You Are Not Alone When Studying For Your APC

Alice Carpenter
I joined Faithful+Gould’s Bristol office in 2014 from Exeter University Estates Department, having already completed two years of studying for my Assessment of Professional Competence (APC).

Following a period of secondment I finally achieved my ultimate goal – passing my APC. I am keen to share my journey, the challenges I went through along the way and what Faithful+Gould did to assist me to make the process as smooth as possible.

When I started at Faithful+Gould I was keen to continue my APC studies. I made quick work of arranging a new supervisor and counsellor at Faithful+Gould to ensure I was in the best position possible to sit final assessment as soon as I could.

The APC is a largely self-motivated process however I found that Faithful+Gould has a good structure in place for candidates who aspire to be chartered. This includes monthly study groups for Q&A and once through the pre-qualification process, a six month programme of training and events leading to the final assessment.

The APC is a largely self-motivated process however I found that Faithful+Gould has a good structure in place for candidates who aspire to be chartered.

There is still a great emphasis on the candidate to drive the process and a lot of planning went into organising my time to ensure that I gained as much experience as was needed to assist me in passing my APC and to make sure I kept my focus.  This included regular meetings with my mentors.

Six months after joining Faithful+Gould I was offered the opportunity to work at the University of West of England (UWE) on a secondment for three days a week. Although this was an exciting opportunity, I thought this would be quite challenging whilst completing my APC as I would be distant from my supervisor, counsellor and colleagues. I was concerned that this distance would impact on my focus and the support I received thus making an already difficult process even harder.

Fortunately, my apprehensions were unfounded. The structured Faithful+Gould qualification process provided me with sufficient support and I never felt isolated or forgotten about. My mentors suggested that I organise and chair the monthly APC meetings and I made a conscious effort to have regular supervisor and counsellor meetings. Leading up to the final assessment, I attended different Faithful+Gould offices for presentation workshops, group APC training and mock interviews. This enabled me to keep on top of my studies and sustained my motivation to achieve my ultimate goal, despite only spending limited time in the office.

Although I found myself in a university environment again, I was able to broaden my knowledge and develop my experience...

While working at UWE I was acting more independently than I had done before. There was distance between myself and my immediate colleagues yet I feel this aided my progression as a building surveyor. I was able to make use of my previous university experience which enabled me to help UWE in the successful delivery of projects. The mix of projects was very varied and included a new build research greenhouse, office refurbishments and a large services replacement project. Although I found myself in a university environment again, I was able to broaden my knowledge and develop my experience working with different teams of different compositions, in different roles and working with different contracts. All of which helped me immensely with my APC.

In November 2016, I was successfully completed my APC final assessment. The UWE secondment assisted my development and I was also able to use my previous experience and knowledge to benefit the client. Although it proved challenging, overall, I found it a rewarding and enjoyable journey and it helped me develop both my knowledge base and confidence. It must be remembered and emphasised that the APC is ultimately a self-driven process and candidates need to invest substantial time and energy, particularly over the last 12 months.

For now, the learning never stops and I continue to enjoy my career as a building surveyor. It hasn’t disappointed in being a varied career to date.

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