The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) represents professionals in the land, property and construction sectors.
Founded in 1868, RICS is now a worldwide organisation with over 118,000 members who have a wide range of specialisms, from redeveloping Daytona International Speedway to protecting the coral reef in Mauritius.
As well as promoting the profession, RICS protects consumers by maintaining the highest standard of professional practice and ethics among its members.
RICS course accreditation
RICS accredits over 500 undergraduate and postgraduate courses worldwide. For most students, taking an RICS accredited course is the first step to becoming a chartered surveyor.
Accredited courses fulfil the initial academic requirements for trainee surveyors and offer assurance to employers about your knowledge and skills.
RICS has three levels of professional membership: associate (AssocRICS), member (MRICS) and fellow (FRICS).
Chartered surveyors are MRICS or FRICS members. Associate members do not have chartered status, but there are several progression routes for AssocRICS members to become MRICS members.
Becoming a RICS member
There are several different ways to get chartered, including three routes specifically for graduates with varying levels of experience. The main difference between each route is the amount of Assessment of Professional Competence (APC) structured training you need to do before the APC final assessment.
Graduates with less than five years’ work experience usually follow Graduate Route 1:
- Complete a RICS accredited undergraduate degree (or postgraduate degree).
- Join a firm as a trainee surveyor, get experience and take your APC structured training (sometimes in conjunction with a postgrad course). Training takes a minimum of 23 months and usually lasts between two to three years.
- Complete your APC and take the APC final assessment.
Not only do chartered surveyors improve their employment prospects with a level of professional accomplishment recognised worldwide, they also earn more. Macdonald & Company's salary survey 2014 reported that chartered surveyors earned 20% more than their non-chartered colleagues.
Continuing professional development requirements of the RICS
Practising members of RICS (AssocRICS, MRICS and FRICS) must complete at least 20 hours of continuing professional development a year. This programme ensures that members maintain their skills and competencies and encourages an ethos of continuous learning.
Student members and APC trainees aren’t required to complete these training hours until they’ve qualified.
What does RICS offer students?
RICS offers free student membership. Perks of student membership include careers advice, an extensive library of training and study materials, job opportunities and access to RICS’ network for students and trainee surveyors.
RICS Education Trust research funding
RICS has a registered charity called RICS Education Trust. The Trust offers grants of up to £10,000 for members carrying out research projects, so may be worth checking out, especially if you're aiming for a research-based specialism.
Applications are considered from full-time practitioners and academics. The Trust doesn’t offer financial support for undergraduate or postgraduate students. For more information, read the Trust's guidelines.
Connect with RICS on social media
RICS has a strong social media presence:
Videos from events and professional advice is published on YouTube.