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).
- 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
Level 6 vocational related Diploma
12 months of part-time learning followed by a 6-18 month period of assessment (learner dependent)
Ofqual regulated through the Awarding Body for the Built Environment (part of Birmingham City University)
Part-time blended learning including 22 classroom days
Eligible for direct entry to the RICS via the Associate Residential Survey and Valuation pathway* and accredited by CABE
- Qualification details
- Fees & intakes
- Book an event
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:
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
Determining property value, RICS mandatory requirements, how condition affects value, regulatory and legal requirements and different types of valuations
This module focuses on foundations, floors and walls, desktop research, scale drawings, floor plans and calculating U-values as well as building services
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
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. The assessment phase takes 12 months. So overall, the diploma takes 24 months to complete.
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.
*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 in addition to the Diploma 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...
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.
- 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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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*
Please note: Milton Keynes April 2021 intake is fully booked, we are now operating a waiting list.
Training in Milton Keynes will commence with the induction day on 13th April 2021. All classroom training days will be delivered at Kents Hill in Milton Keynes.
Kents Hill Park Training & Conference Centre
Kents Hill Park,
Course Dates (please click the image to view the full details):
Industry endorsements & quotes
Surveyor with Arnold & Baldwin Chartered Surveyors
Ben graduated with Sava in 2018, In this video hear about Ben’s story to become a
Surveyor with Michael Holden Chartered Surveyors
Ewa graduated with Sava in 2018. In this video hear about what Ewa loves about her new career
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.
- 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
Being an independent surveyor (Alan Milstein, Director, Skyline Surveyors and Chairman, RPSA) – 10th March, 1pm
In this 40 minute webinar (followed by a 20 minute Q&A session) Alan will be talking about:
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 Residential Surveying
- How the diploma works
- Time and effort required
- Course intake and fees
- Career opportunities and earning potential
- Next steps
An Introduction to the Diploma in Residential Surveying and Valuation (Andy Flook, Sava) – 23rd March 1pm & 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.
"Great insight event. Very well presented with an engaging speaker"
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.