Work Based Learning within the Chartered Surveying Degree Apprenticeship Standard

Andrew Abbott MSc., Andrew Ross, Ph.D., Mohan Siriwardena, Ph.D., and Anupa Manewa Ph.D.
Liverpool John Moores University, UK
Liverpool, UK

The skills shortage in the UK’s workforce is well recognised. The skills gap in the built environment was highlighted in a review of industry reports and government publications (CITB, 2017). The Degree Apprenticeship (DA) programme was introduced few years back in the United Kingdom (UK) as one of the responses to address the above-mentioned skills shortage. It has grown in popularity and is evidenced by the continuous improvement in the number of active apprentices enrolled on such programs over the past few years (House of Commons, 2019). Whilst research reports on various aspects of the DA programme, research into the implementation of the work based learning element within the Chartered Surveying DA Standard is rare. This poster reports on the preliminary findings of an attempt to evaluate the apprentice perception of work based learning, which is a part of an ongoing research project towards developing a framework to facilitate knowledge, skills and behaviours at the work place.

Research Objectives:

  • To review current literature in relation to work based learning in the built environment
  • To review the reference points used to develop the current delivery of the DA programme within the Chartered Surveying route.
  • To analyse the current perceptions of a selected group of apprentices within the Chartered Surveying route
  • To evaluate the effectiveness of the current provision of work based learning within the Chartered Surveying DA route.

A literature review was performed to gain an understanding of the inception and the evolution of the current DA provision, and work based learning in particular to the UK built environment. Document reviews were carried out to explore the details, requirements and the process of Chartered Surveying DA standard. Seven (07) semi-structured interviews were conducted with current degree apprentices who follow the Chartered Surveying DA standard at a university in the North West of England, to gain an insight into the current status of work based learning within the current DA provision. Questions covered issues such as employers’ attitude towards the DA scheme, relevance of curriculum towards achieving work place learning, work-life balance of apprentices and support provided to obtain the RICS professional competencies.  All interviewees were male, and are based in the North West of England.

Preliminary observations indicate that whilst there are number of success areas, the extent of    room for improvement is also significant. Removal of the burden of having inherit graduate debt and the opportunity to obtain work experience whilst studying for a degree still appear to be the core drivers for engaging in the DA programme by the apprentices. However, evidence of implementation of the specific activities as mandated by the DA standard, and the attainment of work based learning is rather sketchy.

This research is novel as it researched on the effectiveness of the DA programmes work based learning aspect in relation to the Chartered Surveying route. Highlights the gaps of the current provision and proposes measures to further improve. Limited sample of interviewees, absence of female apprentice interviewees, employers and university staff within the sample are limitations of the research. Calls for future research using a greater sample of apprentices, the employers and university staff perceptions to be taken into account in order to arrive at more holistic understanding of the current status and the development of improvement measures.


  • CITB. 2017. Industry insights. Construction skills network forecast 2017-2021. Experian.
  • House of Commons, 2019. Apprenticeship Statistics: England, Briefing paper, Number 06113.

Keywords: Work based learning, Degree apprenticeship, Chartered surveying, and Built environment