my day to day work, but I have also taken on the role of APC Coordinator for Faithful+Gould’s London and South East Region. This is a role within each region of Faithful+Gould, created to ensure our appraoch assisting APC candidates is the same in all offices throughout the UK. In conjunction with our external APC consultant, Faithful+Gould has developed online training modules for aspiring Supervisors to complete to make sure they are fully aware of the importance of their role and maximising their value to each candidate they supervise. In addition to this, Faithful+Gould has a number of RICS assessors throughout the UK who can assist the APC Programme in numerous ways, most notably by carrying out mock interviews for candidates nearly ready to sit their Final Assessment.

Specifically, to the London and South East region I coordinate the APC sessions that are held internally by our APC team leaders so that candidates can attend sessions relevant to their knowledge level and chosen pathway.

It is evident that APC support is very much within the culture of the company. 

In choosing to join Faithful+Gould’s graduate development scheme in 2014 I was confident that I would be gaining a wealth of experience in terms of project work. What I think is harder to put a value on is APC support. In my experience, Faithful+Gould is able to combine excellent project experiences with practical help and guidance to provide graduates with the necessary tools to develop as professionals in our selected fields.

I have been so appreciative for the time and energy committed to me that I know it is something I will endeavour to pass on throughout my career. I am glad to have had the opportunity to get involved in Faithful+Gould’s APC programme to help other candidates navigate their way through this important process.

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