What Does Excellent Student Engagement Look Like

Published: 06 Jan 2021
Last reviewed: 08 Apr 2021

We meet the team at RICS, winner of the memcom Best Student Engagement Award, who talk to us about their Inspire Workshops.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) promotes and enforces the highest professional qualifications and standards in the development and management of land, real estate, construction and infrastructure. RICS delivers confidence through respected global standards, adopted and enforced by over 134,000 qualified and trainee professionals across the built and natural environment.


The need for the Inspire Workshops

There is a skills gap threatening the future of the industry, with approximately 30% of the surveying profession aged over 50, it is imperative that we attract and retain the best talent. In addition to the need for more surveyors, to be a profession reflective of 21st-century society we need to attract young people from a more diverse range of backgrounds.

To help us achieve our goal of attracting an inspired, more diverse next generation of surveyors the Inspire Workshops were developed from research which shows that school students engage most with activities which motivate and interest them - primarily in a non-academic format. The workshops are run by specialist educational facilitators, EdComs along with the help of members who become Inspire Ambassadors, sharing their real-life experiences and industry knowledge to really bring the workshops to life.

The Inspire Workshops are interactive 2-hour sessions for year 9/10 students engaging over 6,000 annually across the UK – showcasing the vast number of career opportunities available to students. During the workshop, students form small teams, where they complete project-based tasks and challenges designed to provide a “taster” of the numerous careers within the industry, reflecting aspects of surveying and project management and the skills needed.


We thought that the event was very well organised and that there were plenty of opportunities for the students to get involved with the work which was being promoted. The teachers who were supervising the event, spoke very highly of it, saying that the students were engaged and that it was enjoyable. This is an event that we would love to run again in school. The students were focussed, and they gained a lot from the event. Head of Year 9 & 10, Stockport School


The tour links closely to RICS campaigns around sustainability and the future of our planet, highlighting how chartered surveyors play a key role in tackling the environmental crisis, creating sustainable communities, delivering essential infrastructure and ensuring the economic and social well-being of the next generation, positioning surveying as a career that enables a positive impact on the future for our planet.



Impact of the Inspire Workshops

The success of the Inspire workshops and our future ambitions is down to having a wide pool of involvement and input from RICS professionals, trainees and apprentices as Inspire Ambassadors, to give real life examples and act as role models for the younger generations to look up to. RICS surveyors have worked tirelessly over the years to champion the profession and we would like to harness this enthusiasm by making them central to our efforts to inspire young people.


The level of organisation and engagement from the team and visitors with our pupils was inspiring. We used a video made on the day with two Real Estate Management placement students to support our sixth form options evening.  The feedback we received on skills development from the pupils was excellent. Head Teacher, Bangor Academy


The 2020 Tour

This year our Inspire Workshops were suspended mid-tour due to the pandemic, but we were still able to reach over 2,600 students, with one workshop welcoming a visit from Tan Dhesi MP. Tan joined students as they completed the tasks and spoke to them about the opportunities available in our profession: "Don't switch your mind off to construction and surveying. This industry wants people from all backgrounds and cultures."

The pandemic has highlighted how the ability to take the tour directly to schools allows us to engage with a new audience outside of our typical channels and reach. This is key to RICS ability to attract new talent to the profession. Whilst the pandemic put a pause to this years activity and prevents us from visiting schools in the current climate it has given us time to consider new approaches and new channels to interact with the next generation.



YouTube highlights video of the Inspire Workshops – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KG1-kzYWZQk.


About the memcom membership excellence awards

The memcom awards celebrate success in the fields of People & Leadership, Marketing & Communications, Digital, Engagement and Print. The 2021 awards are now open for nominations and more details can be found here.