The agricultural industry is supported by a number of key roles, coming together to make sure the supply chain is as effective and sustainable as possible in feeding the nation. Understanding the value of land contributes to this, with valuers offering professional advice and expertise on issues affecting the countryside. Recent graduate of the MProf Rural Estate and Land Management pathway, Lizzie Hall shared more about the role of a valuer and her success at The Central Association of Agricultural Valuers (CAAV) exams.
Covering a variety of issues from sales and purchase of farms and land, to taxation, auctioneering, and farming business advice, Lizzie has plenty to keep her busy. She chose to pursue the profession but wanted to complete her studies alongside practical work, commenting: “I wanted a course that allowed me to study whilst working on the job and contributing towards my professional qualifications. The way the course was set up and run suited me and my job.
“I did six modules in each year and I was down at Harper for one intensive week per module; it meant I wasn’t travelling to campus all of the time and I could plan my workload around these weeks.”
Achieving a work life balance can be difficult at the best of times, but studying alongside is an extra obligation to consider. While Lizzie recognises it is not for everyone, she’s an advocate for the way she undertook her studies. She said: “It is hard work but totally worth it. Many of the staff have worked in the industry so they have that practical knowledge which is an invaluable tool.
“Use the fantastic resources available to you at Harper but also use the support available through fellow students and your work colleagues if you are doing the course part-time like I did.
Ultimately I think Harper has a fantastic reputation for this course – it didn’t cross my mind to look anywhere else!”
Through hard work and determination, Lizzie graduated in 2019 and continues to work for YoungsRPS as she did throughout her studies. From her degree course, Lizzie shared the skills she has taken into industry: “The course has given me the background and understanding to practice in the rural market and provide clients with sound advice to achieve good results. I think doing a course that gives you the opportunity to practice in the area of work whilst studying is invaluable in personal and professional development.”
With development in mind, Lizzie continues to strive to learn more and add to her professional qualifications, doing so with great success. Last Autumn, Lizze sat the CAAV exams - a tough process that she overcame with amazing results. She explained: “The CAAV provides practical and written tutorials which are great to learn the format of the exam and understand the depth of knowledge that is required from you. I found going over past papers very useful and it is also incredibly important to keep up to date with current affairs affecting the industry.”
Although the examinations might have been gruelling, Lizzie achieved the highest mark in the CAAV exams in the northern region, winning the Alastair Turnball Award. She commented: “It was the cherry on top of the cake! Just passing the exams felt like an incredible achievement. It also felt quite poignant as the award was created and previously presented by the Chairman of youngsRPS’s father – it felt good to bring the award back to its roots!”
Looking forward to her future ambitions, Lizzie explained: “I am quite a driven person but certainly for the time being, it’s a case of continuing to do what I do and achieve good results for clients and the team at youngsRPS. In the future I am interested in mediation and alternative dispute resolution, so it is perhaps a training course I will look to complete when the time is right.”
With Lizzie’s success, there is no doubt that she will go on to support farmers across the region to make the most of their agricultural pursuits to keep Britain farming.
Should you be interested in following a path into valuation like Lizzie, you can find out more about our land and property management courses here. You can also speak to a current student to hear about their experiences at Harper here.