007 Careers and APC with Kate Taylor

Marion Ellis spoke to Kate Taylor, an experienced RICS APC Assessor, APC auditor, and RICS UK APC Appeal Panel and Chairperson. Kate is also lead Tutor for the RICS APC Faculty.

She is the author of the Commercial and Residential Property Quick Start Revision Guides and the Estates Gazette ‘Pathway to Success’ APC series. Another publication, the 3rd edition of the Residential Real Estate RISC APC Revision Guide is just about to be released, and it’s meant to save the surveyors 30-40 hours of study by providing links to the important knowledge in a very concise table form.  

Becoming a Trainer for Surveyors

Kate worked as a valuer in the VOA for twenty five years, valuing property of every type for a range of purposes.

“I was famous in the valuation office for holding every single job that you could do,” Kate says. “It was when I trained people in Council Tax helpline answering, that I realized I really liked training, and that I was quite reasonably good at distilling complex information into a series of fairly simple points.

So I joined the training team and started delivering technical training. I did that for five years, but technical valuation nearly killed me, to be honest. Then I said to my boss that I’d had enough of being on the road, so she offered me to take on the graduate scheme instead. So I took on 100 Graduate Surveyors on valuation pathways. I started looking after them like they were my children, I really enjoyed mothering and mentoring them, and got gradually more involved with RISC.

As I did that, I did my CIPD, a postgraduate qualification in learning and development, and I only left the VAO because, really, I like to work for myself and go on lots of holidays.”

What Lionheart Does for Surveyors

Kate is also a Trustee for Lionheart, the charity for RICS professionals and their families.

“I’ve only been doing that for about a year, but I absolutely love it. This is a really difficult time for surveyors, but we’ve stepped up in the last few weeks and set aside millions of pounds to help surveyors who are struggling. Lionheart is a fabulous organisation. I’ve been involved with charities before, but this one is different. I’ve already done loads of training courses, and I feel that I’m in a good place to really make a difference,” says Kate.

Surveyors’ Confidence and Professionalism

Having technical knowledge is very important of course, but having the confidence to behave like a professional is a lot more important than we may think.

“Any reasonably competent surveyor is behaving like a leader, taking ownership, and demonstrating good communication skills” Kate stresses. “A chartered surveyor does not micromanage, doesn’t stress about the details. A chartered surveyor sees the big picture, and how it impacts on all aspects of their clients’ needs.

The candidates in our qualification interviews need to be passionate about the profession, and they need to be properly prepared and courageous. Not having that energy is a big no-no, and we tend to find that a lot of surveyors fall down on that. So yes, a big smile makes a massive difference,” Kate concludes.

How to progress from AssocRICS to MRICS

“There are two main ways to do that,” Kate continues. “The first is for Assoc Surveyors who’ve got other degrees and they’ve just accidentally become surveyors. They can become MRISC once they’ve had five years of professional experience.

But people who get into Assoc without the degree will be able, hopefully soon, to move from Assoc to our MRICS course, which we are currently piloting. It’s an academic level 5 course that is the equivalent of the degree elements in the APC pathway. It includes APC training and all the competencies in a distance learning format.  So the people who haven’t got a degree but have been in Assoc for a few years, they can progress that way, as soon as we get the final accreditation from AQS”

But how are the fresh APC graduate trainees going to even start their work in this difficult situation, when the whole industry has just fallen through the roof?

“There’s going to be a lot of HR thinking needed to help get people through this difficult time. What they really need to do is try and remain flexible. Those of us who run our own businesses are used to blowing with the wind, but for people who are used to a more corporate environment, all this uncertainty is incredibly difficult. Change management is difficult even at the best of times in a traditional profession like ours. 

So all of us need to be flexible, doing some work around, trying to do what we can to help deliver training with change management to help people suffer less anxiety about it,” Kate concludes.

You can listen to the podcast here

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The Surveyor Hub is a proud partner of  Lionheart, the benevolent fund which supports RICS members and their families.