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Thursday 22nd October 2020

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 gain AssocRICS membership as soon as you qualify, and be 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:

12 months of part-time learning followed by a 6-18 month period of assessment (learner dependent)

Awarding body:

Awarding Body for the Built Environment (ABBE)

Study method:

Part-time blended learning including 22 classroom days

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. The Diploma is delivered part time and is delivered in two parts – training and assessment.


Training lasts for 12 months and is delivered via a mix of face-to-face and online learning. It includes two contact days a month at your chosen course location. The modules are:

Module information - click to view
  • 1. Induction

    Introduction to the course, meeting the team, technical appraisal case study, introduction to law, introduction to valuation and systems overview

  • 2. Professional Issues

    This training day examines a range of topics surrounding the requirement of surveyors to conduct inspections in an effective and professional manner

  • 3. Valuation

    Determining property value, RICS mandatory requirements, how condition affects value, regulatory and legal requirements and different types of valuations

  • 4. Construction

    This module focuses on foundations, floors and walls, desktop research, scale drawings, floor plans and calculating U-values as well as building services

  • 5. Law

    The law and its background, easements, restrictive covenants, contract law, negligence and occupier’s liability are looked at in this module

  • 6. Inspecting Property

    The inspection ‘agenda’ and equipment, property measurements to include floor, volume and ceiling as well as the residential cost-rebuilding calculator

  • 7. Building Pathology

    This module focuses on the process of diagnosing the cause of building movement, damp and defects. It includes ground and above ground based movement plus loads more

  • 8. Assessing 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

  • 9. Report Writing

    This module advises on the production and distribution of condition reports. It covers principles of good report writing and limitations of the report

  • 10. RdSAP Masterclass

    An introduction to RdSAP (a tool for measuring energy efficiency) conventions is provided in this module

  • 11. Condition Masterclass

    How to carry out a Home Condition Survey, how to attribute a rating using the Sava Protocol, demonstration of the Sava software and site visit

  • 12. Energy

    This module concentrates on identifying appropriate energy improvement measures and renewable technologies (not as dictated by RdSAP conventions)

  • 13. HCS Practical

    This day focuses on the Sava Home Condition Survey as a product and covers Best Standard Practice and terms of engagement, a site visit to carry out an inspection and detailed analysis of the property such as walls or roof. Please note: regardless of course location, this site visit takes place in Milton Keynes

  • 14. Introduction to Assessment

    Preparation for the assessment process, how to present evidence and overview of the online portfolio system


Once the training is complete, you will then produce a portfolio of evidence for assessment. This will include 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 takes 12 months, and once this is complete you move onto assessment. We encourage learners to take no longer than 12 months in assessment, and whilst some learners complete in as little as 6 months, 12 months is more realistic. So overall, the diploma takes 24 months to complete.

Trainer expertise

The training is delivered by leading surveying practitioners, including Phil Parnham, Larry Russen, Chris Rispin and Alan Appleby from BlueBox Partners – 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.

"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 £14,950 (inc. VAT). We have created several options for paying for the course to give as much flexibility as possible where you could spread the cost to as little as £277 a month. 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 4 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 £6,500, 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: Finance

    Key features:

    • Offered in partnership with DEKO, a third party finance company who you contract with to make the deposit and monthly instalments. Please get in contact with our Course Advisors to discuss what might be suitable for you
    • Complete flexibility regarding initial deposit, monthly instalments and length
    • Subject to credit check

    As an example, with a deposit of £2,990, you can join the programme with 48 monthly payments of £316 (inc. VAT). Click here to download our pricing schedule containing more Finance

Option 3: 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 £14,950 (inc. VAT). Click here to download our pricing schedule.

Option 4: 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 £1000 inc. VAT, you can join the programme with 30 monthly payments of £530 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.

*Until further notice, all training is being delivered online, using a live virtual classroom. As soon as we are able to safely do so, we will revert back to classroom training*



    Training in York will commence with the induction day on 27th October 2020. All classroom training days will be delivered at The National Agri-Food Innovation Campus in York.

    Venue Details:
    The National Agri-Food Innovation Campus, Sand Hutton, York, YO41 1LZ

    Course Dates (please click the image to view the full details):

Milton Keynes

    Training in Milton Keynes will commence with the induction day on 12th November 2020. All classroom training days will be delivered at Kents Hill in Milton Keynes.

    Venue Details:

    Kents Hill Park Training & Conference Centre
    Timbold Drive,
    Kents Hill Park,
    Milton Keynes,
    MK7 6BZ

    Course Dates (please click the image to view the full details):


    Training in Southampton will commence with the induction day on 10th December 2020. All classroom training days will be delivered at the Holiday Inn  in Southampton.

    Venue Details:
    Holiday Inn, Eastleigh, Leigh Road, Eastleigh SO50 9PG

    Course Dates (please click the image to view the full details):


    Training in Nottingham will commence with the induction day on 18th February 2021. All classroom training days will be delivered at Eastwood Hall in Nottingham.

    Venue Details:
    Eastwood Hall, Mansfield Rd, Eastwood, Nottingham NG16 3SS

    Course Dates (please click the image to view the full details):

Industry endorsements & quotes

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, Technical Director, Legal & General Surveying Services

“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.


Click on the heading to view more information. Use the form to book your free place.

Being an independent surveyor

    Being an independent surveyor (Alan Milstein, Director, Skyline Surveyors and Chairman, RPSA) –Wed 18th Nov, 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.

Introduction to the Diploma in Residential Surveying and Valuation

    A series of webinars to introduce the diploma. The webinars are over 3 days and you will be booked to attend all 3, please attend as many as many or as few as you would like. They consist of:

    What is a residential surveyor (part 1 of 3) (Austin Baggett, Managing Director, Sava) – Tue 3rd Nov, 1pm

    In this 40 minute webinar (followed by 20 minutes of Q&A), topics will include:

    • Introduction to residential surveying
    • Different types of surveys
    • What you might find on a survey…


    Qualifying with the Sava Diploma (part 2 of 3) (Austin Baggett, Managing Director, Sava) – Wed 4th Nov, 1pm

    In this 40 minute webinar (followed by 20 minutes of Q&A), topics will include:

    • How a vocational diploma works
    • Time and effort required
    • Course intakes and fees


    Employment opportunities post-graduation (part 3 of 3) (Austin Baggett, Managing Director, Sava) – Thur 5th Nov, 1pm

    In this 40 minute webinar (followed by 20 minutes of Q&A), topics will include:

    • Where you can work – self-employed vs SME vs corporate
    • Feedback from our recent graduate salary survey
    • How to look for employment


We are starting to return to face-to-face briefings where we are able to. Use the form to book your free place.

We cover what life is like as a residential surveyor and how the Diploma provides part-time training and assessment to become an associate member of the RICS ready to start working as a surveyor.

Click on the heading to view more information.


    Date: Wednesday 11th November 2020

    Venue: Holiday Inn, Eastleigh, Leigh Road, Easteigh SO50 9PG

    Time: 11:00am-1:30pm


Contact us

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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.