Post Course Assessment

Abstract

The post-course assessment is an extension of our two-day party wall surveyor training course. It is an integral part of learning the process, designed to further develop your understanding of party wall procedures. It is neither a memory test and nor a first time pass or fail examination. The intention is more that you should demonstrate an ability to analyse the conditions that each question poses and logically deduce the correct solution(s) as one would in real life. This is done with our guidance and is very much a collaborative effort between you and us.

The Assessment Papers

There are three assessment papers to be completed in your own time. These are sent together immediately following your attendance on the course. Most people submit each paper singly to ‘test the water’ but you may submit individual questions or all three papers at once should you wish. The sooner a submission is made, the fresher things will be in your mind so we recommend you send us something, anything, rather than let it slide.

The first two papers are each of six questions. Paper 1 is multiple choice. Responses to Paper 2 require no more than a few sentences per question. There are no essays involved. Assessment 3 comprises a single query asked of us by a past delegate and your task is to respond to the question(s) raised in that query as if you were answering for us.

The query you receive will have been chosen at random from a bank of several dozen to ensure that everyone who attends has something different to puzzle over but it means that some will be more difficult than others - this is a reflection of real life and we cannot sanitise the queries in order to equalise them.

Should you find yourself struggling to make sense of the query/response element, we will select a substitute query for you. The assessment is, after all, a developmental experience.

Submissions & Feedback

Notionally, you are allowed three submissions within a period of three months from the date we send the questions to you, although we are flexible in this regard. On receipt of each submission, we will identify any incorrect/insufficient answers and direct you to information sources that should help you to answer correctly, such as relevant case law or sections of the Party Wall etc. Act and other appropriate points of reference.

We will respond to each submission you make with bespoke guidance in respect of each incorrect answer i.e. feedback that is personal to you. We do not send out generic one size fits all answer sheets but will provide a copy of the response that we sent to the past delegate regarding their query. We aim to give feedback within a few days.

Please note that you should expect to resubmit each paper. To date, only two people have not been asked to do so. Even if your first submission is amongst the best, we will still ask you to tweak and resubmit any answer that lost you marks. This is not as harsh as it sounds, as the majority of corrections can be done in a matter of minutes.

No account is taken of spelling mistakes nor errors in punctuation or grammar. 

Notes on Answering Assessments

It is important that the first two papers are read very carefully. In many cases the questions are phrased in such a way as to set parameters which point you to the answer by obviating alternatives. Most of the questions are straightforward but a couple perhaps not so. Don't be misled into thinking that the questions on the first paper are necessarily easier than those on the second one.

Where the questions or the query we have allocated you involves a sequence of events, the best approach is to break down the question into component parts (sketching out some sort of flow chart may help your consideration) and place yourself in the position of a surveyor involved in assisting one of the owners in real life situation rather than trying to answer in abstract. In some instances, creating a mental picture may help. 

Giving an effective query response will require reflection and the exploration of alternatives. Avenues that might be available to an owner or surveyor may well depend as much on what you are not told as what you are. We do not expect your query response to be correct in all respects - how you martial and demonstrate your thoughts is as important and is equally weighted when it comes to marking. A well reasoned wrong answer may still score highly.

And Finally ….

In short, we haven't made the assessment easy but neither has our intention been to make it impossibly difficult. Above all, our aim is to present you with something thought provoking that consolidates learning.