Comment: Wanted - highly educated employees with all the right properties

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The Independent Online

Surveying offers multiple potential career paths. There are 170 specialisms grouped into 17 broad areas of practice in which you can qualify – such as project management, valuation or construction. The opportunities are vast and can take you all over the world, says David Tuffin from The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

So, what does it take to become a chartered surveyor? Surveyors need to be good with people at all levels, while offering impartial advice to the public. Although academic skills are vital, it is those graduates with exceptional interpersonal skills who will make it to the top of the profession.

Each trainee surveyor is required to complete an assessment of professional competence: a two-year training period while in employment, followed by a final interview – which, if passed, allows an individual to be recognised as a chartered surveyor.

Construction and real estate form a worldwide market and RICS-accredited courses are available in many parts of the world. These 500 accredited courses enable RICS to provide a wide entry portal for future members of all types – including those from vocational, as well as academic, backgrounds. What does RICS as a professional organisation mean? Essentially, the RICS brand stands for excellence, integrity and standards. Who benefits?

  • The public know who to trust for impartial, independent advice
  • Investors have confidence that they are getting robust and independent advice, on the value of assets. This is absolutely essential to global economic stability, particularly in times like the present
  • Business gets the advice it so badly needs about how to plan strategically for the most efficient use of property
  • Governments that receive the expert, unbiased advice they need when drafting legislation relating to the sector
  • Property market players who benefit from the market analysis which RICS economists carry out, based on input from members in markets around the world
  • And RICS members themselves benefit by displaying the badge of integrity and competence which RICS membership represents

With movements of capital and the breakneck pace of construction and real estate market activity in many parts of the world, the need for excellence and integrity among the professionals who manage the whole process is more important than ever. Chartered surveyors fit the bill, and demand for their services outweighs supply in many parts of the world. RICS is a global organisation, with approximately 20 per cent of the profession based outside the UK. Membership growth is particularly strong in the Asia Pacific region. There is huge demand for surveying skills in China, India and the Middle East. In the UK, too, demand for the profession’s services outstrips supply, so employers are always competing for the best candidates. Over the last year, the real estate world has seen some turbulent times – economic conditions have not favoured certain parts of the industry. But the property markets operate on a cycle as with the general economy.

Certain parts of the surveying profession have managed to maintain stability during this difficult time. This is a great testament to the wide variety of skills and knowledge surveyors have to offer. This great diversity can make it hard to encapsulate what the profession does, but once people understand, they invariably want to know more – and, importantly, how they can get on the road to qualifying. How can someone interested in joining the surveying profession find out more? The recent launch of global online products is helping to bring the next generation of surveyors on board. The website allows students to search for RICS-accredited degree courses across the world at the touch of a button. Taking a RICS-accredited degree is often crucial in entering the profession and securing a first job. For the official recruitment website of RICS, visit It contains thousands of job vacancies, careers advice and international sections. RICS recruit aims to help students take their first steps into the industry, preparing them for interview and putting them in touch with employers. While working directly in property is fun, diverse and rewarding at several different levels, a property qualification can lead to amore broadly based business career. Employers in all sectors are seeking well-rounded, educated employees who have common sense and a good grounding in the basics of business – property degrees certainly provide this.

  • For more information on a career in surveying, contact RICS on 0870 333 1600 or visit