Commercial property firm Innes England is celebrating the success of two of its young professionals who have qualified as members of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) during lockdown
Harriett Dexter and Andrew Smith, who are both graduates from the University of Reading and work in the firm’s Professional Services team, passed the Assessment of Professional Competence (APC) in lockdown. The qualification requires a minimum of two years’ structured training, including practical experience and a written submission, leading to full membership of the RICS.
The final assessment interview is usually face-to-face with a panel of assessors but, due to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak, the RICS decided to deliver all assessment interviews online until the end of July.
Andrew Smith, who is a rating expert and is also a member of the Institute of Revenues, Rating and Valuation (IRRV) said: “I’m delighted and relieved to finally achieve chartered status.
“Once the Skype interview was underway, everything worked fine with no technical hiccups. It was a useful distraction to worry about the technology rather than the interview. I just had to get on with it when it started. Our in-house study sessions and mock interview helped to ensure I was fully prepared. I’m now looking forward to continuing my career with the firm as a qualified surveyor.”
Harriett Dexter passed the APC at her first attempt. “I’m proud to have passed my APC first time,” she said. “The support and guidance from the team at Innes England has been invaluable and has helped me with this achievement.
“Every month everyone involved in the scheme meets to discuss different topics and share ideas and I’ve gained experience in all aspects of work.”
This is the latest success for Innes England’s RICS-accredited training programme, which runs across the firm’s three regional offices in Derby, Leicester and Nottingham. The firm currently has seven other trainees on its APC programme.
Head of Professional Services Steve Holland said: “The APC is, quite rightly, a challenging assessment. The national first-time pass rate on the valuation pathway is about 50% so qualifying as a chartered surveyor is a fantastic achievement and marks an important career milestone.
“We firmly believe in nurturing home-grown talent and we're proud to support our graduates throughout the learning process. They gain a great deal of confidence and experience, which prepares them well for when they qualify.”