RICS School Ambassador Induction Course



Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors

Sponsor Liaison: Sally Speed
Student Team: Thomas Hagen, Jiacheng Liu, Gage Laskowski, Patrick Murphy

The goal of this project was to develop a training program for the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors for their school ambassadors to ensure the delivery of a consistent message and help inspire students to become surveyors. Created for this project was a structure for an online training course with key areas that individual videos will address, a tutorial for an in-person workshop, and a handbook to accompany the training course. The areas chosen to address were determined through interviews with stakeholders in RICS and outside companies, surveys with school ambassadors, and school visits. Ambassadors will be able to choose which variation of the training course they may complete and deliver consistent presentations to inspire a new generation of surveyors.




Executive Summary


The profession of surveying has faced a severe skills shortage over the last few years. An increase in demand for professional surveyors has left many unfilled jobs across the United Kingdom in the construction sector. Adding to this issue, the average age of a surveyor in the United Kingdom is approximately fifty-five, with the average retirement age being around sixty- five. Due to these facts, the profession is quickly losing a large portion of its workforce. In order to combat this trend, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has become increasingly interested in inspiring the next generation of young surveyors. As part of this initiative RICS is looking to develop a training program for its member volunteers who present to students in schools on the field of surveying. RICS hopes that the development of this program will enable these presenters to be more effective at engaging students and interesting them in the field of surveying.

Currently volunteers work independently of RICS in facilitating these presentations, presenting in schools without notifying the organization. In addition, volunteers are rarely experienced in delivering presentations, and in some cases are not properly conveying RICS’s message to students.


Therefore, RICS has instructed this team to develop a training program in order to add consistency to their message through these presentations and inspire a greater number of students. These presentations are focused on targeting students between the ages of eleven and nineteen. The program must efficiently use RICS resources to train school ambassadors, requiring minimal staffing while being more thorough than the currently implemented orientation materials. In order to accomplish this goal, the team began by determining the media form and materials that must be contained in this training. This was followed by the creation of an outline for the selected media form to allow future development of the course. Finally the training and presentation materials for school ambassadors were produced.

Conclusions and Recommendations

By following the objectives set forth by this team and through the research, interviews, surveys, and focus groups conducted, it has been determined that this training program should be distributed through multiple avenues of communication. This team recommends that the course therefore be conducted in small workshops given by experienced school ambassadors working in tandem with RICS, as well as through an e-learning service once RICS has developed this platform. In order to represent RICS as a school ambassador, it is required that a prospective volunteer complete either form of training. This training will cover basic presentation tips, material needed for the presentations, the proper procedures for communication with schools, as well as guidelines on how to interact with students and what responsibilities should be delegated to the teacher.

We also recognizes that RICS members volunteer for this position and thus have limited time. Therefore, in-person workshops will be conducted on their own time, and will likely take place only semi-regularly. It is recommended that local member groups hold their training courses whenever possible, and whenever a demand exists. For the majority of ambassadors, nevertheless, attending a face-to-face session is impractical. To ensure that this training program will be able to reach as many volunteers as possible, this team has also developed the structure for an online course to be given through the e-learning platform that RICS plans to develop. This course will utilize micro-learning techniques, where individual concepts are broken down into videos. Each of these short videos will be followed by a quick quiz to assess retention of key points. Completion of each of these quizzes is a requirement to finish the online course.

Finishing either of these training programs will allow volunteers to be officially certified as part of RICS’s school ambassador program. Upon completion of this program, they will be given access to the presentation itself, which they may modify as they see fit, as well as a printable review handbook covering the material in the training, an FAQ sheet that will answer the students’ most common questions, and a list of possible activities for ambassadors to conduct in schools. It is this team’s hope that the volunteers make use of all these materials in their own way, and caters their presentations to the school in question and their own experiences.

These training programs are intended to instruct aspiring ambassadors in the logistics of completing a presentation. A proper training program will end with the volunteers knowing how to arrange a visit with schools, send a consistent message to the students, set up activities, and adhere to student safety guidelines. However, it is also an opportunity to inspire these volunteers to motivate students. These courses will allow ambassadors to formulate new ideas on how to engage with students and inspire the next generation of surveyors through their presentations.