My journey onto the Diploma in Residential Surveying and Valuation

Blog Author: 
Phillip Rushforth

My background is in Industrial Test equipment, and I have been self employed since 2003. I knew at the time I chose to become self employed, that I would need something extra to add to my portfolio before hanging up my tools.

In 2006, I read about a new qualification in connection with surveying and the selling of residential property – the Diploma in Home Inspection. Having had an extension built a couple of years earlier, I already had an interest in building technology, and on reading more about Home Information Packs and the requirement for Home Inspectors, I found that a company in Milton Keynes was offering training for new entrants. I did carry out a little market research and found some comparison training providers, but enrolled with SAVA (owned by National Energy Services - NES) in early July 2006 and started the training in September that year. I chose SAVA as they appeared to offer the most comprehensive package for new entrants. I gained the Dip HI (and the Dip DEA) and later gained the Dip CEA level 3. I stuck with NES because of their quality, accessible help teams, and the fact that they want you to pass and stay with them. It is a long term relationship with a wide variety of CPD courses, updates and newsletters.

I have met a number of people over the years at NES hosted events and CPD days. Some of them received their training with other providers, but in discussion during coffee breaks many of these people have said that they wished they had done their training with NES. They have seen the quality of material and trainers during their CPD days and realised that cheapest is not always the best. On looking back 5 or 6 years, how many of the companies that sprung from nowhere to offer fast DEA training are still trading and providing support (of any sort) to their members? We know that the market was flooded with DEAs of varying capabilities. When Green Deal Assessor training became available, a similar thing happened – people with no or little previous experience of energy assessment were being offered training that would lead to GDA qualification in just 5 days.

When I heard about the new qualification, Diploma in Residential Surveying and Valuation (Dip R Surv & Val), earlier this year at a SAVA Open Day and at the RPSA Conference, I was very wary of how many other companies would spring up to offer a similar course. Would the market again be flooded with people with varying capabilities? No, there are just two training providers who will be recognised by RICS – SAVA (NES) and BRE.

I chose this qualification to add to my portfolio of residential property surveying services. As an example, I carry out a number of EPCs and create floor plans for a local Estate Agent. I offer each homeowner a discount on a Home Condition Survey on their next home. If I can also offer an independent valuation on their next home, then the comparatively low cost EPC is an entry to a potentially much larger business opportunity. First impressions count and, if you engage with the homeowner, there is the potential for a long term relationship for all of their surveying and valuation needs.

I want to remain self employed, and realise that I may not get as many opportunities to carry out valuations for lenders than if I was employed full time, but there are many other reasons why properties need to be valued – probate, divorce, sharing, equity release etc. With the qualification and AssocRICS membership, I can then offer a wider range of property surveys if these are requested by buyers.

I am still providing technical support to my commercial customers, but the residential surveying has opened a new and much larger market that I hope to be able to carry on doing for as many years as I either need or want to.

My Diploma training started in July this year and is so far progressing very well. The days are intense, but with only 2 consecutive days each time and a variety of trainers (not the same person for 2 days), concentration and focus can be maintained. There is then a chance to reflect after the classroom time as the presentations are also given in printed format to take home. The home studies are set out carefully in a way that encourages one to read a number of sections of the books, or to carry out web based research. The next classroom session then builds on the home study work. Yes, I am enjoying it, and it is challenging. As with previous NES training courses that I have attended, the training staff provides good support, and there is a very good technical support team in case of hardware or software problems.

If you want a new career and are ready to accept the mental challenge to get there, then SAVA will look after you because they want you to succeed and will help you to achieve that goal and to be successful.

If you are considering a career in Surveying and Valuation, then come along to a free Open Day.



Nice one phill,enjoing the course

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