Blog Post

Mind the Gap – bridging the skills gap with TSA learning





surveyor gap

The skills gap in many sectors is leading to a shortfall in some key job roles. Either people aren’t taking up the posts – due to the jobs being unfashionable, unpopular or unpublicised – or candidates lack the necessary qualifications and experience to carry out the roles successfully. The Survey Association (TSA) works with many academies, universities and colleges, to ensure that graduates are equipped with the degree of learning required for a successful career in the survey sector, to fill the skills gap in the industry. TSA has an especially close relationship with The Survey School in Worcester, where members and non-members of TSA undertake courses in a variety of surveying-related disciplines.  

Anyone can book a place on courses at The Survey School, but the benefits of being a member are considerable. Being a TSA member company includes a considerable reduction in course fees. The courses available promote best practice, and also guidance and support for continuing professional development and growth. TSA events also offer unique opportunities for networking, as attendance means being involved in an environment where trusted peers provide all kinds of guidance and benefits unavailable elsewhere.

Membership for all

For anyone thinking of applying to TSA, it has five key categories of membership:

Full Membership: aimed at businesses with a track record in surveying of more than three years, and whose operation complies with our stringent entry criteria. Full Membership makes members eligible to join the TSA Council.

Associate Membership: best for businesses that meet all the requirements of Full membership, with the exception of their longevity of three years.

Supplier Membership: for companies that supply a service or product to the survey profession.

Academic Membership: for any establishment that provides training or learning skills relating to surveying, or an associated subject. Universities, academies and colleges are key to the next generation of surveyors and technicians. Having these establishments on board as members during the educational process is crucial to instilling the ethos of TSA in professionals from the outset.

Affiliate Membership: for any organisation which, due to aspects such as composition or location, is not able to apply for full membership. This relates especially to companies where surveying and spatial data management doesn’t form the core activity of their business operations, or contributes the majority of the company’s turnover.

When joining TSA, members will enjoy a wide range of benefits, including ongoing marketing and promotional initiatives, which raise the profile of surveying and surveyors within and beyond the sector. There’s also a cost-effective Health & Safety scheme, for example, and an exclusive range of free guidance and seminars on relevant topics, and a Business Support Helpline, which provides access to telephone advice on such subjects as Tax, VAT, PAYE, Payroll, Employment & Personnel, Health & Safety and Commercial Legal – all of which are important when employing staff and running a successful surveying business.They are skills that aren’t necessarily taught on college or university courses, but are important aspects of day-to-day working that surveyors should be aware of.  

The skills of tomorrow

One of the key residual benefits of taking out membership is that there is a great deal of skill- and training-related help and guidance available as part of the membership package. The skills gap in the sector can be bridged by surveyors being fully up-to-date on the latest technology, or being made aware of new legislation via seminars on subjects such as business improvement, wellbeing and technical instruction. The Survey School is an academy of excellence and the centre for TSA’s core Surveying course. Anyone can enrol on the course with the necessary entry requirements, but TSA members enjoy a huge 30-40% discount on all courses, which makes joining TSA an enticing prospect. The school is the UK’s only commercial training centre to provide training to the land surveying sector accredited by The Chartered Institution of Civil Engineering Surveyors.

The Survey School was established in Worcester over 30 years ago and was taken over in 2014 by TSA, to ensure the continuation of what is arguably the best survey training available in the UK. Since then, TSA has invested greatly in updating the IT systems and equipment and has received immense support from surveying instrument manufacturers. In the late 1990s, it was obvious there was a need for non-academic practical survey training, so the TSA Surveying Course was developed. It can be completed over two six-week blocks in two years. The course and its focus on practical learning is a key factor in the School’s continued success and is going some way to ensure TSA is bridging the skills gap, by producing the best-qualified surveyors for the future.