Becoming a home surveyor through Sava

The traditional route into surveying for residential properties can be challenging. To become a RICS member, all surveyors must go through the difficult task of gaining a degree and completing a set amount of work experience.

Sava offers a viable alternative to this route through its well-structured course. If you struggle with university or are already committed to a job and want to transition, we fully believe Sava is the way to go.

At GB Home Surveys, we’re proud to partner with Sava. Several of our surveyors have become RICS Associate Members through this route. Now, we want to highlight the benefits of training with Sava to anyone who might be considering a career in home surveying.

What is Sava?



Sava was renamed in 2018, having previously been known as National Energy Services (NES). Its mission is to ‘make buildings better’, and one of the ways it approaches this task is through training.

The most well-known Sava qualification for entrance into residential surveying is the Diploma in Residential Surveying and Valuation (DRSV). This Level 6 qualification (equivalent to a degree) gives those without experience the chance to join the field without sacrificing their existing commitments. 

The Diploma is studied part-time and takes around two years. It gives its students a pathway straight into RICS as an Associate Member.

Benefits of working with a Sava-qualified surveyor

The DRSV was introduced in 2014. Since then, it has played a key role in transforming the profession, particularly helping small- and medium-sized businesses to upskill their teams with qualified professional surveyors.

Here’s why the Sava qualification is so crucial.

In the early 2000s, everything looked pretty good. Students would head off to university, and many would specialise in surveying. They’d then leave their institution and spend a couple of years training on the job before completing their Assessment of Professional Competence (APC). At this point, they could apply for RICS membership and become a chartered surveyor.

However, the financial crash of 2007-2008 changed all that. With many businesses forced to close, a significant chunk of existing chartered surveyors had no choice but to leave the profession. Without any job prospects, university students could no longer afford to work either. We can still feel this impact, with RICS noting in 2019 that ‘…the average residential surveyor and valuer is in their late 50s’.

To prevent skills from being lost, it’s crucial to bring new students into the field without compromising their work experience or training quality.

Some large organisations could afford to set up their own graduate training schemes as the market recovered. This was wonderful. But it left smaller businesses even more isolated because graduates would be less likely to work for them.

The Sava qualification is incredibly in-depth and provides the student with as much knowledge as a standard degree. However, it’s completely specialised, so everything they learn is relevant to their future job. Completing it part-time ensures it’s open to anyone who feels they’d like to change careers.

In short, the DRSV allows you to study to precisely the same level as a university course, but it takes half the time.

Why GB Home Surveys is so pleased to partner Sava

As a medium-sized business, the DRSV from Sava has been immensely beneficial to us. In fact, several of our surveyors qualified through this route, and they continue to work to the highest standards.

Sava’s qualification has allowed us to recruit knowledgeable, well-trained newcomers to the field, to provide exactly the same service as surveyors who qualified by the traditional route. It’s helping us expand quickly and continue to provide top-quality home surveys.

Residential surveying is a highly fulfilling role with outstanding job satisfaction. We would absolutely recommend the Sava DRSV route to anyone looking for a career change.

Here at GB Home Surveys, we’re always interested to hear from surveyors, whether present or future! If you’re interested in joining a fast-growing, friendly independent chartered surveyors that’s been providing market-leading advice and services for more than 30 years, we’d love to hear from you. Drop your CV over to us at contact@gbhomesurveys.co.uk. We’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

Looking for a quote, or maybe you have a question? Get in touch today.

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