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Tuesday 24th May 2022

Diploma in Residential Surveying & Valuation

If you are looking for a pathway into residential surveying, this Diploma is a unique qualification giving those without a relevant degree the opportunity to join the profession.

Qualification overview

The Diploma is a level 6 qualification, overseen by the Awarding Body for the Built Environment (ABBE). It’s approved for Direct Entry into the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS)* meaning you can join RICS as an Associate member and start earning a living as a surveyor. The Diploma is also accredited by the Chartered Association of Building Engineers (CABE).

Key features:

  • You’ll be able to undertake RICS HomeBuyer Reports, valuations and other condition surveys
  • There’s a high demand for surveying services across the UK and there’s limited supply of new surveyors
  • A career in residential surveying offers great freedom and flexibility such as working for yourself or with an established company
  • It’s vocational, meaning you’re taught real life skills – so when you finish you’ll be ready to start your career and start earning fees
  • Gain a deep understanding of residential construction, pathology and valuation – essential skills that are desperately needed to look after the UK’s 28 million residential properties
  • Study is part time, and can be completed in 24 months so you can complete it whilst continuing to work in your current job

Qualification Summary

Qualification type:

Level 6 vocational related Diploma

Qualification duration:

24-30 months (learner dependent)

Awarding body:

Ofqual regulated through the Awarding Body for the Built Environment (part of Birmingham City University)

Study method:

Part-time blended learning including a mix of face-to-face and online learning

Qualification outcome:

Eligible for direct entry to the RICS via the Associate Residential Survey and Valuation pathway* and accredited by CABE

Learning credits:


The Diploma is a vocationally related qualification, meaning it gives you the skills and knowledge to be a well-rounded residential surveyor. It is delivered part time via blended learning including a mix of face-to-face and online learning.

Training – Training is delivered over 15 months via a mix of face-to-face and online learning. The modules are:

Module information - click to view
  • 1. Induction

    Introduction to the course, meeting the team, systems overview. Introduction to key learning and surveying skills

  • 2. Being A Professional

    This module discusses everything it means to be professional and introduces ethics, client care, communication, regulation, and professional conduct. It covers conflict avoidance, management, and dispute resolution procedures

  • 3. Law

    Law underpins the whole qualification. This module introduces law and discusses how it is made and introduces some land law concepts such as easements, restrictive covenants, contract law negligence, and occupier’s liability. It also covers legal and regulatory compliance

  • 4. Property Research and Observation

    Observational and research skills are essential for surveying and these modules introduce completing thorough property research as well as developing the skills needed to ’see’ and record those observations in residential properties. This module also includes the importance of keeping property records and data management and introduces health and safety in residential property. By working in groups, you will begin to develop these skills

  • 5. Valuation

    Introduction to the concept of valuation and how to determine a property’s worth. This module introduces the RICS mandatory valuation standard and discusses how condition affects value, regulatory and legal requirements.

  • 6. Investigating Residential Property – Case Study Properties

    These modules focus on how properties are built and what can go wrong. They look at sites, foundations, floors, roofs, walls, and joinery. We explore how residential buildings should be correctly built and the process of diagnosing the cause of defects such as building movement, dampness etc. The interactive sessions will focus on case study properties

  • 7. Investigating Residential Property – Building Services

    This module looks at service systems and what can go wrong. It covers inspection and testing of service systems, electrical systems, heating services, plumbing and drainage. The interactive session will focus on a case study property

  • 8. Inspecting Property

    Building upon the observation and recording skills from earlier in the course, this focuses on the inspection ‘agenda’ and equipment. It covers property measurement in depth (including industry regulatory standards) and looks at residential rebuilding costs. It also covers health and safety whilst on site

  • 9. Consistent Report Writing

    This module looks in detail at how to report findings to clients and the importance of client care. It covers the production and distribution of condition reports, the duty to the client and principles of good report writing

  • 10. Investigating Residential Property - Practical days

    The practical days are site visits to a range of real properties to carry out a full inspection followed by a detailed analysis of the findings to determine what defects might exist and how impactful they would be on the owner. Please note: regardless of course location, these site visits take place in Milton Keynes. The practical sessions will be followed by an overview day to ensure you develop a robust inspection technique

  • 11. Energy & Sustainability

    This module focuses on sustainability using the ‘three pillar’ framework. It looks in depth at energy efficiency and how appropriate energy improvement measures and renewable technologies can contribute to the carbon saving agenda. It covers RDSAP conventions as part of this, but the course does not give you the ability to produce EPCS

  • 12. Introduction to Assessment

    This is separated into two sessions and covers the preparation needed for the assessment process, how to present evidence for your qualification, and an overview of how to use the online e-portfolio system


You will need to complete a portfolio for assessment. This includes 10 condition reports and valuations so that you can demonstrate your technical knowledge, as well as written tasks to assess your business and interpersonal skills. It is through this assessment stage that you demonstrate that you have the skills and knowledge to be a residential surveyor and gain direct entry into RICS and apply to CABE. After this there are 2 multiple-choice external examinations.

How long does it take?

The training is delivered over 15 months. The assessment phase starts 11 months into the qualification and takes between 12-18 months to complete (learner dependent).  The average time to complete the qualification is 24 months.

Trainer expertise

The training is delivered by leading surveying practitioners, including Phil Parnham, Larry Russen, Chris Rispin and Alan Appleby – many of whom deliver training for RICS and have written much of the industry guidance and text books that are used on the Diploma.

How much study do I need to undertake?

This depends on the relevance of your past work experience and your individual learning style. Most learners dedicate 10-15 hours each week to study.

What are the entry requirements?

There are no formal requirements for entry onto this qualification. However, we recommend that you possess a good understanding of English Writing, Mathematics and IT skills at an equivalent standard to GCSE level C.

Who is the Qualification designed for?

The course teaches you everything you need to become a competent residential surveyor with no previous experience. Therefore, it is suitable for anyone to undertake, however a background in the property or construction industry would be an advantage.

*The Sava Diploma is approved for Direct Entry to RICS at Associate Level. There is a requirement for Sava Diploma holders to demonstrate a minimum of two years’ relevant experience to gain entry to RICS.  Relevant experience can include a wide range of activities such as gathering practical experience, and it can run concurrently whilst studying for the Diploma.  It can also include previous property experience such as being an Estate Agent or Domestic Energy Assessor. Please call our course advisors to discuss your circumstances prior to enrolling.

"I was attracted to the course because it is run by industry leaders and it also gave me the flexibility to keep working in my current role while I was studying. I liked how quickly you could qualify if you were prepared to put the work in"

James Quinn, Diploma Graduate,
Now Owner Of Surveying Company

You will be taught by industry experts

Larry Russen, Chartered Surveyor & Diploma Trainer explains how learners are taught by industry experts

Download and read later

Our take away PDF contains a qualification overview and key information...

Download it

What is a Residential Surveyor?

A residential surveyor deals with all aspects of residential property. Principal activities are valuing and surveying property as well as the management, purchase, sale, or leasing of land and property.

Career rewards?

  • The average AssocRICS salary is £49,293 (source: RICS 2018 UK rewards and attitude survey).
  • There’s a high demand for surveying services across the UK and there’s limited supply of new surveyors.
  • A career in residential surveying offers great freedom and flexibility such as working for yourself or with an established company.
  • The RICS Recruit website also provides up to date information on career opportunities.

Opportunities within residential surveying

With the Diploma you will have many career options:

  • Join a surveying firm – most surveying companies offer 9-to-5 employment so if you are looking for a salaried position joining an existing firm could be for you.
  • Find work through a panel of surveyors – a surveying panel offers work to its members on a contract basis – perfect if you are looking for some flexibility with your workload.
  • Self-employed – many residential surveyors decide to work independently, marketing their services and working hours that suit them best.
  • Opportunities in other surveying fields – there are also many opportunities for further study and qualifications enabling you to provide a more diverse range of surveys and professional advice, such as full building surveys, listed buildings and party wall surveys.

Course Fees

The total cost of the Diploma if you pay upfront is £16,450 (inc. VAT). We have created several options for paying for the course to give as much flexibility as possible. Details of these options can be found below.

An Early Booking Discount of £500 is available to those who enrol on a course at least 8 weeks prior to the course start date. To discuss payment options please contact a Sava course adviser on 01908 442158 or email us at

Click here to view our latest pricing schedule containing details of all payment options. Click here to view the Terms and conditions for Sava qualification and training programmes.

Option 1: Pay As You Learn (PAYL)

    Key features:

    • Our most popular option – breaks payment down into a deposit and regular monthly installments
    • No credit check is required
    • You pay for the Diploma as you go, meaning that if you decide to leave the Diploma programme prior to completion, you don’t have to keep paying

    As an example, with a deposit of £7,250, you can join the programme with 24 monthly payments of £395 (inc. VAT). Click here to download our pricing schedule containing all our PAYL options.

Option 2: Payment in Advance

    Key features:

    • Pay in full in advance and benefit from the lowest overall cost
    • Available to individuals and businesses
    • Payment is made in full before the start of the course

    The total cost of the course if paid in advance is £16,450 (inc. VAT). Click here to download our pricing schedule.

Option 3: Business to Business package

    Key features:

    • Only available to businesses looking to put themselves or a nominated employee through the programme
    • Low deposit and monthly payments up to 30 months
    • Includes business support package of learner template contract and employer liaison

    As an example, with a deposit of £1,500 inc. VAT, you can join the programme with 30 monthly payments of £565 inc. VAT. Click here to download our pricing schedule containing two Business to Business options.

Course Intakes – View on a map

The Diploma is run from several locations throughout the UK. The current intakes can be found below or viewed on a map here. Refreshments and lunch are provided on all days. Please note: one of the training days and one assessment day will take place in Milton Keynes regardless of course location.


    Training in Bristol will commence with the Induction Day on 24th June 2022. 8 days are delivered face-to-face in the classroom, 4 are practical days which are held in Milton Keynes and the rest are held virtually.

    Venue details: Novotel Bristol Centre, Victoria Street, Bristol, BS1 6HY

    Click to view Course Dates.


    Training in Kent will commence with the Induction Day on 27th July 2022. 8 days are delivered face-to-face in the classroom, 4 are practical days which are held in Milton Keynes and the rest are held virtually.

    Venue details: Mercure Dartford/Brands Hatch, Brands Hatch,  DA3 8PE

    Click to view Course Dates.


    Training in Birmingham will commence with the Induction Day on 5th September 2022. 8 days are delivered face-to-face in the classroom, 4 are practical days which are held in Milton Keynes and the rest are held virtually.

    Venue details: Conference Aston, Aston University, Aston St, Birmingham B4 7ET

    Click to view Course Dates.



Industry endorsements & quotes



Nasir Iqbal

Residential Surveyor & Valuer at SDL Surveying

“I would recommend the Sava Diploma in Residential Surveying and Valuation as it gives you a chance to learn from the best in the industry. The knowledge you gain is very relevant/practical and when you are qualified you feel you are ready and confident to start working straight away, whether it is employment or starting your own firm.”

Nasir graduated with Sava in 2020, click to read about his experiences

Ben Browne

Surveyor with Arnold & Baldwin Chartered Surveyors

Ben graduated with Sava in 2018, In this video hear about Ben’s story to become a

Ewa Wolska

Surveyor with Michael Holden Chartered Surveyors

Ewa graduated with Sava in 2018. In this video hear about what Ewa loves about her new career
in surveying.

Nick Goldsmith

Surveyor with Arnold & Baldwin Chartered Surveyors

Nick graduated with Sava in 2018. In this video, hear about why Nick decided on a new career
in surveying and how he achieved his Diploma.

 Matt Siddons, Recruitment Manager, e.surv

“Surveying is a career in demand. From the point of view of the employers, all of the brands in here today [the Residential Surveying Careers Fair 2019], everyone needs additional surveyors. I don’t think there will be a brand in here today that isn’t short of a surveyor. So, from that point of view, the opportunity to become accredited, and get a foot in the door, I think it provides a really positive route in.”

Neale Smith, Head of Recruitment, Connells

“We support what Sava is doing with up and coming potential residential surveyors and we are looking to take those surveyors on from that point when they qualify with Sava. At the moment, there is a shortage in the industry of surveyors, it’s no secret. Companies like ourselves are looking to take on people that have just qualified with Sava.”

Mike Cosey, Managing Director, Cosey Homes

“We have recruited in the past from Sava and we found out that the training is really good. The level of experience and the level of education they receive from Sava is really good. We have been really happy with their performance and hopefully we want to recruit a few more.”

James Ginley FRICS, Director of Technical Surveying, e.surv 

“LGSS are very supportive of the work Sava has been doing in bringing much needed new talent into the residential surveying sector. We know of many surveying and valuation companies within the LGSS network who have taken on Sava graduates and who are delighted with the knowledge and skills that they bring.”

Kerry Baker, Allcott Associates

“Twelve months down the line, I can say I have learnt so much already. I’ve realised that there’s a lot to surveying! I recently completed my classroom days and have now started the second stage of the course: the assessment stages. To be completely honest, stage 2 is a lot more work than I thought it would be!I am not going to say it isn’t challenging, but I am very proud that I have got this far working part time and being a mum of two young children. I can’t wait to qualify and get out on the road as a fully qualified valuation surveyor!”

You can read more from Kerry here.

Diploma Briefings

We understand that enrolling on a new qualification is a big decision and that you will have many questions. The best way to get your questions answered and to really get a feel for the course is to attend one of our diploma briefings. We currently have the below events scheduled, use the form to book your free place.

Kent briefing

    Wednesday 25th May 2022

    Venue: Mercure Dartford/Brands Hatch, DA3 8PE

    Session running time: 11am – 1:30pm

Bristol briefing

    Tuesday 24th May 2022

    Venue: Victoria St, Redcliffe, Bristol BS1 6HY

    Session running time: 11am – 1:30pm


Don’t have the time to make it to a briefing? Log onto a webinar – this gives you the opportunity to speak to the experts directly from the comfort of your own home.  Use the form to book your free place.

Being an independent surveyor

    Being an independent surveyor (Alan Milstein, Director, Skyline Surveyors and Chairman, RPSA) – 6th July, 1pm

    In this 40 minute webinar (followed by a 20 minute Q&A session) Alan will be talking about:

    • Can I work for myself?
    • Everything you ever wanted to know about life as an independent surveyor but were too afraid to ask
    • How much to charge for a survey
    • What support is available from the RPSA

    This webinar is suitable for those considering undertaking the Diploma in Residential Surveying and Valuation. A webinar for existing learners is available, please contact us for details.

An Introduction to the Diploma in Residential Surveying and Valuation

    An Introduction to the Diploma in Residential Surveying and Valuation (Andy Flook, Sava) –  21st June, 1pm or 7pm

    This 30 webinar provides an overview into the Diploma and Residential Surveying. There will be time for questions at the end of the session.

    • Introduction to Residential Surveying
    • How the diploma works
    • Time and effort required
    • Course intake and fees
    • Career opportunities and earning potential
    • Next steps

Contact us

Please use this form to book your event place.

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"Great insight event. Very well presented with an engaging speaker"

K. Mukhtar

97% of attendees agreed all their questions were answered by attending a briefing event

For over 35 years we have been Making Buildings Better

Sava strives to make buildings better. We do this by providing education, technology, and compliance
services to building owners, surveyors and the wider property industry. We were established in 1983, and
our roots are within energy assessment and home condition surveying.