What qualifications do I need to become a Chartered Surveyor?
Chartered surveying is an extremely rewarding – and potentially lucrative – career path for anyone looking to work in the property industry.
It’s a rich and varied role, which can see you get involved in many different aspects of property and real estate, from buying, selling and leasing residential or commercial property to valuing land, managing property portfolios or consulting on planning, development and infrastructure.
Chartered Surveyors are highly qualified professionals and are held in high regard because of the amount of studying and training needed to achieve chartered status.
So, as you’d expect, the path to becoming a Chartered Surveyor isn’t as straightforward as the route to other professions, and the qualifications you need are very specific.
The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) is the surveying industry’s trade body, and to become a Chartered Surveyor, you must pass its professional exams.
RICS has a strict code of conduct, and its registered members must adhere to a set of professional standards governing the services they provide. Only RICS members and fellows are allowed to call themselves – and trade as – Chartered Surveyors.
However, once qualified as a RICS registered surveyor, it can open-up a host of career opportunities in the property industry.
What skills and qualifications do I need to become a Chartered Surveyor?
Becoming a RICS registered Chartered Surveyor takes years of study and/or work experience.
Aside from an interest in property, some of the skills you’ll need include good English, maths and communication skills. The latter is crucial, as negotiating, developing good business relationships, and presenting information clearly and objectively are essential skills for the role.
You’ll need to be comfortable meeting a variety of people every day, from homeowners to company directors, council bosses or developers. You’ll also need to enjoy travelling, as you’ll probably spend much of your time on the road visiting various properties and locations.
Most Chartered Surveyors are naturally curious, detail-focused and able to identify potential problems and recommend the best solutions. These skills tend to develop over time, with experience.
In terms of qualifications, arguably the most popular way to become a Chartered Surveyor is by gaining a RICS-accredited degree, followed by the Assessment of Professional Competence (APC). The APC is a work-based training placement. It takes at least two years to complete and ensures you’re competent to practice and maintain RICS’ professional standards.
If you graduated without a RICS-accredited degree, you can take a post-graduate one before embarking on an APC, which will allow you to achieve chartered status.
And if you already work in the property sector, hold a relevant degree, and have at least five years’ post-degree work experience, there is a fast-tracked 12-month version of the APC that will allow you to achieve RICS membership.
If you don’t hold a relevant degree, another way of joining the profession is with the SAVA School of Surveying. Its Diploma in Residential Surveying & Valuation is a Level 6 qualification that’s overseen by the Awarding Body for the Built Environment and approved for direct entry into RICS. It means you can join RICS as an Associate member and trade as a surveyor, offering Homebuyer Reports, valuations and other property surveys.
And in a bid to encourage more young people into the industry, many RICS registered Chartered Surveyors’ firms offer graduate placements or apprenticeship schemes to enable younger candidates to work towards an APC without having to go to university.
What’s the difference between a surveyor and a Chartered Surveyor?
Becoming a RICS registered Chartered Survey is a hallmark of quality that shows you possess all the relevant skills, qualifications and experience to practice. The difference between a surveyor and a Chartered Surveyor is vast.
Anyone can operate as a surveyor in the UK, and although many may work for reputable businesses, they don’t need any formal accredited training or experience.
As we’ve explained above, Chartered Surveyors must undergo intensive professional training and work experience, as well as regular personal development, assessments, and training to achieve chartered status from RICS.
Interested in developing a career as a Chartered Surveyor?
GB Home Surveys is always looking for enthusiastic and talented surveyors to join our growing team. Whether you’re at the start of your surveying career or looking to develop your skills with one of the UK’s leading independent firms of Chartered Surveyors, we’d love to hear from you. We’ve provided trusted services for almost 30 years and have helped a range of clients across the UK to buy, sell and invest in residential property with confidence and peace of mind.
For more information, send your CV and a covering letter to email@example.com, and we’ll be in touch for an informal chat.