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Hot Topic Highlight - Home Survey Standard (1st Edition), Professional Statement



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What is today's blog about?


In this week's blog, we take a look at the new RICS Home Survey Standard (1st Edition), Professional Statement. Essential reading for all RICS APC and AssocRICS candidates undertaking condition-based residential property surveys.  


You can also listen to our CPD podcast on Anchor for more free AssocRICS and RICS APC training and support, as well as watching our short CPD videos on YouTube


What’s new?


RICS have published the new Home Survey Standard (1st Edition), Professional Statement.


This replaces the following guidance:

  • Surveys of residential property (3rd edition), RICS Guidance Note

  • RICS Condition Report (1st edition), RICS Practice Note

  • RICS HomeBuyer Report – Survey (1st edition), RICS Professional Statement

  • RICS HomeBuyer Report – Survey & Valuation (5th edition), RICS Professional Statement

  • RICS Building Survey (1st edition), RICS Practice Note


You can download and read the full Professional Statement from the RICS website.


When does the new Professional Statement apply from?


1 June 2020.


Why was the new Professional Statement introduced?


RICS introduced the new Professional Statement to promote and enforce the highest best practice standards in the residential sector.


The new guidance sets minimum expectations and mandatory requirements for RICS members and regulated firms in the UK who deliver any level of condition-based residential property survey.


Where a valuation is to be provided as part of a service, the requirements of the Red Book Global and UK National Supplement must also be adhered to.


What does the new guidance cover?


  • Process of confirming the scope and nature of the services to be provided

  • Typical levels of service to which this document applies

  • Nature of pre-inspection preparation and research required

  • Inspection process associated with each level of service

  • Report writing methodology

  • Post-report client liaison

  • Service closure activities

The guidance also confirms which elements apply to the Scottish Home Report, as the conveyancing process is very different in Scotland.


What should members do when setting up services?


  • Understand client needs

  • Have sufficient knowledge, skills and experience

  • Ensure potential clients understand the nature of and differences between the levels of service offered so they can make an informed choice

  • Agree terms of engagement with the client before the service is delivered

  • Check for conflicts of interest in line with the RICS Professional Statement before accepting any new work


When carrying out services, what must members do?


  • Undertake appropriate pre-inspection research, e.g. requesting information from the property owner or agent such as any warranties, EPC or details of any alterations

  • Be familiar with property type and location

  • Inspect in accordance with the service level agreed

  • Provide accurate and comprehensive inspection notes to allow for reflection before the service is delivered

  • Satisfy all professional obligations, e.g. health and safety

  • Only recommend justifiable further investigation

  • Clearly state any limitations, caveats and actions available

  • Deliver a clear, property-specific report

  • Offer to discuss the findings following delivery

  • Ensure a complete audit trail is held on file in accordance with GDPR


How can members provide compliant reports?


  • Clear presentation

  • Following a logical structure

  • Separating fact from the member’s opinion

  • Use non-technical terms or provide a simple explanation if jargon is unavoidable

  • Provide a balanced opinion of the property’s condition

  • Include a summary or overall opinion

  • Explain the service level

  • Mention any safety risks to occupants

  • Highlight relevant legal matters


The Professional Statement provides full guidance on the content of each survey level, in addition to providing inspection benchmarks in Appendix B.


How can we help?


  • Book your e-mock interview online, which includes our pre- and post-interview feedback on your presentation handout.

  • Head to our blog archive to access even more free CPD and AssocRICS and RICS APC training and support.

  • Download your free AssocRICS and RICS APC resources, including e-books and revision quizzes.

  • Find out more about our bespoke AssocRICS and RICS APC training and support, before booking your free 15 minute consultation.


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Stay tuned for our next blog post to help build a better you


N.b. Nothing in this article constitutes legal, professional or financial advice.