North-East and Scotland top CAAV exams

A farmer’s son from Durham has topped the Central Association of Agricultural Valuers’ (CAAV) exams, earning him the prestigious RASE Talbot Ponsonby Prize. 

Tim Sedgewick, a chartered surveyor at H&H Land and Property, Durham, scored 83% in the rigorous exams, qualifying him as a Fellow of the CAAV, or FAAV. “It is a tremendous effort to win this – the top prize of the association,” explained outgoing President James Dick. “Qualifying as a Fellow is to become part of a hugely respected class of professionals; it really is a kitemark of valuation excellence.”

Mr Sedgewick has a degree in business management and marketing from Harper Adams, as well as a post graduate diploma in rural estate and land management, and has been working at H&H since 2012, covering a broad range of rural work. 

“My work is very varied, and I love getting in there and making things happen,” said Mr Sedgewick. “I really like to help people progress their businesses.” Winning the Talbot Ponsonby prize was an absolute shock, but it really paid dividends, in that Mr Sedgewick has since been promoted to Associate at H&H. “I’m also now managing new graduates and placement students, and it’s nice to be able to help them to progress their careers.”

In future, Mr Sedgewick is looking forward to working his way further up the company, and expanding his knowledge and experience. “The FAAV offers a high standard of assurance, and in this industry you never stop learning, day after day.”

Runner-up in the exams, with a score of 79%, was Alison Aitken, senior surveyor at Davidson & Robertson, Lanark. Brought up on a beef and sheep farm in Peeblesshire, she has a degree in property management and valuation, and joined the firm in 2015, where she works in estate management, utility work and sales.  

“It’s quite a varied workload – no two days are the same,” she said. “I love getting out and about – I never wanted to be stuck in an office all day.” Scotland’s valuation association, SAAVA, has its own prize for top marks in the exams, and this is the fifth time that Davidson & Robertson has won it. “The firm is very proud of that record.”

Although exams for FAAV accreditation have only been held in Scotland since 2012, its reputation is growing rapidly, says Miss Aitken. “I’m very pleased to be able to use it. In this line of work you need to know a lot about a lot, which makes it a very exciting and interesting career.”

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About The Author

Deputy editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer as well as responsibility for the Agronomist and Arable Farmer and Farm Business websites. After 17 years milking cows on the family farm John started writing about agriculture in 1998 and has since written for a variety of publications and has developed a wide circle of contacts within the industry. When not working John is a season ticket holder at Stoke City and also of late has become a fitness freak, listing cycling, swimming and walking as his exercises of choice.