Flagship residential surveying qualifications

In this issue of Building & Construction Review, we are proud to announce Sava as the recipient of our Commitment to Excellence Award for outstanding vocational qualifications across the residential housing market.


‘Home is where one starts from,’ the iconic writer T.S. Eliot once poignantly observed. It conjures up warm, fuzzy feelings of our foremost years- homemade baking, family dinners and conversations through to perhaps married life, children and hopefully, a blessed retirement. Home symbolises security, belonging, family; wrapped up in cosy bricks and mortar.

There are 29 million residential properties across the UK, with a staggering combined worth valued at over £7.4 trillion.

Homeowners face daily housing challenges, from logistical mortgage affordability and rising energy bills, to increasing flood/storm damage from climate change. Sava is in the business of making buildings better through education, technology and professional services to building owners, surveyors and the wider property markets.

Established in 1983, this dynamic company originally focussed on energy assessments and home condition surveying. Now with a diverse team of dedicated building engineers and physicists, software design developers, residential surveyors, statisticians, and business management specialists, the company is concerned with creating innovative products such as the Sava surveying diplomas.

We spoke to Hilary Grayson, Director of Surveying Services, to find out more about these pioneering qualifications:

“Unlike the traditional university degree route into the residential surveying profession, the creation of both the Sava Diploma in Residential Surveying and the Diploma in Residential Surveying and Valuation were driven by employer needs. Newly-qualified surveyors need particular skills and expertise to fulfil surveyor and valuer roles in established organisations.
“These vocational qualifications are skills and competency-based, providing learners with an engaging and flexible learning experience that tests their knowledge and, most importantly, how this can be applied to a real-life scenario.

“Our Diploma in Residential Surveying and Valuation in particular addresses the skills shortage within residential surveying and offers a new vocational way into the profession.”

The Diploma in Residential Surveying and Valuation allows Sava graduates to provide surveying and valuation services as soon as qualified, either independently or through a reputable surveying firm. Sava offers the only vocational route into the residential surveying profession that provides direct entry into the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), making it an unprecedented, flagship qualification. It offers learners, including those making a mid-life career change from the armed forces, teaching or estate agent backgrounds, a non-academic, vocational progression into a much-respected profession, as Hilary outlines further:

“Over the years, we have built close partnerships with employers, awarding bodies and professional bodies such as the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and the Chartered Association of Building Engineers (CABE), tailoring our products and services to the needs of the industry.

“For those who do not want or need the valuation aspect of the qualification, we also deliver a Diploma in Residential Surveying that maps against competencies for Associate membership with the Chartered Association of Building Engineers (CABE). These learners can expect a future undertaking surveys that adhere to the Home Survey Standard, meaning that they can either work through an employer or work independently.”

Sava had the fortuitous foresight to introduce an online learning tool, Sava Learn, before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, allowing for an easier transition towards remote learning. The Moodle cloud-based platform hosts a central hub, providing learners with online access to virtual classroom and learning resources, as Hilary elaborates:
“Today, our diplomas are delivered through blended face-to-face and virtual learning, providing learners with a level of flexibility while they study.

“Learners will be able to offer specialist advice on issues such as technical defects, low energy retrofit, and legal disputes, helping to ensure properties are safe and fit for habitation.

“Sava learners can qualify in as little as 24 months, graduating with an unparalleled breadth of knowledge and skills sought after by employers.

“We’ve received incredible buy-in from employers who value the calibre of graduates emerging from our programmes every year, and this is evidenced by the number of surveying firms who now exhibit at our annual careers fair.”

Hilary was delighted to receive our Commitment to Excellence Award:

“Commitment to Excellence is at the heart of everything we do – we are about going beyond to make our learner experience better and more engaging, improving outcomes and make them better surveyors at the end of the process.

“We believe education is a key solution for the property sector, ensuring the industry is armed with professionals who are experts in their field. Our residential surveyor training and online CPD modules are industry recognised, enabling our learners to provide specialist advice. This expertise is crucial to keeping the housing market safe and moving.”

Sava run regular briefing events across the country where you can find out more about life as a residential surveyor and the training options available.

For further information on the Sava diplomas, see below.

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