Pass With Flying Colours – Catherine Tops Prestigious Exam

FARMER’s daughter Catherine Smith of Bell Ingram has been awarded the highest mark in Scotland for a sought-after agricultural valuers exam.

Catherine and colleague Hugh Maclean, who both work in the Perth office of Bell Ingram, Scotland’s biggest independent land agents, have passed their Central Association of Agricultural Valuers (CAAV) exams.

Catherine, originally from Easingwold in North Yorkshire, achieved the highest exam marks in Scotland, earning her the coveted ‘Martin Hall SAAVA President’s Prize’.

This prize is awarded annually by the Scottish Agricultural Arbiters & Valuers Association (SAAVA), who are affiliated to CAAV. Catherine was presented with her cup by Nick Millard, CAAV President, at the 2017 Annual General Meeting of SAAVA, which was held at the Hilton Dunblane Hydro.

Delighted bosses at Bell Ingram were full of praise for the pair, who are part of the firm’s next generation of Chartered Surveyors and Valuers.

Sarah Tyson, Head of Training at Bell Ingram, said: “It is so rewarding to see the next generation of chartered surveyors and valuers showing such dedication and commitment to succeed.

“Catherine and Hugh are already an important part of our Perthshire team assisting and advising on a broad range of rural issues across Scotland. These latest qualifications give our clients further confidence and reassurance that they really are getting the best advice possible.”

Catherine joined Bell Ingram in 2014 after studying at the Scottish Agricultural College and completing a Post Graduate Diploma through the College of Estate Management. Securing the President’s Prize provided a double reason to celebrate, since Catherine also became a Member of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (MRICS) in November after sitting both professional exams only a week apart.

She said: “It was a relief to pass and I was absolutely thrilled to have received this award, it is such a tremendous feeling when all the hard work pays off”.

“Given the practical nature of the exams, getting out onto farms to consolidate my knowledge was really useful. On top of that Hugh and I were part of a great study group with others also sitting the exam.”

Hugh, originally from Elgin, achieved his MRICS status in 2014 and is delighted to have added the CAAV accreditation to his list of achievements.

He added: “The exams were very challenging as the syllabus is very broad so I am now looking forward to putting my qualifications to good use  supporting farmers and landowners in my day to day job.”

As CAAV members, both Catherine and Hugh provide professional advice and valuation expertise on issues affecting the countryside from tenancy matters to sales and purchase, and from conservation issues to farming structures.

Graham Lumby, Managing Partner at Bell Ingram praised the efforts put in by both Catherine and Hugh to achieve their latest successes and said: “This really is testament to their hard work and professionalism. Catherine has worked tirelessly to pass both her CAAV and MRICS within just a week of each other and can be particularly proud of receiving the award for the highest placed Scottish student in the 2016 CAAV exams.”

Established 117 years ago, Bell Ingram has 130 professional staff across 11 UK offices including: farm, estate and forestry managers; chartered surveyors, architects, planners, and building surveyors; and tourism, GIS mapping, and renewable energy specialists.

Published on 11th April 2017