Four graduates from Sanderson Weatherall LLP’s offices in Leeds, Teesside and Manchester have become fully qualified Chartered Surveyors.

Graham Blenkarne, Craig Watson, Vanessa Masheder and Philip Coombes, all successfully passed the Assessment of Professional Competence (APC) standard which combined with their academic qualifications has led to Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) membership.


Graham Blenkarne, 24, graduated from Northumbria University on the Estate Management course.  He initially worked as part of the firm’s team in Teesside on a one-year placement in 2007. Continuing to work for the firm on a part-time basis in 2008 while he completed his studies, he returned as a full time member of the Valuation team in April 2010.


Graham said: “After passing the APC, it feels like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders, the extra legwork needed prior to sitting the final assessment was certainly worth it!”


Philip Coombes, 24, a graduate from Nottingham Trent University, joined the firm’s Manchester office in May 2010.


He said: “I feel an immense sense of pride in attaining professional RICS membership, knowing that my hard work and dedication has been recognised by my contemporaries.  I am looking forward to further developing my career and delivering the highest standards of professionalism to existing and future clients.”


Vanessa Masheder and Craig Watson, both 24, now work in the Leeds office. Craig graduated Sheffield Hallam University and works within the Corporate Services department, providing valuation and disposal advice to Insolvency Practitioners and Banks.


He said: “I’m really happy to have achieved Chartered Surveyor status. Moving forward, I can focus on my career and delivering the highest standard of work to the benefit of our clients – I am pretty relieved that the studying is finished with for now!”


Vanessa, who joined the firm in July 2010 following the completion of her BSC (Hons) Estate Management at Northumbria University and a professional placement in 2008, works within the Insolvency department.


Vanessa said: “My role to-date includes providing valuation and strategic disposal advice relating to the assets of distressed companies and individuals.


“I am looking forward to shortly joining Sanderson Weatherall’s Corporate Recovery department. It’s a specialist team headed by a Law of Property Act Fixed Charge Receiver and provides comprehensive advice and recovery strategies in order to assist Banks and other Fixed Charge Holders in recovering secured debts.


“How do I feel now I am fully qualified… honoured!”


The objective of the APC practical training process is to ensure that individuals are competent to practise as a Chartered Surveyor.


Partner, Tim Catterall, said: “A big well done to the guys on this fantastic achievement and all their hard work to-date which has resulted in our firm continuing its 100% APC track record.


“The APC is such a major milestone for our graduates and is key to the delivery of first-class services. We were pleased to be able to offer full time roles to all four within our company, despite tough market conditions, and we will continue to invest in the training of graduates moving forward.”


The four have completed two years of structured training to meet competency requirements, across their placement years and their full time graduate roles.  Each has had regular meetings with their supervisor as well as 48 hours of professional development for each 12 months of structured training. The programme culminated in an assessment and final hour-long interview.


According to the guidelines set by the RICS, during this time graduates must demonstrate that they are a good ambassador for the profession, RICS and their employer; aware of the professional and commercial implications of their work; understand both clients’ and employer’s objectives; hold up-to-date and developing knowledge of legal and technical matters relevant to the work they do and the law of the region or country in which they practise and have the confidence to work unsupervised. Further information can be found at