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Industry leaders JV to offer APC support to DCS members

Our raison d’etre / response to sector need

The current state of the UK employment market has done two things simultaneously; highlighted the immense and growing turbulence across the construction industry / surveying profession and also demonstrated the dire need for us all to upskill and stay relevant; all in a bid to remain better positioned to compete for the limited number of employment opportunities. And this, is likely to be the case for some time.

Yes, the economy may look more promising after well over a year of persistent and successive lockdown(s), but the world [and workplace(s)] that many will be slowly returning to, will remain profoundly different. Working from home has been both a luxury normalised, and which has now exhibited a perverse revelation and desire to get back into the office, simply for sanity. But for those that fail to understand, the most critical of key factors will be difficult to comprehend, as much will be markedly different from hereon in. In fact, now is the time to reconsider what it truly means to be a Chartered Surveyor and to really delve into the future citing the purpose, relevance and trust in the profession. We must all prepare for a world, led or at least heavily influenced by technology, in all that we do to successfully deliver increasingly complex, current and future Client commissions.

The imminent cessation of the UK's [Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme] aka 'furlough', the first of its kind ever to be administered in the UK, is fast approaching the cliff edge, as is the ‘revelation’ in the employment market regarding the ‘future skills’ of the Surveying professional. Keen to support those [both DCS members and wider industry participants] who remain financially challenged, yet still desirous of technical support, both industry legend Jon Lever FRICS and our Founder & Chairman Bola Abisogun OBE FRICS, have decided to join forces to unleash a complimentary offer that will deliver an ‘agile’ resource, designed to support those who are keen to capacity build themselves, with limited financial resources.

With current levels of UK Aid normally offered to support Commonwealth Nations, earmarked to diminish over time, it is imperative that many of those nations remain connected and equipped to compete via Industry 4.0; along with that strategic objective also comes the challenge of 'knowledge and best practice'. So, given that the RICS have already and successfully convened the RICS School of Built Environment, Amity University in India addressing the needs of an increasing Asian contingent, the primary focus for this DCS joint effort, particularly for those not based in the UK, will be Sub-Saharan Africa and the Caribbean, where a number of exciting conversations have already manifested across several regions. The over-arching and critical objective is to actively support those individuals [and/or their organisations], who exhibit an aspiration to sit the world renowned RICS APC.

However, additionally, we will also aim to support those who are mid-career and seem to ‘have peaked’ or ‘remain stuck on the career ladder’. With regards the latter, we intend to incentivise Senior Leaders across the profession by inviting them to conversations with us via an open forum. More to follow on this and other ideas, in the coming months.

The ‘Digital Skills’ Agenda:

Every Surveying pathway, accredited by the RICS, recognised and practised across the world, is under siege from digital transformation and it is up to us, as practising professionals, to ensure at least two things:

  • That we remain conversant in the emerging skills required; and

  • That we continue to offer and add value both to our clients and wider society

That the ‘digital-skills’ drought presents even the RICS with an untapped challenge, fuelled by unmet need, acutely recognised by Clients that are somewhat desirous of change according to their own demands, in many cases, with limited knowledge of the professional roles administered by Chartered Surveyors. Today, it is those same demands that one can and must choose to support, for the good of the profession, given the plethora of challenges that is engulfing our very existence in 2021. Future revenue growth (and profitability) for firms of all sizes, will largely be driven by their access to and use of technology or data-driven solutions. For example, #PQS2030 is a well documented attempt to work with RICS to define the future role of Cost Managers [i.e. Quantity Surveyors].

However, it is the ageing talent pool that presents the largest risk to the profession, particularly as we emerge from the global, COVID-19 pandemic. With limited succession planning at all levels and across firms, of all sizes across the global profession, it has never been a more opportunistic time for the incumbent and those well connected, to pool their resources and support the future growth of it. What has been discussed throughout 2020 and now into 2021, is the impact of technology on the current and future ways of working and this focus should be remain at the forefront of our thinking as a proactive network, determined to equip our members with the ‘diversity of thought’ that will be required and appropriately expected.

Amidst the recent and relaunched flagship technology platform, RICS Tech Partner Programme, we will ensure that DCS members remain conversant in the new and emerging technology solutions that provide both #ConTech and #PropTech solutions, most of which will reshape the ‘day-to-day’ delivery of our professional surveying roles.

At DiverseCity Surveyors, we see our role evolving into one of ‘an industry facilitator of IP’ products and services rather than just a ‘technical’ delivery partner, the former of which will become part of a wider commercial offering in the future. Working with LionHeart, as many of our members have and continue to do, we will aim to support the RICS at every possible opportunity recognising the value proposition upheld by them; clearly articulated in our Royal Charter, as it has been, since 1868.

An introduction to Jon Lever FRICS, Managing Director, DeLever

Rather than attempt to describe Jon in a multitude of words and paragraphs, we though it more prudent and ‘on-point’ to simply use several bullet points, so here goes:

• Managing Director of DeLever Ltd (20 years)

• Chartered Quantity Surveyor (25 years)

• 30yrs experience in the industry

• DeLever UK APC Online Training

• APC Programmes for Individuals, SMEs, Corporates, Blue Chips

• University APC guidance and support programmes

• Competency based assessment guidance and support

• Professional, enthusiastic, conference & motivational speaker

• BWA DeLever Middle East APC Training

• SCSI Republic of Ireland APC Training

• SCSI Republic of Ireland APC Assessor Trainer

• RICS UK Licenced APC Assessor Trainer (7,500+ Trained)

• RICS UK Licenced Associate Assessor Trainer

• RICS UK APC Assessor Auditor trainer

• RICS Regulatory Board member (2007 to 2011)

• RICS Ethics Sub-Committee member (2011 to 2012)

• RICS Governing Council member (2015 to 2020)

• RICS Training Advisor East & East Midlands (2001 to 2019)

• RICS / SCSI APC Chairman of Assessors (1998 to present) (2000+ Assessments)

• RICS & RICS Matrics event speaker

And by the way, as one of the 7,500, Jon also trained our Founder & Chairman [Bola] back in 2007/08, so this is going to be an amazing partnership for the long term; and with global reach.

Unique Benefits of the DCS / DeLever JV:

“APC Open Q&A session” once a month for an hour with Bola & Jon; the idea of this will be to host an open session via simple conversation. On some occasions, we will have a no holds barred ‘fire-side’ chat to allow participants to air their thoughts and/or frustrations of the APC process, competencies etc. But more often than not, we will generally host a conversation on a predetermined theme, with Senior members of the DCS network also invited to contribute and field questions.

Whilst the APC student will remain the core focus, we will also look to hold variations on the above that will also address APC mock preparation and ‘hot topics’ as well. However, in seeking to support all members / public, we will [at some point in the future] aim to procure a slightly different service offer addressing the unmet and growing need for those who are post-APC / mid-career and in more Senior level positions. We recognise and are privy to many of these challenges and are fluent in many of the current ‘day-to-day’ realities too.

Notwithstanding, we look forward to commencing our pre-APC offer, in June 2021 and all of the various events, associated with and supported by this unique collaboration, will be uploaded to the DiverseCity Surveyors page on LinkedIn.

We look forward to servicing the needs of our growing UK and international membership, so please stay abreast of our social media posts, other partner alerts and wider industry initiatives.


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