New Surveyor Qualifications

Blog Author: 
Hilary Grayson

We have been working very hard to replace the now defunct Home Inspector Diploma (Dip HI) and now have two new qualifications - the Diploma in Residential Surveying and the Diploma in Residential Surveying and Valuation – which we expect to formally launch in the New Year.

The Diploma in Residential Surveying (Dip R Surv) is an almost direct replacement to the Home Inspector qualification and is likely to appeal to Domestic Energy Assessors (DEA) who want to progress in their career.  It is not identical to the original Dip HI; the original qualification did include RDSAP but there is a new element on energy that will cover energy efficiency in a more practical sense and will include renewable technologies etc.  

 Those who already hold the Home Inspector Diploma might want to do this new qualification, but it is not essential as they will still be eligible to belong to the SAVA scheme and lodge Home Condition Surveys. However, we recognise that some might want to up skill and we plan to offer training and assessment on the new energy element to enable those who hold the Dip HI to access the new qualification if they wish to.  For those who missed the boat on the Dip HI (either because they did not finish in the time frame or because only now are they thinking about moving forward in their career) this new qualification in full will give them access to the SAVA HCS scheme.
The Diploma in Residential Surveying and Valuation (Dip R Surv & Valn) has four units common to the Dip R Surv and has an additional two units that cover valuation.  We are delighted to be able to report that candidates who take this qualification will have direct entry to AssocRICS, providing they have two years relevant experience and subject to taking an Ethics module delivered by the RICS (all AssocRICS applicants have to complete this.) 
The Dip R Surv is a level 6 qualification and is estimated to be the same amount of work as the Diploma in Home Inspection.  For someone who already holds the HI qualification, is active as a surveyor (not just as an energy assessor) and wants to gain the Dip R Surv and Valuation, we anticipate about 6 months hard graft to achieve the valuation units, plus the new energy element. The best analogy is that the Dip R Surv is the equivalent of a degree and the additional valuation units the equivalent of a Masters.
It is likely that we will ‘parcel up’ both the learning and assessment into chunks or ‘modules’ to give as many people as possible access to these new qualifications.  We hope to start selling modules of training and assessment in the New Year, with a view to delivering in March/April time.

As far as costs are concerned we still have a lot of work to do on the development of both the training and the assessment modules so lots of the costs remain uncertain.   As an indication,  we  anticipate fees similar to those of the Fast Track course, £8k, for the Dip R Surv as a new entrant  For a Home Inspector looking to just upgrade to the new qualification then we anticipate fees along the lines of a few days CPD.  For a Home Inspector wishing to complete the Dip R Surv and Valuation we anticipate fees similar to that of a masters course, certainly more than the current DEA qualification.
Unfortunately at this stage we are not able to be more specific, there are still so many unknowns, but we are very excited about the possibilities that these new qualifications will offer both to our existing surveyors and also to new surveyors wanting to work in the residential sector.

Please help us design the right framework by doing our quick survey found here.



Hi Hilary,

I read with interest the article that went up today on the NES website re the new surveying courses. I have a couple of questions if you could help me -

At present, I am a DEA who would like to move into residential surveying hence my interest in the qualifications. The figure of £8,000 seems too much money for individuals such as myself to come up with unless there is some form of financing scheme in place - do you know if there are any plans for this? I know that Barclays for example offer a career development loan but the training provider must register for the scheme.

Also, how long would you anticipate the course to last for a new entrant?

Kind regards,

James Leech


Hello James

Thanks for your questions.

In relation to a financing scheme, this is something we will be exploring and I have started to put feelers out but I have no answers as yet. I am aware that Barclays had a scheme. We will see if that, or something similar, is available.

It is difficult to say exactly how long this will take a candidate to complete but we would expect on average about 18 months for the training and the completion of a satisfactory portfolio. Some might be faster, some will inevitably be slower. It will depend on their starting point and also on how much time they can give to any studying.

I hope that helps for now.



Hi Hilary

I am both a HCS provider and a RICS survey provider. I am a registered RICS valuer having qualified through the residential surveyor and valuation route.

What would I need to do to achieve the valuation module for any forthcoming HCS changes?


Hello Brian

Thank you for commenting.

If you already have the old Diploma in Home Inspection and you are a member of RICS you do not have to do anything at all. You can still offer the HCS. That will not change.

But we will be packaging the learning up in such a way that you might want to access some of the course as CPD.

Currently there are no hard and fast plans to change the HCS (though I do have some ideas)so no new rules for those offering the HCS. As we progress we might make some CPD mandatory, but not at the moment.

Hope that answers your queries.



Dear Hilary,

I currently supply your HCS and hold the ABBE Level 4 Diploma Certificate in Residential Property for Secured Lending. Would this additional qualification meet the valuation element in the new qualification?

Many thanks,


Reply posted below as new comment.


Hi Terry

The new qualification does not match exactly the old L4 Diploma n Residential Property Valuation for Secured Lending. Times have changed and lenders requirements have adjusted accordingly. Also, we have extended the valuation scope to match the AssocRICS pathway.

As with all vocational qualifications, accreditation of prior learning and knowledge will apply. But I cannot yet give a you a blanket answer for exactly how it will match up, because we have not yet discussed this with ABBE and also because it is likely to vary from person to person. Someone who holds the original HI Diploma and is busy doing HCS reports will have a different skill set to someone who has the diploma but has moved into other fields. It is therefore likely that we will have a series of tests to help learners identify a training pathway specific to their needs.

Please help us design the right framework by doing our quick survey linked at the end of this article.

Many thanks



Dear Hilary

I'm really interested in the new Dip R Surv and Valuation. How would I been seen? I currently work in surveying sector as a building control surveyor (Building Regulations) and have over 16 years’ experience in the surveying/construction sector. I have the DipH.I qualification among others and I can gain direct membership with RICS as associate. I would be keen to know how this would help to gain MRICS and also what would be expected from me to achieve the qualification. I would also be interested in doing property valuations in the future, Would this qualification be supported by mortgage lenders and be accepted if you are only AssocRICS.




Hello Andy

Thanks for taking the time to comment.

We are still working out some of the finer detail, but in principle a learner will only have to undertake the training on areas where he/she is missing knowledge and competence. That said, we will only be able to cut the cake in a limited number of ways, some learners might have to cover some ground that is already familiar to them.

With regards to AssocRICS - the new Dip R Surv and Valuation will get you straight to associate membership. You could apply directly to RICS now, and go through the existing assessment regime that they already have in place. I cannot really comment on the pros and cons of that as I have no direct experience. Alternatively you could do the new qualification with us. I suspect that the latter will be more streamlined, since Assessment is what we do well and specialise in.

With regard to MRICS, in all honesty that is a hurdle we are yet to cross. I know the Director of Education and Standards well, and the door is definitely open to discussing new ways of achieving MRICS - but one step at a time!!

The lenders are now realising that they are going to have to recognise AssocRICS. The larger employers are leading the way there - I think they are successfully getting that message through to lenders.

In reality most lending work will also only come via the larger employers, who have the main contracts with the lenders. But again, the world is changing (albeit gradually) and at least with AssocRICS there are more options open to you, with new possibilities emerging all the time.

I hope that helps



Dear Hilary,

I am a chartered commercial property surveyor with a background of inspection, rent reviews, lease renewals, management and valuation. I am currently unemployed and am considering a switch into the residential sector.

I am particularly interested in the diploma in residential surveying and valuation but I have a few questions;

- Is this the best route for a surveyor with my background to gain access into the residential sector ?

- I completed the RICS approved CEM Diploma in Surveying back in 2003 so I am wondering whether any exemptions are likely to be available ?

- I am a little light on building pathology and diagnosis of defects - will the diploma cover these aspects ?

Many thanks,



Hi Gary

This is definately the route for you! And you would not have to do all of it either - our thinking is that there are a lot of people likely to come from a range of backgrounds with a range of knowledge and competence. Where we can map that against the qualification there will be some exemptions (certainly from the training).

Your background is similar to mine - and boy am I light on construction and pathology! Yes - these will be the meat of the qualification.

With regard to valuation, you will have knowledge in spades, and I will have to discuss with Chris Rispin what elements of the valuation side you would have to do. I suspect, for example, we would not make property law mandatory for you. And you might only have to do part of the valuation module - I can get more on this from the College itself. But these sorts of questions are really helping us design a flexible structure.

So thanks, and watch this space.



Dear Hilary,

I am Graduate Building Surveyor with experience conducting defect surveys in social housing but now working in a large consultancy on education projects. However I am looking to enter the residential sector again, would I be able to start Diploma in Residential Surveying (Dip R Surv) or is there a qualification I would need to attain before this?




Hello Sean

You would be able to do either Diploma - the Diploma in Residential Surveying or the Diploma in Residential Surveying and Valuation. Depending on how much technical knowledge you have been able to retain, you might not have to do all of the training (we will be offering training and assessment packages).

Can I suggest you sign up to our database (go to the Surveyor training pages on the web
) and that way you can keep up to date as the thinking progresses.

Thank you for your interest and inquiry.



Dear Hilary,

I currently work in the real estate sector as an agent and am seriously considering moving into residential surveying with the hope of enrolling onto this course. I have a couple of questions which I hope you can answer for me please.

You mentioned in the article to gain direct entry as assocrics, two years relevant experience is a must. If for someone such as myself who has no experience in the surveying/valuation field, how will I be considered for assocrics once I complete the course?

My second question is regarding the training days. Will they operate during work hours - 9 to 5:30pm - or will they be held later in the evening?

I look forward to your reply and many thanks.



Hello Adam,

Hilary is out of the office today so I am responding on her behalf. Estate Agency is counted as relevant experience for AssocRICS so you will be able to apply for membership as soon as you have completed the Diploma, even if it is less than 2 years since starting.

All the Open Days are held 9am-5pm but some days for our London course are at the weekend.

Please feel free to call us on 01908 442158 or email us at and we can call you back.

Kind regards


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