Pardon? What exactly is a chartered surveyor?

Chartered Surveyor
Posted on: August 3rd, 2015

Words: Jenny Seed

Tell me again, I didn’t quite understand…

Some years ago, the Guardian ran an article by Leo Benedictus explaining that there is no way of explaining what it is that a Chartered Surveyor does… or at least, that’s what Benedictus thinks!

I would have said that it was quite simple really.

A Chartered Surveyor “surveys” of course. S/he casts a professional eye over a property with the intention of :

  1. detecting any specific areas of concern
  2. assessing its value in terms of investment/ rental/ resale potential

But Benedictus quickly addresses my definition, stating that this applies to only a very small percentage of Chartered Surveyors. Oh? So now I also await to be enlightened (having worked with Dawson & Associates for some time now, this is not a casual confession).

I guess the simple fact that you are required to study and “practice” for so very loooong is a good indicator that this may be a more complex profession than it is sometimes given credit for. We start with school, of course, then we need an accredited degree. This should be followed by employment as a trainee surveyor. In our role as a trainee surveyor, we will complete a period of structured training with an employer. This will apparently continue for about the next 3 years. Only once we have completed the Assessment of Professional Competence will we become “chartered”.

RICS also informs me that there are 17 different specialisms of chartered surveyance in 3 different sectors: land, property, construction. Apparently, “there is something for everyone from the environment, planning and development, to valuation to project management”. OK… so, to be honest, sounds to me as though my initial definition was correct… no?

And perhaps in the case of the senior staff at Dawson & Associates, I am indeed quite correct. Because every business has a main focus and the instant online survey quote functionality from Dawson’s has proved very popular – though it is the professional client support and services that truly differentiates them from the rest.

Just visit our testimonial page to see for yourself.


Fast and efficient service. I was surprised at how quickly we received our report – very important where important decisions on house buying need to be made quickly.

Trisha Edwards – March 23, 2015


But Benedictus explains that the truth of the matter is that the term “chartered surveyor” is a reference to a skill-set rather than a specific task. When dealing with a RICS regulated chartered surveyor, you are being given the assurance that your surveyor is experienced in a wide range of property-related matters. Like a doctor, he explains. Whilst every doctor has a specialism, we know that they’ve been fully trained with an experience and knowledge of all bodily workings.

And this is why a chartered surveyor, such as Dawson, is able to not only assist you with your building survey requirements, but also design and planning matters, construction project management, legal aid and feasibility studies.

For more information on the full breadth of services available from Dawson & Associates, please click here.