Having graduated from Harper Adams in August 2011, I was delighted to be offered a contract with Townsend Chartered Surveyors to begin my APC and CAAV training.

As a Junior Assistant my role was incredibly diverse and in the first four weeks we received a new estate management instruction and I was involved with preparing digital maps for the new estate terrier, negotiations on behalf of the landlord for a Farm Business Tenancy, the completion of a detailed schedule of condition for the farm land and buildings, preparing the open market letting and tender exercise for a 180 acre block of grassland, the formalisation of a shooting rights licence, and dealing with an RPA sensory inspection and remapping exercise.

This wide variety of work right from the start of my career as a rural surveyor enabled me to progress quickly through my APC competencies and kick started my CAAV training.

After only the first year I had already gained a broad range of experience, attended Western Counties CAAV tutorials, networked at the annual RICS Matrics Ball and extended my employment contract.

During my second year at Townsend Chartered Surveyors I was given the task of running the entitlement and naked acre trading desk for the SDA, Moorland, Welsh, Scottish and Northern Irish regions. I took on the responsibility of updating the previous year’s paperwork, researching policy and the markets, negotiating and handling transactions to completion. During this time I established strong connections with agents and clients throughout the UK, which became a useful source of information and business in other areas of my work.

I have been given the opportunity to attend training courses, CPD events, national agricultural shows and of course the yearly office trip to the Devon County Show, all of which have helped establish connections with local professionals and clients alike. The training I have received has been well tailored to my career needs in order to prepare me for the APC final assessment.

In Autumn 2012 I passed the CAAV practical and oral exam. This exam experience then gave me the drive to advance my RICS APC development, and by January 2013 I had given a commitment to undertake the RICS exams in the spring of 2014.

During the summer of 2013 I saw further progression within the firm and was promoted to ‘Property Manager’. This change helped me build on the skills and knowledge needed to achieve the required level in my remaining APC competencies. To strengthen my position further, building up to my Final Assessment I was sent on a RICS course in Birmingham.

By the end of 2013 I had been on a number of training courses, including a two day tutorial and the CAAV National Tutorial at the Royal Agricultural College. I passed the second part of the CAAV examinations in November 2013 and by January 2014 I had been accepted as a Fellow of the Central Association of Agricultural Valuers. After a further three months of APC revision and mock interviews, I sat the RICS Assessment of Professional Competence in the Spring of 2014 and was accepted as a Member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

During my time at Townsend Chartered Surveyors I have been part of a small but highly skilled team of individuals, all of whom have shared knowledge and experience and helped me to become a fully qualified Rural Chartered Surveyor and Agricultural Valuer.

James Clack joined the surveyors at NPS South West Ltd.

James Clack

James Clack
BSc.(Hons). MRICS. FAAV.