1. KEEP A RECORD.
Most people have to record time sheets or a day workbook as part of their employment. If however, you are one of the minority who do not have to do this, you should really consider keeping a small journal or diary outlining the work you did on your projects. The easiest way of doing this it to keep a word document with your projects listed that you can update frequently as you go along. It is not easy trying to remember what you did on that small project 8 months ago, which leads nicely to the next point.
2. ASK ABOUT FEES.
Most companies will pay the fees associated with your PEDR sheets.
3. DON'T FALL TOO FAR BEHIND.
Completing your PEDR sheets is rarely at the top of any year out students to-do list, but it is far easier to spend short bursts of time adding information to them as often as possible than to find yourself in the position of having to try and complete 9 PEDR sheets in one weekend. Too many people put off their PEDR sheets so long that when it comes time to actually complete them all for signing, they end up having to do so many so fast that the already somewhat annoying task turns into a nightmare.
4. SEEK ADVICE.
Most Architects and Architectural Assistants working in the UK will have gone through this route before, so there should be no shortage of people who can help you, let alone the mentor who needs to be signing your sheets. If you are unsure about part of your PEDR sheets then ask someone to spend 5-10 minutes going over it with you. Your line-manager or Director will be able to provide you with the relevant information much faster than you will be able to find it., such as Contract Type and Project Values.
5. REQUEST EXPERIENCE.
If you feel like you are working too much in one area or work stage, asking your boss to help you get some experience in a different area is a great approach. When it comes to Part 3, it is important to have some diversification in your professional experience.
6. USE WORD/GOOGLE DOCS/INDESIGN.
The RIBA PEDR website is not very good. Most people write their text in Word (or similar) first, do all the editing and updating, then copy-and-paste their final text directly into the relevant box on the PEDR website. This approach is much easier than trying to edit your text within the website. Just make sure to save all of your work and keep a safe backup.
7. RIBA WORK STAGE.
Make sure you are using the same RIBA Work Stage throughout ALL of your PEDR sheets (Stage One and Two practical experience). The RIBA have very thorough, in-depth guides to the 2007 and 2013 Plan of Work documents. Refer to tip number 3 if unsure.
8. CHECK YOUR WORK.
It always helps to get a second pair of eyes to glance over your writing, especially if you are rushing it. Your workplace based mentor needs to sign off your PEDR sheet, so they will probably be open to checking it for you too.
9. SPELL CHECK.
For obvious reasons.
10. BEWARE "FINAL COPY".
The PEDR website has an annoying feature which datestamps the document when you download it. There is a draft option, and there is a "FINAL" option. When you have downloaded one of your PEDR sheets as a final copy you can never edit it again, and it will also be marked with the date it was first printed as "FINAL". This is important at Part 3 submission, see tip number 12.
11. KEEP THEM SAFE. You will need these signed sheets when Part 3 comes around.
12. There is a little box that gets ticked on the sheet by your PSA if you submit your sheet over 2 months after the end of the period covered. This isn't a major problem if you have your sheets signed late, and indeed it is very common for people to do this, but it may come up in your Part 3 interview. Whilst it is unlikely that your examiners will spend long reading your PEDR sheets, something in your Case Study or Career Appraisal may cause them to take a closer look at your PEDR sheets. At your interview you will be trying to convince the examiners that you are a responsible, professional person worthy of the title 'Architect'. Having all of your PEDR sheets signed off the day before your hand-in date is likely to raise questions about your competency, organisation and professionalism. You can save yourself the risk by spending time on your PEDR sheets early on.