Posts Tagged '2010'

APC Tips and Techniques

For those of you about to begin the preparation for your APC interviews in the QS world, I thought I would share a few tips and techniques to help you get through it.

So first of all, don’t think of it as an ordeal – it’s a chance for you to shine and demonstrate to a fellow group of professionals how knowledgeable you are. Be confident; after all, it’s you that everyone is going to be talking about!

  • Make sure you have read, re-read and understood your submission.
  • If there was any paperwork missing or that’s needed updating since your submission, make sure you have it with you and hand it out at the beginning of the interview.
  • Make sure in your record of experience there isn’t anything included that you really don’t have knowledge or experience of. Don’t simply tick off the competency levels and say you have done something. Chances are you will get asked about it and, if you can’t answer, or try and bluff your way out of it, it will be on the list of issues making you a referral.
  • Always try and leave hooks in your submission that will leave an Assessor wanting to ask you more about what you’ve done. Make it a bit intriguing for them. That way you can demonstrate your knowledge to them!
  • Practice your 10 minute presentation over and over again. Use a mirror to talk to, use your colleagues or, if you can afford it, attend a course.
  • During your presentation, speak slowly and clearly and don’t try and cram in everything from your critical analysis, as it will be far too much. Keep it simple and straightforward to understand. Just pick one aspect but describe it in good detail.
  • Don’t take electronic aids, laptops or anything like that: The rooms are so very small and technology just doesn’t add to this type of presentation. Stick with paper charts and graphical aids.
  • Remember this is an assessment of you, your skills and experience, so the assessors are trained to ask you about what you have done.
  • If you are asked a question that you don’t know the answer to then say you don’t know, but show initiative by giving an answer about how you would find things out to give the answer. You can’t know everything there is to know about Quantity Surveying, and the Assessors are aware of that.
  • Equally, if you are asked a question that you do know the answer to, then don’t rush and answer straight away. Take your time and lead the panel through your  answer (it uses up valuable time that could mean you don’t get asked that awkward question you don’t know the answer to!)
  • The last part of the interview will be the chairman asking you questions about the RICS, its code of conduct and ethics. Be aware that if you get any of these types of questions wrong (which will be largely all theoretical) then chances are you will get referred. So don’t treat this part of your learning lightly.
  • If an answer to something comes to you that you hadn’t been able to answer fully at the time during the interview, go back to it at the end, the chairman will give you that opportunity.

Prepare, prepare, prepare is the key to success. As a very good friend of mine always quoted to me: To fail to prepare, is to prepare to fail.

Useful Links:

APC home page on the RICS website

APC requirements and competencies guide

Quantity Surveying and Construction Pathway Guide

APC mock interviews

Final Assessment DVD – An in-depth look at the RICS Final Assessment


Derek Mynott is Managing Director at G F Partnership and has over 30 years experience in the construction industry. In addition to this, he has been supervising and counselling Quantity Surveyors through their RICS APC since 1999.

The changing face of construction

Well it’s March and the sun has been shining on us this week. Is it just me that feels positive about the future or is there something in the air?! I think not, as a recent consumer confidence survey said that confidence is at a two-year high, and that was before we knew the economy had grown by 0.3% instead of 0.1%. Does 0.2% really make that much difference to us?

As far as our business goes we are gearing up for the move to the offices upstairs for the end of the month, and we’ve been busy clearing out lots of old paperwork that we’ve accumulated over the years. There’s some interesting contractor names in there – some are gone, some are still with us but under a different name…

  • Chrsitiani & Nielson
  • Avebury
  • Gleeson
  • Mowlem
  • Kaverner
  • Banner Holdings
  • HBG
  • Benson
  • MJ Gleeson
  • Walter Llewellyn
  • Driver Construction
  • Claydon
  • Ballast
  • William Verry
  • Botes
  • Taylor Woodrow
  • Sindall
  • Snape Roberts
  • Totty Cosntruction
  • Tilbury Douglas
  • Jarvis Construction
  • JJ McGinley
  • Try Accord
  • Bluestone
  • Swallow Construction
  • BMH
  • Sunley Turriff
  • Eugena
  • BSR Metro
  • Amec
  • William Sapcote
  • George Wimpey
  • Crispin & Borst
  • Pettifer
  • Norwest Holst

…And so the list goes on. Can you remember some of the names?

The other bit of interesting news I found was that according to the REC/KPMG index of permanent placements by recruitment agencies, the job market is on the up too.

So the economy is growing and job market is showing signs of improvement. And after many months in the doldrums I believe our business is on the up again too!

Welcome to my world!

Welcome to my world, won’t you come on in! Miracles I guess, still happen now and then! Isn’t that the line from an advert we’ve been hearing over the Christmas break for Thomson Holidays to jet us off somewhere nice and warm? Anyway welcome to my blog, I’m new to this but decided that it’s a New Year and I’ll try something different!

I am a contractors quantity surveyor that has spent, dare I say, 33 years in the industry now, so I’m your typical middle-aged professional that has somehow made it to the position of owning my own business.

I won’t give you all the details of my career straight off as I’m sure it will bore you all, and besides I won’t have anything to tell you over the coming weeks… if you are interested that is!

So it’s the start of a new decade, and what are we to call it? The terrible teens, the teenies, the tenners? Who knows, who cares, just as long as our industry gets back on its feet again. We had an awful 2009, it was the worst year for us I’ve ever known, but we’ve somehow got through it and we are looking forward to a brighter 2010 (I’m calling it twenty ten, not two thousand and ten).

So here’s some of my predictions for the coming year:

  • House building will take off again in the middle of the year after a Tory victory in the general election;
  • The new high speed rail link to Scotland and the north will get the go ahead;
  • Hotel refurbishment and new build will start a mini boom in and around the London area as the run up to the Olympics kicks off;
  • The new rules of measurement will make no impact at all (but we will have to learn about them anyway though);
  • Prices will remain very tough in the first two quarters of this year after that there will be a rise as we all become more settled about the future and the industry will become far more stable;
  • ……Oh and England will win the world cup after Arsenal have done the double! Well you can dream can’t you!

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About Me

I’m now the Managing Director of Mynott Associates Limited my own specialist measurement business. I’ve been in the industry all of my life since I left school. My first job was with Bovis Construction as a management trainee where I trained to become a quantity surveyor. I’ve worked for contractors all through my career, I am FRICS, FCIOB and MCIHT qualified and act as an RICS assessor. I’m also a keen Arsenal supporter having followed them from a young boy

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