At LionHeart, we understand from the work we do that the APC process can be a particularly challenging time and so we are constantly developing the support we are able to offer.
As well as access to our own team of support officers and counsellors, we are also recruiting APC ambassadors to share their experiences and insights from their own professional journey. All are either recently qualified RICS professionals or are currently going through the APC process themselves.
Our APC ambassadors hope to inspire and encourage their fellow industry colleagues, share tips, and help LionHeart develop the best support possible for young professionals.
- To find out more about our APC Ambassadors please contact email@example.com
Our APC Ambassadors
Please click on the photos to find out more about each of our ambassadors:
Neil started his career working with Fund Managers on Fixed Income, Equities and Real Estate fund distribution for three years in London, subsequently joining CBRE in 2017. During that time he gained an MSc in Real Estate Investment & Finance at Heriot Watt University, Real Estate Analyst Certificate and went on to pass his APC and become a Chartered Commercial Surveyor and RICS Registered Valuer in 2019.
He says: "As someone who over-studied throughout the process to an unhealthy level I found the LionHeart material a real help."
He now mentors APC candidates to prepare them for assessment and adds: "I decided to become an ambassador for LionHeart because I believe in the value of the work that they do, having benefitted from it first-hand. I had some excellent support and coaching which was integral to passing my APC and would like to offer that support to other APC candidates.”
Roy has been involved in the property sector since 2004 as an administrative officer with the Rent Service, now part of the Valuation Office Agency (VOA).
Through this role he got the chance to study to become a chartered surveyor, undertaking an accredited degree while preparing for his APC alongside his work preparing statutory and Red Book valuations.
He says: "It was one of the proudest days of my career to receive a congratulatory email on my success at becoming a chartered surveyor in May 2020.
"I am excited to be a LionHeart ambassador and proud to be part of something supporting past and present RICS members as well as dependants and partners, who often have to bear the burden of the tough study days, late nights, early mornings and missing out on spending more consistent quality time together. If I can do it, so can you!"
Gemma studied Architecture as an undergraduate degree before completing a Masters in Construction Project Management in 2011, then an LLM in Construction Law in 2019. She became a member of the RICS in 2015 and is now a Senior Project Manager.
She says: "How people perceive me at work and at home has always been a real challenge for me as I’ve always battled with the pressure of other people’s expectations against how I really feel inside.
"Having experienced my own mental health issues in the past, I feel compelled to help others to open up in ways that, until very recently, I have been unable to. The construction industry is such a macho environment and the feeling that we are unable to talk when we experience poor mental health is debilitating.
"Through working with LionHeart, I hope to be able to break down the stigma and help enable people to talk more openly about how they feel. We need to reach a point where our mental health is something we prioritise and we talk about daily.”
David started his surveying career in the insurance sector as a commercial property loss adjusting surveyor before moving into residential surveying and valuing. He is now a director of a small firm.
He says: “My motivation to become an ambassador for LionHeart is twofold; initially to help people with problems or issues they may be facing as I like to listen, but also to help APC candidates by sharing my own experience of the APC process. I’ve been lucky enough to mentor and help train scores of new surveyors joining the industry and always have time to help people when they need it.
"LionHeart is a fantastic charity, and it is great to be able to promote its virtues and benefits to individuals and the wider industry."
Following a degree in Quantity Surveying, Sunny has been progressing his career and recently qualified as a member of the RICS.
He now dedicates time to helping peers to also become chartered surveyors, in particular supporting them to find a healthy work-study balance during what can be a demanding time.
He says: "The challenges I faced during my own experience can now be shared, ideally in order to help others to overcome any difficulties that they may face on their own journey to passing their APC."
Natasha started as a graduate surveyor in 2010 and worked in practice for 6 years. During that time she gained her MSc in Surveying through the University of Reading and went on to become chartered in 2015.
In 2016 Natasha started asset management company NC Real Estate, and is also a lecturer with the University College of Estate Management, teaching property management at undergraduate and postgraduate level.
Working herself 'past the point of being healthy' the first time she took her APC led Natasha to seek support from LionHeart.
After she was successful the next time she was determined to help others in a similar position and, working with LionHeart, devised and delivered one of our first wellbeing workshops, Supercharge Your Wellbeing, which is specially aimed at helping APC candidates through what is potentially a very stressful time.
Darren has extensive expertise in the procurement and commercial management of construction works at director level across a range of construction sectors. His initial training was with civil engineering main contractors before undertaking consulting and client-side work since entering the construction industry in 1994.
Darren is a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. Being passionate about training and development of our profession, in addition to being a LionHeart Ambassador, he is an APC assessor and an APC coach for the Quantity Surveying & Construction Pathway.
He says: “From personal experience I know how hard and lonely the route to chartership can be. LionHeart plays an increasingly important role in supporting candidates along the way and I am so pleased and proud to play my part.”
Having completed his degree in 2012, Shoaib has worked as a quantity surveyor on iconic projects including Crossrail, Riyadh Metro and most recently the BBC Television Centre.
Having recently qualified as a member of the RICS, Shoaib now hopes to give time to helping others achieve their potential.
He says: “I chose to become an ambassador for LionHeart as I understand that challenges in life can sometimes seem to be unforgiving. Whilst going through the chartership process I experienced many personal challenges which I found very difficult to share with others and as a result had an impact on me.
"Having benefited from seeking advice from LionHeart during these challenging times, I understand the value of being an APC Ambassador. Having been through this rough patch of life, I can finally share my experiences with others to assist them on their own journey to passing their APC.”
Neil took what he describes as a less traditional route into surveying, graduating in 2012 as a mature student at the age of 28, from Reading University College of Estate Management.
Neil passed the APC first time in 2013 and now specialises in commercial property investment at his own practice, where he brings several years of property industry experience.
He says: "I did a day release HNC in Property Management & Valuation for 2 years, prior to a distance learning 4 year degree at the College of Estate Management. This was all whilst working on the job.
"When I sat the APC I had over 8 years’ property experience and also the benefit of my continuous learning for a period of 6 years. I feel that I can provide advice to those mature entrants to the APC world and also to those that are looking to take a less traditional route in to the surveying profession.”
Jennifer spent two and a half years as a graduate surveyor in Milton Keynes before joining Jones Lang LaSalle in 2015. Her experience includes building surveys and Dilapidations and Contract administration.
Jen has struggled with anxiety since she was a teenager, but desperately tried to ignore it and pretend it wasn’t a problem.
She says: “I eventually decided to face it after I was referred following my first attempt at assessment. I came across a seminar called Supercharge Your Wellbeing by LionHeart, which I believe was the turning point that helped me to achieve my chartership that summer."
Rachael started out in the commercial surveying sector in Glasgow in 2014, and has specialised in telecommunications surveying and asset management throughout her career.
After an initial setback, she qualified as a Chartered Surveyor in 2019 and introduced a successful APC graduate support scheme at Waldon Telecom where she works, alongside running the Estate Management department. She also sits on the panel of APC Assessors in Scotland.
She says: “The APC is one of the most challenging periods of any surveyors career. After being referred the first time around, I found the advice and support LionHeart offered to be invaluable.
"I would encourage any candidate, no matter what stage of their APC they are going through, to use the resources offered. Take all the support you can!”
Bill started working part-time in the family practice as a residential surveyor in 2017 while studying for a degree in Town and Country Planning with Real Estate (MPlan) at the University of Manchester. After graduating in 2018 he began working towards his APC down the 24-month structured training route.
He said: “After an unsuccessful first attempt, I had an internal reflection and underestimated the APC. I realised I was not putting enough effort in and lacked focus. I used this as motivation and deferred for 12 months as I was lacking on several competencies.”
During this time Bill gained AssocRICS and other professional qualifications which he says gave him a perfect stepping stone to later resit his APC and pass in 2021. He says: “I am looking forward to helping others and feel I can offer insight into career development and dealing with referral candidates.”
Yasin kicked off his career in 2014 with a global Quantity Surveying company whilst in his final year at Kingston University, and has worked on a number of high profile construction projects for global leaders in the finance, retail and health sectors.
His current role involves mentoring junior members of staff and coaching their APC process.
He says: "Everybody goes through moments in their life when they need support, advice on work-related worries, or simply a good chat with an empathetic listener.
"I chose to become an ambassador for LionHeart because I understand first-hand the value of the work they do. Not long ago, I unexpectedly lost an immediate family member just weeks before my APC assessment. I struggled - I didn’t feel there was anyone I could speak to that understood what I was going through. I’m passionate about doing all I can to help support others that may be struggling with their own unique situations."
At 19, Alice moved to London to begin her career as an estate agent, working as a lettings consultant in Mayfair, Covent Garden and Paddington. At the same time she studied for a degree in Physical Geography at Queen Mary University.
After graduating Alice did an online MSc in Surveying (Real Estate) at Northumbria University, later starting work at a valuation firm in central London where she focussed on the final stages of her APC. She passed and became a Chartered Surveyor in November 2021.
She says: "Throughout my seven-year journey of becoming a Chartered Surveyor, I connected with many professionals who supported me, gave me confidence, encouraged me and gave me belief that I could become a Chartered Surveyor. I understand the pressures of managing day-day work stress, while also completing an MSc and the APC.
"I have overcome issues related to anxiety and poor mental health and I now feel in a position to help aspiring surveyors on their journey towards chartership”.
Jackie entered the Building Surveying profession as a second career and after initially completing her 2 years structured training, left to start her own business. She re-joined the surveying arena in April 2019 when she joined Sanderson Weatherall, becoming chartered in December 2021.
Jackie says when she set out to get her degree, she had to ‘start at the bottom’, completing a two-year HND before joining the BSc Surveying degree course. At the time she was a single parent to 16 year old son, and so realises how challenging a career change later on in life can be.
She says: “By the time I got around to my APC exam I was a bit of a wreck. I was going through the menopause and my anxiety and self-doubt were through the roof. As well as seeking medical help, I turned to LionHeart for mental help, and it was the best thing I ever did. I initially had coaching sessions which really changed my life. I was able to see a new way of thinking about things and I was told that I have Imposter Syndrome which made huge sense, but I had never really known the syndrome existed before then.
“The weight off my shoulders was immense and for the first time in a long time I didn’t feel like I was broken. I will be eternally grateful to Lionheart for the unbelievable support they provide.”
Andrew lives and works in East Anglia as a Quantity Surveyor with experience across multiple sectors.
He undertook his BSc in Quantity Surveying through the University College of Estate Management, and eventually undertook the APC in 2020, passing first time. Since then he has been assisting other candidates both internally at work and outside of his organisation.
When preparing for his own APC, Andrew suffered with anxiety and low confidence and reached out to LionHeart for help.
He says: "That experience benefitted me immeasurably. Without the conversations and advice that was given to me by the LionHeart staff, I wouldn’t have been able to cope the way I did. I will forever be grateful, and look forward to giving back to LionHeart and passing on my experience to help others."
Saqib has been working as a Quantity Surveyor since 2011, spending the majority of his career at a multi-national consultancy on major landmark projects such as Crossrail, London Bridge Redevelopment and Heathrow Airport.
He says: "The challenges I came across to becoming Chartered were faced in both personal and professional life; balancing work, studying and personal responsibilities is never easy.
"We all go through different phases in life, some positive and some not - it is important to remember there is always support available and this is where LionHeart helped me, especially when I was struggling to make sense of the situation during Covid and the lockdown.
"As an ambassador I would like to not only share my experiences but support those in need."
Following graduation from Liverpool John Moores University in 2018, Ben passed his APC second time round in 2021 during the national lockdown. Ben now works in Liverpool for Pegasus Group, undertaking land and property acquisitions on behalf of clients across the UK.
Ben hopes that he can use his recent APC and life experiences to positively influence future generations on chartered surveyors, being on hand to provide support and prevent others making the same mistakes that he did. Ben hopes that with working with Lion Heart that he can have a large reach to current and future APC candidates and be able to guide others through the difficult journey.
Elise Thompson is a commercial property surveyor, undertaking financial viability assessments for public sector clients. She is also passionate about helping APC candidates on their journeys to becoming chartered by acting as an RICS mentor and counsellor and consultant for training group Property Elite. Elise’s drive to help others stems from her own APC journey, which she says was not as smooth sailing as she would have hoped for - but ultimately made her a better surveyor and companion to those on the same path.
She says: “I am a firm advocate for mental health awareness being equal to physical health: I want to encourage neurodiversity in the surveying profession and help empower the next generation of surveyors to change the built environment for the better.”
After finishing university in 2015, John worked for Local Government in both Glasgow and Lanarkshire. He became a LionHeart ambassador after failing his APC five times, explaining: "I was really suffering after the fourth attempt, and I wasn't sure if I'd ever be able to pass. That's when I contacted LionHeart, who patiently listened to my situation and referred me to their counselling service."
Counselling enabled John to take a step back and analyse how he handled difficult circumstances, rethinking his strategy and passing his APC on his fifth attempt.
He says: "I was incredibly thankful and grateful for LionHeart's support in making a significant difference in my life, and I love how utterly honest and kind they are. I wanted to use my resilience to serve and encourage others."
Avneet spent four years at the Valuation Office Agency where she qualified in November 2017 before joining Gerald Eve in 2018. Her career experience includes valuations for taxation, development viability, accounting, and secure lending purposes.
She says: "I believe, as individuals, we all go through moments in life that are ‘up and down’, and we must not brush these emotions under the carpet but instead acknowledge them.
"Both the industry we are in and the APC process can be an overwhelming experience, therefore as an ambassador I would like to provide support to others by sharing my own experiences."
David graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Quantity surveying from Glasgow Caledonian University in 2011.
He gained Associate RICS qualification in 2015 and full MRICS membership in June 2020, and now works as a Senior Quantity Surveyor with projects in healthcare, financial and education sectors under his belt.
He says: "My main motivation to become an ambassador for LionHeart is to help APC candidates through their own APC journey by sharing my own experiences including helpful advice, insight and knowledge.
"Having personally experienced my own challenges and setbacks throughout my working life and APC, I understand the importance of having someone to talk with through the process and gain reassurance and support from."