All candidates for the RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) Rural Assessment of Professional Competency (APC) must satisfy the examiners that they have a sound agricultural knowledge. Three levels are specified and all candidates must achieve at least Level Two while some will opt for the higher Level Three.
What do we know about these requirements? The RICS guide tells us that at Level Two we must demonstrate application of the principles and systems of practical farming methods. This might involve questions on crop rotations, cultivations, general husbandry and marketing. Animal welfare and record keeping can also be questioned, as well as the wide body of regulations which affect farming in one way or another. Candidates are expected to know how to prepare detailed farm finance plans and budgets.
At the higher Level Three candidates are expected to have provided professional farm management advice (the provision of reasoned advice to stakeholders on the management and practical application of appropriate methods and requirements of farming, according to the guide).
Alongside all this, you are also expected to know about the utilization and cost of farm buildings.
Quite a tall order, but nevertheless essential knowledge for a rural surveyor who wishes to work for farmers and landowners while maintaining credibility with the client.
This is a professional examination and there is no substitute for direct experience and, just as important, intelligent engagement with the farming industry. Regular reading of the trade press can help to imbue current market information and trends.
But even the best informed of candidates can struggle under examination conditions. With a view to this we have developed a new web class with RICS Training, an Agriculture Competency Masterclass which will run on Friday 2 October at 12.00 for 90 minutes. It won’t take you from zero to hero in that time, but it will help you to prepare soundly for the professional interview. If any participants would like me to email me a copy of their agriculture submission at Levels 1, 2 and 3 if available I will happily consider them for anonymous inclusion in the class so you will get the benefit of direct feedback while adding to the value of the class for all participants.
The class costs no more than £30, less if you or your firm are a subscriber and details and bookings can be arranged here: RICS Agricultural Competency Masterclass