The Qualification for New Entrants.

If you are looking for a pathway into residential surveying, this Diploma is a unique qualification giving those without a relevant degree the opportunity to join the profession

Diploma in Residential Surveying & Valuation

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 as soon as you are qualified. The diploma is also accredited by the Chartered Association of Building Engineers (CABE).

Key features

  • 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 a 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 29 million residential properties
  • Study is part-time, and can be undertaken in 24 months so you can complete it whilst continuing to work in your current job

Qualification summary

Qualification type:
Level 6 vocational diploma

Awarding body:
Ofqual regulated through the Awarding Body for the Built Environment (part of Birmingham City University)

Study method:
Part-time blended learning including a mix of virtual classrooms, online learning and face-to-face sessions

Learning credits:

Qualification duration:
24-30 months (learner dependent)

Qualification outcome:
Eligible for direct entry to RICS via the Associate Residential Survey and Valuation pathway* and accredited by CABE

Qualification details

The diploma is a vocationally related qualification, meaning it gives you the skills and knowledge to be a well-rounded residential surveyor.

Scroll down for an overview of training and assessment or alternatively download our more in-depth Residential Surveyor Training Guide for a complete look at the Diploma in Residential Surveying and Valuation and more information about the profession.

Download the guide

Training is delivered over 15 months via a mix of virtual classrooms, online learning and face-to-face sessions at locations around the country.

You will need to complete a portfolio for assessment. This includes 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. After this, there are 2 multiple-choice examinations.

How long does it take?
The training is delivered over 15 months. The assessment phase starts 11 months into the qualification and takes between 12-18 months to complete (learner dependent).

Trainer expertise
The training is delivered by leading surveying practitioners – many of whom deliver training for RICS and have written much of the industry guidance and textbooks that are used on the diploma. You can read more about our trainers here.

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 studying.

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 eligible for Direct Entry to RICS at Associate Level. There is a requirement for Sava diploma holders to demonstrate an equivalent to one year’s full-time experience which can be gained concurrently whilst undertaking the diploma.

Relevant experience can include a wide range of activities such as working with a practicing surveyor or in estate or letting agency, property management, construction, energy, or sustainability.  Experience that you gain whilst on the Diploma programme also counts towards this one year’s equivalent experience.  In addition, not all the experience is required to be technical in nature, and therefore experience you have outside of property may also be relevant. 

Our course advisers are here to talk to you about your own circumstances and background and how they might fit in with this criteria, please call us on 01908 442158 to discuss.

1. Induction
Introduction to the course, meeting the team, systems overview. Introduction to key learning and surveying skills.

2. Being A Professional
This module discusses everything it means to be professional and introduces ethics, client care, communication, regulation, and professional conduct. It covers conflict avoidance, management, and dispute resolution procedures.

3. Law
Law underpins the whole qualification. This module introduces law and discusses how it is made and introduces some land law concepts such as easements, restrictive covenants, contract law, negligence, and occupiers’ liability. It also covers legal and regulatory compliance.

4. Property Research and Observation
Observational and research skills are essential for surveying and these modules introduce completing thorough property research as well as developing the skills needed to ’see’ and record those observations. This module also includes the importance of keeping property records and data management and introduces health and safety.

5. Valuation
These modules provide the fundamental knowledge and understanding to complete RICS-compliant valuations of residential properties. The content takes you through valuation from an introduction to the concept of ‘what is value’, the process required in valuing a property using the comparable method, macro and micro economic factors that affect value and understanding the legal and regulatory requirements embedded in this subject area. The approach is practical and includes the use of lender guidance, recording of relevant data used in the valuation process and using supporting software to help determine the property value. A range of specialist valuation methods in Residual, New Build and Investment are also included.

6. Investigating Residential Property – Case Study Properties
These modules focus on how properties are built and what can go wrong. They look at sites, foundations, floors, roofs, walls, and joinery. We explore how residential buildings should be correctly built and the process of diagnosing the cause of defects such as building movement, dampness etc.

7. Investigating Residential Property – Building Services
This module looks at service systems and what can go wrong. It covers inspection and testing of electrical systems, heating services, plumbing and drainage.

8. Inspecting Property
Building upon the observation and recording skills from earlier in the course, this focuses on the inspection ‘agenda’ and equipment. It covers property measurement in depth (including industry regulatory standards) and looks at residential rebuilding costs. It also covers health and safety whilst on-site.

9. Consistent Report Writing
This module looks in detail at how to report findings to clients and the importance of client care. It covers the production and distribution of condition reports, the duty to the client and principles of good report writing.

10. Investigating Residential Property – Practical Days
The practical days are site visits to a range of real properties to carry out a full inspection followed by a detailed analysis of the findings to determine what defects might exist and how impactful they would be on the owner. Please note: regardless of course location, these site visits take place in Milton Keynes. The practical sessions will be followed by an overview day to ensure you develop a robust inspection technique.

11. Energy & Sustainability
This module focuses on sustainability using the ‘three pillar’ framework. It looks in depth at energy efficiency and how appropriate energy improvement measures and renewable technologies can contribute to the carbon-saving agenda. It covers RdSAP conventions as part of this, but the course does not give you the ability to produce EPCs.

12. Introduction to Assessment
This covers the preparation needed for the assessment process, how to present evidence for your qualification, and an overview of how to use the online e-portfolio system.

Course Fees

Developing yourself and advancing your career is one of the most rewarding things you can do. The Level 6 Diploma in Residential Surveying and Valuation is not just a course, it’s an investment in your future, propelling you into an exciting and fulfilling profession. The total cost of the diploma if you pay upfront is £16,450 (inc. VAT). We have created several options for paying for the course to give as much flexibility as possible. 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

Click here to view our latest pricing schedule containing details of all payment options. Click here to view the Terms & Conditions for Sava qualification and training programmes.

Pay As You Learn (PAYL)

Key features:

  • Our most popular option – breaks payment down into a deposit and regular monthly instalments
  • No credit check is required
  • You pay for the diploma as you go, meaning that if you decide to leave the programme prior to completion, you don’t have to keep paying

As an example, with a deposit of £7,250, you can join the programme with 26 monthly payments of £395 (inc. VAT). Click here to download our pricing schedule containing all of our PAYL options.

Payment in Advance

Key features:

  • 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 £16,450 (inc. VAT). Click here to download our pricing schedule.

Business to Business package

Key features:

  • 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 £1,500 (inc. VAT), you can join the programme with 30 monthly payments of £565 (inc. VAT). Click here to download our pricing schedule containing two Business to Business options.

At £16,450, the diploma is a priceless investment in the most important asset you’ll ever have: yourself.

Course Intakes

The majority of the diploma is delivered through virtual classrooms and online learning, with 8 face-to-face classroom days delivered at your chosen course location and a further 4 practical days delivered at our training properties in Milton Keynes.

The current intakes open for booking can be found below. Refreshments and lunch are provided on all days.

Training in Kent commenced with the Induction Day (virtual) on 21st July 2023.

You are still able to book onto this intake and view a recorded induction.

8 days are delivered face-to-face in the classroom, 4 are practical days which are held in Milton Keynes and the rest are held virtually.

Venue details: Village Hotel, Castle View, Forstal Road, Maidstone, Kent, ME14 3AQ
Click to view Course Dates

Training in Birmingham will commence with the Induction Day (virtual) on 6th September 2023. 8 days are delivered face-to-face in the classroom, 4 are practical days which are held in Milton Keynes and the rest are held virtually.

Venue details: Conference Aston, Aston University, Aston St, Birmingham, B4 7ET
Click to view Course Dates

Milton Keynes
Training in Milton Keynes will commence with the Induction Day (virtual) on 14th September 2023. 8 days are delivered face-to-face in the classroom, 4 are practical days which are held in Milton Keynes and the rest are held virtually.

Venue details: Kents Hill Park Training & Conference Centre, Timbold Drive, Milton Keynes, MK7 6BZ
Click to view Course Dates

Training in York will commence with the Induction Day (virtual) on 4th October 2023. 8 days are delivered face-to-face in the classroom, 4 are practical days which are held in Milton Keynes and the rest are held virtually.

Venue details: York Biotech Campus, Sand Hutton, York, YO41 1LZ
Click to view Course Dates

  • I enjoyed the qualification experience, which was engaging thanks to the Sava tutoring team and the course intake comprising diverse candidates with their own life experiences and career backgrounds

    Martin Druce
    Sava Graduate
  • The Diploma has been the best thing I have ever done! It is a great course, perfectly targeted for the job role after the course with excellent lecturers.  It is easy to understand and progress through at your own pace.

    I now have a great job that I enjoy every day!”

    Rebecca Brydon
    Sava Graduate
  • The course caters for both sides of the coin, people who have a reasonable knowledge of property and those who are just starting out on their journey.  The trainers worked at the speed of the group and if there was something that seemed to be troubling the group, they would spend more time on this and ensure that everyone understood what/why/how before moving on to the next section.”

    Jamie Hiller
    Graduated from the Sava Diploma in Residential Surveying and Valuation in November 2021
  • If property is your passion, then I would not hesitate to recommend the course. It is a genuine gateway to profession that is both rewarding and fulfilling. A great career opportunity with many open doors once qualified.”

    Tim Crow
    Graduated from the Sava Diploma in Residential Surveying and Valuation in May 2021
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Our take away PDF contains a qualification overview and key information…