RICS APC Final Interview – An Assessors Opinion

14th October 2015   |   Jamie Barrett   |   Reading Time: 3 minutes

In addition to his role as Commercial Director, Darren Foy is an Assessor for the RICS Assessment of Professional Competence (APC) Quantity Surveying and Construction pathway.

Here Darren shares his opinion and tips for people nearing the end of their APC. 


Twice a year the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) throws open its doors and admits newly Chartered Surveyors to its ranks.

If only it was that easy. In actual fact the Institution arranges a series of assessment panels around the country and prospective members sit a one hour final interview, the culmination of several years of hard work on their respective Assessment of Professional Competence (APC) pathway.

Much debate could be had regarding the RICS’s choice of assessment method and it certainly does have its critics. If there are flaws in the system, which I believe there are, it is not in the final interview itself.

I have been an assessor for the Quantity Surveying and Construction pathway since 2008. In that time I have assessed just under 40 candidates with varying outcomes.  From this experience I can draw a few conclusions.

The one hour spent in front of an assessment panel is not for the unprepared, which is exactly the point. In some respects the hour is nowhere long enough but it does sort the ‘wheat from the chaff’ as they say.

As assessors we fully expect the candidate to be nervous, I would be worried if someone wasn’t. We make allowance for this, what we don’t make allowance for is candidates being unprepared.

So how do you make the best of your one hour and improve your chances of being passed?

Here are a few pointers:

1) Preparation is everything.

2) Make sure your paperwork is perfect. This means spelling, grammar and formatting. Treat it with the same care and attention as you would a submission to your most important client.

3) Practice your presentation, then practice it even more. It is not possible to practice your presentation too many times. If you nail that first 10 minutes then you set yourself up well for the remaining 50 minutes and you give us a confidence boost as well.

4) Don’t give the assessors any handouts. We won’t read them. We have to listen to you, gauge your presentation skills and also make notes. We can’t do all of that and read your handouts.

5) Know your submission inside out. Your assessment is based around it. What message does it give us when you fail to answer a question about something you have written yourself? If you’ve told us that you’ve been on a training course about rainscreen cladding, please be able to tell us something about it!

6) There are no trick questions. If you don’t understand the question, please ask for it to be repeated or rephrased. We want you to pass.

7) Please don’t make up an answer. They are our questions and we know the answers. If you guess and are wrong, that is worse than admitting that you don’t know.

8) When you don’t know the answer it is acceptable to admit as much and state how you will find out the answer.

9) We do expect you know most of the answers, Point 8 should only apply by exception.

10) The RICS is an ‘Institution’. It is not an ‘Institute’.

11) Refer to Point 1.

Please remember that the hour interview is the end of the road. In theory it should be nothing more than a rubber-stamp. You have worked hard for a number of years, your counsellor and supervisor have assessed you all along the way and they think you are ready. Go prove them right.

The feeling when the notification comes through from the RICS that you are now entitled to use the letters MRICS after your name will leave you walking on air for days. Or at least it did for me. But that is as it should be!

These opinions are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect those of the RICS. I am always happy to answer queries regarding the APC, the interview or the RICS itself. Please get in touch.