Becoming a Chartered Surveyor

Becoming a Chartered Surveyor has changed since MD Joe Arnold packed his bags to head off to University in Bristol aged 18.

“I was so green I didn’t even know what a Freshers’ event was! I completed my three year BSc degree and then had to find a work placement within a firm of Chartered Surveyors to undertake a minimum 2 year training programme. After building up 2 years of post qualification experience I then had to sit one the most scary interviews of my life! The whole process took me 5 ½ years in total, but I can’t complain as it took my brother 7 years of study!”.A lot has changed.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has opened up the pathways for those in the property industry who have life skills which transfer wonderfully into the profession. There are many routes, so to help you navigate how to become a Chartered Surveyor we have put together this useful guide to help you work out how you could become a member of the profession.

As honest, approachable experts we are here to help you. If you would like any assistance or guidance, please do not hesitate to contact us. We all had to start our careers somewhere, and we were given helping hands, so we like to return the favour and help the next generation of Chartered Surveyors embarking on their journey.  If you are focussing on residential survey and valuation, you should take a look at the SAVA School of Surveying.  We have recruited surveyors who have completed this course and their knowledge is fantastic.

We have put together a run-down of RICS qualifications and routes to achieving qualification.  Please always consult the RICS directly for your individual circumstances before making any decisions on your future career!

What is my best route to becoming RICS qualified?

Select the description which applies most to narrow down possible routes for you (all provide the opportunity to enrol for AssocRICS assessment - you may also be interested in Apprenticeships in Surveying):

  1. "I hold an RICS-accredited degree" - How do I know if my degree is RICS-accredited?

    1. You can enrol as soon as you have completed your degree and are in relevant employment. Competency requirements must be met for final assessment.  Depending on experience:

    2. Option 1: MRICS - Assessment of Professional Competence (APC)

    3. Option 2: MRICS - Senior Professional Assessment or Specialist Assessment

  2. "I hold an RICS-approved qualification" - How do I know if my qualification is RICS-approved?

    1. You can apply for direct entry or enrol for assessment as soon as you meet the requirements RICS have set for your approved qualification.  Depending on experience and qualification:

    2. Option 1: MRICS - Direct Entry

    3. Option 2: MRICS - Assessment of Professional Competence (APC)

    4. Option 3: MRICS - Senior Professional Assessment or Specialist Assessment

  3. "I hold a Bachelor's Degree or higher (not RICS-accredited)"

    1. You can apply for direct entry or enrol on an assessment as soon as you meet the requirements RICS have set for your approved qualification.  Depending on experience and qualification:

    2. Option 1: MRICS - Assessment of Professional Competence (APC)

    3. Option 2: MRICS - Senior Professional Assessment or Specialist Assessment

  4. "I hold 0–9 years of relevant work experience"

    1. You must present your experience against RICS’ pathways and competencies.  

    2. You are not currently eligible to enrol for chartered assessments without other requirements.

  5. "I hold 10 or more years of relevant work experience"

    1. You can apply for enrolment immediately.

    2. Option 1: MRICS - Direct Entry

    3. Option 2: MRICS - Senior Professional Assessment or Specialist Assessment

MRICS Qualification

MRICS is the world's most sought after professional status and demonstrates to colleagues, clients and peers that you have a chartered qualification and work to the highest industry standards.

Pathways & Competencies

Assessment

  • All MRICS candidates/applicants must:

    • Appoint a counsellor to support your application (must be MRICS or FRICS).

    • Successfully complete the RICS online ethics module and test.

  • There are x4 assessment routes and a Direct Entry option for certain experienced professionals:

Routes & Eligibility

Route

Eligibility

Vetting

Submission

Assessment

How long will it take?

Assessment of Professional Competence (APC)

Suitable for individuals with degree level qualification and work experience.  

APC Candidate Guide.

Completed an RICS-accredited degree - OR - completing an RICS-accredited degree part-time:

  • <5 years’ experience:

  • 24 months structured training.

OR

  • 5 - 9 years’ experience:

  • 12 months structured training.

  • Preliminary review.

OR

  • 10 years’+ experience:

  • No structured training.

  • Enrol once in relevant employment.

 

Non-RICS accredited Bachelor’s degree:

  • 5+ years’ experience (1 year post-qualified).

  • Preliminary review.

 

Member of RICS-approved professional body:

  • Depends on membership / qualification.

OR

  • APC via Preliminary Review - Based on existing experience and reviewed by the RICS to confirm readiness for assessment.

  • [* See table below for approved bodies].

  • Summary of Experience – 5,500 words on fulfilling pathway competencies.

  • Case Study – 3,000 words on a recent technical project.

  • CPD – Record 48 hours in past 12 months (or each year of structured training).

60-minute interview with a panel of RICS assessors, including a 10-minute presentation followed by panel questions on selected competencies.

6 - 36 months (depends on experience and competency training required).

Senior Professional Assessment

Suitable for exceptional career achievement, senior leadership and management professionals.

Senior Professional Assessment Applicant Guide.

  • 10 years’+ relevant experience (reduced to 5 years’+ with undergraduate degree or equivalent) and relevant post-graduate degree (master’s or higher).

  • Demonstrate advanced responsibilities as a leader and manager, referencing career and contributions to the profession that identify you as a senior professional.

  • CV & 400 word statement documenting your experience reviewed by RICS reviewers to check it meets the profile of a senior professional.

  • [* See table below for approved bodies].

  • CV and 400-word statement.

  • 3 Case Studies – 1,000-1,500 words each on projects that demonstrate leadership, management and technical ability.

  • CPD - Record 20 hours in past 12 months.

60-minute interview with a panel of RICS assessors, including a 10-minute presentation followed by panel questions on selected competencies.

6 - 12 months (depends on experience).

Specialist Assessment

Suitable for those delivering enhanced services within an RICS discipline, recognised for their authority.  

Specialist Assessment Applicant Guide.

  • 10 years’+ relevant experience (reduced to 5 years’+ with undergraduate degree or equivalent) and relevant post-graduate degree (masters or higher).

  • Demonstrate responsibility for delivering services in a specialist area, referencing career and contributions to the profession that identify you as a specialist.

  • CV & 400 word statement documenting your experience reviewed by RICS reviewers to check it meets the profile of a specialist.

  • [* See table below for approved bodies].

  • CV and 400-word statement.

  • 3 case studies – 1,000-1500 words each on projects that demonstrate your specialist area and technical ability.

  • CPD - Record 20 hours in past 12 months.

60-minute interview with a panel of RICS assessors, including a 10-minute presentation followed by panel questions on selected competencies.

6 - 12 months (depends on experience).

Academic Assessment

Suitable for academics teaching to degree-level, with Bachelor’s degree and minimum 3 years’ relevant teaching experience.  

Academic Assessment Applicant Guide.

  • 3-years’+ experience undertaking academic activities relevant to the profession and a surveying-related degree or higher.  3 years can be a total, not necessarily continuous.

  • CV and a 3,000 word statement documenting your experience reviewed by RICS academic reviewers to check it relates to the profession and your pathway.

  • CV and 3,000-word statement.

  • Summary of Experience – 5,500 words on pathway competencies.

  • Academic Evidence – 4 pieces of evidence of academic activities.

  • CPD - Record 48 hours in past 12 months.

60-minute interview with a panel of RICS assessors, including a 10-minute presentation followed by panel questions on selected competencies.

6 - 12 months (depends on experience).

 

*Approved Professional Body

(Preliminary Review, Senior Professional & Specialist Assessment)

Membership / Qualification

Association of Cost Engineers (ACostE)

Member (MACostE)

Institute of Workplace and Facilities Management (IWFM)

Member or Certified Member to Level 6/7

Chartered Association of Building Engineers (CABE)

C. Build E MCABE

Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists (CIAT)

Chartered Architectural Technologist (MCIAT)

Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB)

Member (MCIOB)

Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH)

Chartered Environmental Health Practitioner

Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH)

Chartered Member (CIHCM)

Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA)

Chartered Global Management Accountant

Chartered Institute of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM)

Chartered Member (MCIWEM)

Energy Institute (EI)

Member (MEI)

Institute of Chartered Accountants England and Wales (ICAEW)

Chartered Accountant (exemptions)

Institute of Chartered Accountants Scotland (ICAS)

Chartered Accountant (exemptions)

Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM)

Chartered Member

Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET)

Member (MIET)

Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA)

Member Grade (MIEMA)

Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE)

Full Member (MICE)

Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE)

Full Member

Institution of Structural Engineers (ISE)

Chartered Member (MIStructE)

Landscape Institute (LI)

Chartered Member

Royal Environmental Health Institute of Scotland (REHIS)

Chartered Environmental Health Officer

Royal Institution of British Architects (RIBA)

Chartered Member

Royal Incorporation of Architects for Scotland (RIAS)

Chartered Member

Royal Geographical Society (RGS)

Chartered Geographer

Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI)

Chartered Member

MRICS Direct Entry Requirements:

  • Up to date CPD records in line with RICS requirements.

  • A proposer who is MRICS or FRICS.

  • Successfully completed the RICS online ethics module.

  • A membership / qualification confirmation letter from your approved professional body:

 

Approved Professional Body

(MRICS)

Membership / Qualification

& Conditions

Designation

Institute of Chartered

Foresters (ICF)

  • Professional Member (MICFor).

  • Relevant undergraduate degree.

  • 10 years’ relevant post-qualification experience.

  • Chartered Forestry Surveyor

Chartered Institution of Civil Engineering Surveyors (ICES)

  • Member (MCInstCES).

  • Relevant undergraduate degree.

  • 5 years’ relevant post-qualification experience.

  • Note: MCInstCES with no academic qualifications are eligible with 10 years’ post-qualification experience.

  • Chartered Quantity Surveyor

  • Chartered Construction Surveyor

  • Chartered Land Surveyor

How long will it take me to qualify?
  • 6 - 36 months (depends on experience and training required to meet competencies).

 

How much will it cost?  

  • Candidate:  An initial assessment fee and annual subscription fee is payable to the RICS when you apply.

  • Qualification:  An initial election fee and annual professional subscription is payable to the RICS.

AssocRICS Qualification

The RICS Associate (AssocRICS) qualification recognises skills, relevant work experience and qualifications and demonstrates technical standards, professional ethics, regulation and trust.

Pathways & Competencies

Eligibility

Education

Relevant Work Experience

RICS Assessment

No qualifications

4 years'

Associate assessment

+ online ethics module

Approved HND, HNC, NVQ3, BTEC or foundation degree

2 years’

Associate assessment

+ online ethics module

Relevant bachelor’s degree

12 months’

Associate assessment

+ online ethics module

Approved Direct Entry to associate membership

N/A

Online ethics module

Assessment

All AssocRICS candidates/applicants must:

  • Appoint a counsellor to support your application (must be MRICS or FRICS).

  • Successfully complete the RICS online ethics module and test.

  • Seek counsellor confirmation when ready to submit for assessment by a panel of RICS assessors.

  • A written submission including:

    • Summary of experience – 3,000 words on experience fulfilling pathway competencies.

    • Case study – 2,500 words on a recent project demonstrating technical ability.

    • CPD – Record of 48 hours of CPD for the last 12 months.

  • There is also a Direct Entry route option for certain experienced professionals.

How long will it take me to qualify?
  • 6-12 months (depends on experience and training required to meet competencies).

How much will it cost?  
  • Candidate:  An initial assessment fee and annual subscription fee is payable to the RICS when you apply.

  • Qualification:  An initial election fee and annual professional subscription is payable to the RICS.

AssocRICS Direct Entry Requirements:

  • Up to date CPD records in line with RICS requirements.

  • A proposer who is MRICS or FRICS.

  • Successfully completed the RICS online ethics module.

  • A membership / qualification confirmation letter from your approved professional body:

 

Approved Professional Body / Qualification

(AssocRICS)

Membership / Qualification

Pathway

Chartered Association of Building Engineers (CABE)

C. Build E MCABE

Building Control

Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists (CIAT)

MCIAT

Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB)

MCIOB

Chartered Association of Building Engineers (CABE)

C. Build E MCABE

Building Surveying

Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists (CIAT)

MCIAT

Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB)

MCIOB

Institution of Clerks or Works and Construction Inspectorate (ICWCI)

MICWCI

Institute of Workplace and Facilities Management (IWFM)

Level 4 (or above)

Facilities Management

Facilities Society Course

FM Association / Building Futures Group.

Chartered Institute of Civil Engineering Surveyors (ICES)

TCInstCES or higher (Hydrographic Surveying)

Hydrographic Surveying

Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB)

MCIOB

Land

Chartered Institute of Civil Engineering Surveyors (ICES)

TCInstCES or higher (Geospatial Engineering)

Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI)

Chartered Town Planner

NVQ Level 4 Diploma

Spatial Data Management

Chartered Institute of Civil Engineering Surveyors (ICES)

TCInstCES or higher (Geospatial Engineering)

Geospatial Surveying

Military Engineer

Geographic Technician Class 1

NVQ Level 4 Diploma

Spatial Data Management

Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists (CIAT)

MCIAT

Project Management

Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB)

MCIOB

Chartered Institute of Civil Engineering Surveyors (ICES)

TCInstCES or higher (Project Management)

NVQ Level 4 Diploma

Project Control, Project Management

Association of Cost Engineers (AcostE)

Incorporated Level or higher (RICS CV review)

Quantity Surveying & Construction

Chartered Association of Building Engineers (CABE)

C. Build E MCABE

Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists (CIAT)

MCIAT

Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB)

MCIOB

Chartered Institute of Civil Engineering Surveyors (ICES)

TCInstCES or higher (Cost Engineering, Construction Law, Estimating, Project Management, QS)

NVQ Level 4 Diploma

Contracting Operations, Site Management, Site Supervision, QS

NVQ Level 7 Diploma

Construction Senior Management

CIOB Level 4 Diploma

Site Management

Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH)

CIHCM

Residential Property Management

Institute of Residential Property Management (IRPM)

MIRPM

Surveyors and Valuers Association (SAVA)

Diploma in Residential Surveying & Valuation (+ experience)

Residential Survey & Valuation

Institute of Revenues Rating and Valuation (IRRV)

Level 4 Technician Scheme

Valuation

HM Revenues & Customs

Shares and Assets Valuation Training Course (18-24 months)

NVQ Level 4 Diploma

Valuation

Apprenticeships in Surveying

Benefits
  • Earn while you study as you learn on the job.
  • Minimal student loans or tuition debt.
  • Gain an globally-recognised qualification.
The following are examples of surveying apprenticeships available in England:

Surveying Technician Apprenticeship - Level 3 (A-Level Equivalent)

  • 2 years.
  • Associate status of RICS (AssocRICS) on completion.
  • RICS Pathways: Building Surveying, Commercial Property, Land, Planning & Development, Project Management, Residential Property, Valuation, Quantity Surveying.
  • Apprenticeship funding available up to £9,000. ​

Chartered Surveyor Apprenticeship - Level 6 (Degree)

  • 5 years.
  • Chartered status of RICS (MRICS) on completion.
  • RICS Pathways: Building Surveying, Commercial Property, Minerals & Waste Management, Planning & Development, Project Management, Residential Property, Rural, Valuation, Quantity Surveying.
  • Apprenticeship funding available up to £27,000.

Other handy links:

RICS Qualification FAQs

RICS Training & Events

RICS Credentials & Accreditations

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About the author

Joe Arnold avatar

Joe Arnold

Joe is the guiding force behind Arnold & Baldwin and has overall responsibility for all commercial and residential surveys and valuations. Passionate about delivering the highest quality products at the fairest prices possible, he has been consistently searching for new and innovative client-focused services since founding the company with Jobie in 2007

Read more about Joe Arnold

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CLARE MCSHANE

Professional, efficient surveyors. Get the job done in a timely manner, had our survey back within 5 days of inspection. All team members I spoke with (Tiffany and Billy) were really lovely. Highly recommend. :)

RICARDO OLIVEIRA

I have only just started working with Stephen and he has already demonstrated the high levels of customer attention and dedication that this company has. The first impression he has caused is such that made me write this review. I have no doubt that the continuous service will be of same level. Looking forward to working further with Stephen. Well done!

Steve Kenny

Lease extension - I found Daniel Grove very professional and had an excellent understanding of all aspects relating to this transaction. Advice was invaluable, and it was nice to come across someone who did exactly what they said they were going to do. Would not hesitate in recommending the firm and Daniel to anyone who has a lease to extend.

Petros Kyrkilis

Amazing job and fully professional treatment. The surveyor went above and beyond to check for everything, when he could have easily claim lack of access. In addition he was more than happy to answer questions over the phone and be there to explain the steps.

Lynn Wilson

Within 48 hours I received my detailed report from Joe Arnold which enabled me to see the property as it was and not through rose-tinted glasses! The report highlighted areas where money might need to be spent and provided guidance on questions for my solicitor - just what I needed. Overall, the survey enabled me to re-assess my offer and in this respect was invaluable. Thank you for a friendly and professional service.

Mark Roberts

100% choose this company. As first time buyers we had a mortgage valuation which said the house was fine. The Arnold & Baldwin survey found over £30,000 of problems. Holes in the roof with daylight visible, damp, woodworm, broken sash windows and poor electrics. This company helped us renegotiate and save a fortune.

Joebun

Arnold & Baldwin came recommended and I’ve got to say they were brilliant - not just in identifying issues with the property I was looking at but in the way they kept me informed and up to date (ie picking up the phone instead of just posting / emailing communications with you). After dealing with estate agents for so long, it’s nice to have someone who is genuinely on your side.

Kamal Rahman

From my initial interaction with the firm I found them to be prompt, courteous and helpful. I received a detailed Homebuyers report within a week of instructing and was given the opportunity to talk it through with the attending surveyour. Overall excellent service all round, would certainly recommend this firm.

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