Row of cows at farm in Shropshire

A keen eye: careers in surveying

04/05/20A keen eye: careers in surveying

The team at Forge Property Consultants is made up of rural chartered surveyors, building surveyors and those on the pathway to becoming full members of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors. One of the key components of our business is that we are uniquely qualified to advise rural property owners. Property ranges from single dwellings through to large mixed portfolios of agricultural land, stately homes and commercial buildings. Our aim is to add value and reduce risk to our clients’ assets by applying a broad range of skills. These include valuation, landlord and tenant, planning/ development and building surveying, along with purchase and sale.   

Surveying the scene

If you have an interest in the rural economy, understanding how buildings/ land are put together and an interest in understanding what something is worth and how to maximise that asset’s value or return, then becoming a rural chartered surveyor can be an interesting and rewarding career. Good surveyors have a range of skills and knowledge. As a surveyor, you’ll need to be thorough, with a keen eye for detail. You will need to have good people skills, be a strong negotiator and be able to communicate your thoughts in a variety of ways.

The route to success as a surveyor

The most straightforward route to become a surveyor is to go to university. You’ll need to gain a degree or other professional qualification approved by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, in a subject such as surveying, construction or building engineering. If you already have a degree in another subject, you could take an accredited postgraduate course in surveying at Harper Adams or other universities. In terms of entry requirements, two or three A levels, or the equivalent, is needed for a degree, or a degree in any subject for a postgraduate course. 

If you have a relevant foundation degree or higher national diploma and are already working – for example, as a surveying technician – you may be able to study for further qualifications while you work. You can also take on a chartered surveyor degree apprenticeship, for which you’ll need four or five GCSEs at grade 9 to 4 (A* to C), or the equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship.  Another possible route is to get a postgraduate qualification through a graduate trainee scheme with a company, or through distance learning with the University College of Estate Management.

Ultimately once you have achieved the correct academic qualifications you will need to register with the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and work through Assessment of Professional Competence (APC) scheme. This requires two years of relevant work experience, the submission of an experience portfolio demonstrating experience across a broad range of competencies and a critical analysis of a project in which you took a leading role. These documents will be submitted to the RICS and you will be asked to an hour long interview where the panel questions your submissions to be certain that your knowledge and professional persona is appropriate to become a fully chartered member of the RICS.

Forging a team

Forge Property Consultant’s talented team reflects the different paths you can take to become a surveyor. The company’s founder Charles Lawson qualified as a chartered surveyor in 1997 and is also a Fellow of the Association of Agricultural Valuers and an RICS Registered Valuer. Tom Mason joined Forge Property Consultants in 2013, after graduating from Harper Adams University, where he studied Rural Enterprise and Land Management. He passed his APC in 2014, which enabled him to become a chartered surveyor and he’s also an RICS Registered Valuer. Tom specialises in property agency, land and property surveys, valuation and rural planning and development. Andy Lowe joined Forge in 2018 after graduating from Harper Adams University, where he also studied Rural Property Management. Andy spent a successful year on work placement with Forge in 2016/2017, and he’s currently working towards his APC exams to become a RICS Registered Valuer.

For more information about careers in surveying, you can visit the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors

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