Being based in Birmingham I was fortunate to have the local Assessment of Professional Competence (APC) coordinator and a number of APC candidates in the same office. The candidates varied as my associates were undertaking the building surveying and project management pathways as well as my pathway, quantity surveying. This gave us all a good range of experience and knowledge which was critical in achieving a sound understanding of the construction industry.
As part of the Faithful+Gould APC programme, all Birmingham APC candidates are invited to meet on a monthly basis. These sessions were structured so each month focused upon a particular subject and three candidates were pre-selected to prepare a presentation, present to the group and be questioned on their subject. A number of fellow candidates and I supplemented these sessions with specific quantity surveying question and answer sessions to gain experience of responding in an interview type scenario. This experience, whilst uncomfortable at the time, is invaluable in preparation for the final interview where you have to present your critical analysis and receive questions.
I found the facilities that Faithful+Gould bestows upon the candidates to be excellent.
I found the facilities that Faithful+Gould bestows upon the candidates to be excellent. The MyAPC website especially, is a hive of information containing content from study packs and example submissions to live discussions. This allows all candidates on the Faithful+Gould APC Programme to come together to discuss their experiences and assist others who require it, regardless of location.
The questions within the study packs provided a good basis for revision and the ability to log in to isurv was essential in finding the comprehensive answer needed. It was often the case that the specific answer was difficult to find but in hindsight, this required me to learn around the subject and therefore was an excellent way of establishing how to make the answer concise. Another important facility is having access to www.building.com as this allowed me and my fellow candidates to keep up-to-date with the latest news and changes within the construction industry.
...with hard work, dedication and support both at work and at home, the road to success was not as daunting as expected!
From my experience, the most difficult element of the APC programme is finding a balance between work, family life and studying. At the start of the APC programme the light at the end of the tunnel seems a very long way away but with hard work, dedication and support both at work and at home, the road to success was not as daunting as expected!
Having experienced the APC programme and achieved Membership of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (MRICS) I have been able to understand the benefits that perhaps are sometimes not appreciated. Working for Faithful+Gould allows you to obtain a wide range of experience and learn from colleagues of different disciplines with diverse strengths and weaknesses. All this allows you to become a more competent professional and carry out your work with greater confidence and efficiency.
All the hard work and sacrifices you have to make in order to achieve MRICS are soon forgotten but the delight in knowing that you have achieved a mark of professionalism will last forever.