How to Become a Chartered Surveyor
eBook - ePub

How to Become a Chartered Surveyor

Jen Lemen

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eBook - ePub

How to Become a Chartered Surveyor

Jen Lemen

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About This Book

Thinking about a career in property or construction? Thinking of becoming of Chartered Surveyor? How to Become a Chartered Surveyor demystifies the process and provides a clear road map for candidates to follow.

The book outlines potential pathways and practice areas within the profession and includes the breadth and depth of surveying, from commercial, residential and project management, to geomatics and quantity surveying. Experienced APC assessor and trainer, Jen Lemen BSc (Hons) FRICS, provides invaluable guidance, covering:

  • routes to becoming a Chartered Surveyor, including t-levels, apprenticeships and alternative APC routes such as the Senior Professional, Academic and Specialist assessments
  • areas of professional practice
  • advice for the AssocRICS, APC (MRICS), FRICS and Registered Valuer assessments, including both written and interview elements
  • advice on referrals and appeals
  • how to support candidates, including the role of the Counsellor and Supervisor
  • opportunities for further career progression, including further qualifications and setting up in practice as an RICS regulated firm
  • global perspectives
  • professional ethics for surveyors.

Written in clear, concise and simple terms and providing practical advice throughout, this book will help candidates to decode and understand the RICS guidance, plan their career and be successful in their journey to become a Chartered Surveyor. It will also be of relevance to academic institutions, employers, school leavers, apprentices, senior professionals, APC Counsellors/Supervisors and careers advisors.

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1    What Is a Chartered Surveyor?

DOI: 10.1201/9781003156673-1


Chartered Surveying is a diverse profession, including a wider breadth and depth of roles and industries than perhaps even many Chartered Surveyors themselves appreciate.
The description, Chartered Surveyor, is a very special term. Whilst anyone can call themselves a surveyor, only very specific professionals can use the term Chartered Surveyor. This encompasses the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) designations, Member (MRICS) and Fellow (FRICS). There is a third designation, AssocRICS, which is highly regarded but does not confer Chartered status.
In this chapter, we will look at what a Chartered Surveyor is and how this term came into use.
Chapter 2 will further investigate the areas of professional practice within which Chartered Surveyors operate.

The Role of the Chartered Surveyor

As a starting point, we will take a contemporary look at the responsibilities and career prospects of a Chartered Surveyor.
Chartered Surveyors are involved in a wide variety of roles across built and natural environments. This includes the measurement, valuation, protection and enhancement of global physical assets. Responsibility for this spans across the entire building lifecycle; from purchasing land, to the planning process and through to obsolescence and future redevelopment.
Surveyors are employed across a wide range of private firms, public sector bodies and charities. They can be found in consultancy or advisory roles, e.g., a building surveyor, quantity surveyor, project manager, agency surveyor or development surveyor. They may also be found in client-side roles, e.g., as a property director or estates surveyor.
Even more so in 2020 onwards, the role of a Chartered Surveyor is extremely varied with work being undertaken in the office, on site and at home. Careers may be global, national or local, with the opportunity to travel and work on projects of all sizes, shapes and types. It is fair to say that no two days are the same in the life of a Chartered Surveyor.
These are some of the benefits of pursuing a career in Chartered Surveying:
  • Making a difference to the economy, environment and community. Chartered Surveyors create a legacy through their work, including being involved with iconic buildings, protecting the natural environment, and helping consumers to purchase new homes.
  • Earning a good salary (see Career Prospects below for more details) with a variety of different ways to become qualified.
  • Excellent career prospects with continual progression and opportunities to work in a variety of sectors and markets.
  • Good work life balance, with the opportunity to work flexible hours in some organisations and companies – it is certainly not just a desk job.
  • Opportunities to travel and work in different environments or countries.
  • Sociable work with an emphasis on collaboration and teamwork to provide the highest standards of professional advice to clients.
  • Requires a mix of soft and technical skills, including being personable and approachable.
  • Varied roles and opportunities to suit a range of different personalities and skillsets.

Career Prospects

The career prospects for Chartered Surveyors vary widely, with salaries depending on location, industry, experience and specialisation.
Graduate salaries tend to range between £20,000 to £30,000 (RICS, 2020a). There is a clear step up in salary when surveyors become Chartered. The average difference has been reported as £13,600 (39% difference) (RICS and Macdonald & Company, 2019) and £16,000 (RICS, 2020a), demonstrating the financial benefit of becoming a Chartered Surveyor.
For Chartered Surveyors, the average median UK salary was £48,000 (RICS and Macdonald & Company, 2019). However, salaries are often commission based, particularly in agency or investment-related roles. This means that some surveyors will earn salaries of £100,000 plus. Typical package benefits in larger firms include private health insurance, life insurance, pension contributions and a company car or car allowance.
The median salary differs between genders; £50,000 for men and £41,685 for women (RICS and Macdonald & Company, 2019). This demonstrates that the industry continues to suffer from a gender pay gap, although this is being addressed by a variety of industry initiatives including the RICS Inclusive Employer Equality Mark and diversity and inclusion strategy.

Chartered Surveying in 2020

RICS statistics (RICS, 2020b) show that there are approximately 110,000 RICS qualified surveyors globally (AssocRICS, MRICS and FRICS).
Around 77,000 of these are in the UK; approximately 84% are male, 15% are female and under 1% did not identify as either, preferring not to state their gender.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) is the global governing body for Chartered Surveyors. The RICS was originally formed as the Surveyors Club in 1792 and developed over time into a professional association representing surveyors and the property profession. This reflected the rise of industrialisation and expansion of infrastructure, housing and transport, which required advice from professionals and created a need for some form of regulation.
The Surveyors’ Institution was founded on 15th June 1868 and later incorporated by Royal Charter on 26th August 1881. On 27th October 1930, the name was changed to The Chartered Surveyors’ Institution, which later became what we now know as the RICS on 3rd July 1947. The motto of the RICS is ‘Est modus in rebus’ or, ‘There is measure in all things’.

Royal Charter

The Royal Charter sets out the fundamental difference between a surveyor and a Chartered Surveyor. It incorporates the Original Royal Charter (dated 26th August 1881) and Supplemental Royal Charter (which amends the Original Royal Charter, with the latest changes being made in February 2020).
The Royal Charter means that changes to the RICS constitution, known as the Bye-Laws, have to be approved in a two-step process. Firstly, they have to be approved by a majority members’ vote at a general meeting. Secondly, they have to be ratified by the Privy Council, which is part of the UK Government.
The Royal Charter states that ‘Chartered Members’, i.e., Chartered Surveyors, may only be Fellows (FRICS) and Professional Members (MRICS) of the RICS. It also gives certain firms the right to use the designation, Chartered Surveyors. Chartered Surveyors and firms of Chartered Surveyors are required by the Royal Charter to follow the RICS Bye-Laws and Regulations.
The Royal Charter states that the aim of the RICS is ‘to maintain and promote the usefulness of the profession for the public advantage in the United Kingdom and in any other part of the world’ (RICS, 2020c). In particular, this focusses on protecting the public and upholding the reputation of the RICS within society.
The Royal Charter sets a gold standard of excellence and integrity for the industry, particularly because Royal Charters remain in demand from a wide variety of professions. Other professionals with a Royal Charter in the UK include Chartered Accountants, Chartered Managers, Chartered Psychologists, Chartered Structural Engineers and Chartered Town Planners.


The fact that the RICS has a Royal Charter means that the Chartered Surveying profession operates under a model of self-regulation. This means that there is no Government regulation of Chartered Surveyors. Instead, they are internally regulated by the RICS through the Bye-Laws and RICS Regulation.
The Royal Charter means that the Government should be confident that Chartered Surveyors are regulated appropriately and diligently, in line with the principles of better regulation; Proportionality, Accountability, Consistency, Targeting and Transparency. These are set out by the UK Cabinet Office’s Better Regulation Commission and adopted by the RICS in its regulatory model.
The ability to self-regulate is beneficial because it avoids the time and cost of Government introducing and maintaining appropriate legislation. Effectively, there is no need to legislate because the Government is confident that through the Royal Charter, the RICS is internally regulating at arm’s length, as a business and in line with modern working practices.

Bye-Laws and Regulations

The RICS Bye-Laws (RICS, 2020d) and RICS Regulations (RICS, 2020e) were both last updated in February 2020. Whilst the Bye-Laws set out more general regulatory principles and procedures, the Regulations set out specific details relating to the operation of the RICS as a regulatory body.
Together, these set out the regulatory requirements of the RICS, including issues such as membership eligibility, registration of firms, use of designations, subscriptions and fees, conduct, powers and governance structure. The way that the RICS regulates is further guided by written Governance Procedures and Processes (also known as Standing Orders) (RICS, 2020f).
The key takeaway from the Bye-Laws and Regulations, is that Chartered Surveyors must conduct themselves in a ‘manner befitting membership of the RICS’. Throughout this book, we will look at how Chartered Surveyors can meet this requirement in terms of acting ethically, responsibly and professionally.


In conclusion, Chartered Surveying is a highly regulated industry with clear top-level guidance and stringent requirements set out by the RICS. The profession has been around for a long time and there is continued evidence of demand for Chartered Surveyors across both the built and natural environment sectors.
In Chapter 2, we will explore the width and diversity of roles within which Chartered Surveyors operate, before looking more closely at how you can become a Chartered Surveyor.

2 Areas of Professional Practice

DOI: 10.1201/9781003156673-2


We have already taken an in-depth look at the history and current state of play in relation to the surveying industry.
In this chapter, we take a closer look at the areas of professional practice that Chartered Surveyors may advise or work within.

What Types of Chartered Surveyor Are There?

Chartered Surveyors work across the lifecycle of built and natural environments. Frequently, they work alongside and collaborate with other professionals, such as architects, structural engineers, bankers, ecologists, town planners, property developers and senior managers, e.g. Chief Financial Officers or Managing Directors. Some surveyors may also be dual or multi qualified, for example they may be a Chartered Surveyor and a Chartered Town Planner.
Surveying roles are traditionally split into three main sectors; construction and infrastructure, property, and land.

What Does the Construction and Infrastructure Sector Include?

The Construction and Infrastructure Sector typically relates to the physical construction and building of infrastructure (e.g., roads, bridges, railways, energy supplies and telecoms) and buildings.
Buildings can be minor or major projects, from a single residential dwelling to major projects such as the Olympic Park or HS2. Typic...

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