I’m A Housing Professional – Can I be a Chartered Surveyor?

Time and time again I get asked this question.

“Randip, I’ve worked in housing for “X” years. I’ve worked as a housing manager, I’ve done inspections, but I want to be a RICS qualified Chartered Surveyor. Can I be a Chartered Surveyor?”

The answer in short is yes, provided you meet certain criteria.


Chartered Surveyor Designation

The Chartered Surveyor designation is gained by membership/qualification and assessment through the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). To qualify you must pass the Assessment of Professional Competence (APC).

There are many pathways for the APC, but the pathway that suits housing professionals experience is the Residential Pathway.


Housing Management and Development

You can qualify as a Chartered Surveyor under the Residential Pathway and become a General Practice Chartered Surveyor.

The Criteria

As a first step you mush meet one of the following criteria:

  • RICS accredited degree – At least 24 months’ structured training and a minimum of 96 hours’ Continuing Professional Development (CPD).
  • RICS accredited degree with a minimum of 5 years’ relevant experience – At least 12 months’ structured training and a minimum of 48 hours’ Continuing Professional Development (CPD).
  • RICS accredited degree with a minimum of 10 years’ relevant experience – Demonstrate a minimum of 48 hours’ Continuing Professional Development (CPD) over the preceding 12 months. No structured training period required.
  • Bachelor degree (or membership of a RICS approved professional body) with a minimum of 5 years’ relevant experience (at least 12 months must be post qualification) – Successfully complete the preliminary review and a minimum of 48 hours’ Continuing Professional Development (CPD).

The RICS Candidate Guide gives you a full explanation of what you need to achieve.

The Competencies

The competencies are a measure of your professionalism and there are 3 level:

Level 1 – knowledge and understanding

Level 2 – application of knowledge and understanding

Level 3 – reasoned advice and depth of technical knowledge

You then have to chose which competencies you wish to pick up experience in.

There are :

1) Mandatory Competencies

2) Core Competencies

3) Optional Competencies

For example if you choose Housing Aid or Advice to level 3 you have to pick up the following experience:

Housing aid or advice

Level 3

Provide evidence of housing aid or reasoned advice on a range of landlord and tenant issues taking full account of legislation and statutory guidance

Examples of activities and knowledge comprised within this level are:

•Advising clients of options available for the provision of housing

•Liaising with key stakeholders on property related matters

•Assessing housing needs for a range of clients


In order to get  a full explanation of exactly what you have to achieve please read the RICS Guidance.


My Own Experience

As a Housing Professional who became a Chartered Surveyor through this route it wasn’t easy, but it has been the most rewarding professional achievement in my career.

For me it was tougher because I changed my professional route. I was originally a Quantity Surveyor but I became more interested in housing having worked in the sector when I was at Sandwell MBC. The “human” element of working in housing,  rehousing people and seeing how much of a difference it made to peoples lives had a profound effect on me. I took the decision to go down this route after much deliberation.

I already had experience in many of the Residential Pathway routes but set out exactly which areas I would record experience in a structured manner. Some parts involved seeking experience at Housing Associations.

My training took the shape of this table taken from the RICS Guidance below:

RICS Guide

I would thoroughly recommend Housing Professionals to go down this route. I actually failed my interview first time around, but don’t let that discourage you! It actually made me a better surveyor and spurred me on.

Today I’m a Chair on the APC panels and also a mentor to new prospective Chartered Surveyors. I run training for organisations.  I’m also a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors , a massive accolade from my professional body, of my achievements. I’m at the top of my profession! Now who would have thought that the son of immigrants born in the East End of London would ever achieve that!?

By R S Bahra BSC (Hons), FRICS

Randip is a Director and Chartered Surveyor at Hephaestus Associates. He is also an ex-HCA Design Manager. He is also a Chair/Mentor for the RICS Residential route.

Disclaimer – The above article is not meant to be a substitute for reading the RICS guidance. The chart above is taken from the RICS Guidance and is the property of the RICS.

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