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Hot Topic Highlight – New RICS Guidance Types

Updated: Oct 28, 2023



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What is today's blog about?


In this week’s blog, we look at the new definitions for different types of RICS guidance, including Professional Standards and Practice Information. This is essential reading for all RICS APC and AssocRICS candidates, as well as qualified AssocRICS surveyors and Chartered Surveyors.


What’s new?


In short, the RICS have introduced two new definitions for professional guidance; Professional Standards and Practice Information.


These replace the former definitions categorising the status of various RICS guidance; International Standard, Professional Statement, Guidance Note, Code of Practice and Jurisdiction Guide.


Why were the changes made?


Following the Bichard Review, RICS have taken steps to amend their corporate structure.


You can see how this is structured below:

RICS Governance Structure (https://www.rics.org/about-rics/corporate-governance)

This includes the Standards & Regulation Board (SRB), chaired by Dame Janet Paraskeva.


The SRB has a public interest mandate to ensure that surveyors act and the industry operates ethically and professionally.


The role of the SRB is to:

  • Exercise the regulatory function of RICS

  • Oversee RICS professional guidance, entry to the profession, qualification standards and dispute resolution services

  • Be responsible for the Regulatory Tribunal


The top level guidance is the new Rules of Conduct, which are underwritten by wide ranging professional and ethical guidance. These include sector specific standards providing mandatory and best practice guidance to surveyors.


What are the new definitions?


RICS has introduced two new document types; Professional Standards and Practice Information.


These are being rolled out on all new RICS guidance being published, or in some cases existing guidance is being reissued using the new definitions.


For example, Bank Lending Valuations and Mortgage Lending Value was re-issued as a Professional Standard in October 2022. It was previously a Guidance Note published in June 2018.


Why do surveyors need to be aware of key professional guidance?


If a surveyor faces a professional negligence claim or RICS regulatory or disciplinary proceedings, they will need to be able to evidence that they acted with reasonable competence. This can be through demonstrating compliance with RICS guidance in Professional Standards and Practice Information.


Not being aware of professional guidance, therefore, can be very risky! Surveyors can keep up to date with new guidance via the RICS website, industry press and the Property Elite blog. This will provide excellent, topical CPD contributing to a surveyor’s yearly CPD requirements.


What is a Professional Standard?


These ‘set requirements or expectations for RICS members and regulated firms about how they provide services or the outcomes of their actions’, and:

  • Are principles-based

  • Focus on outcomes (in interest of clients and the public)

  • Set a baseline expectation for competence and/or ethical behaviour in the specific context

Where a Professional Standard applies to an area of practice, they set:

  • Mandatory requirements that surveyors must follow, where the word ‘must’ is used

  • Best practice that surveyors should follow, where the word ‘should’ is used. In these instances, there may be alternative approaches or methods that may achieve a better overall outcome. This will be up to the individual surveyor to decide upon


What is Practice Information?


This is supplementary guidance to support surveyors in delivering specific services or working in specific areas of practice. The guidance is not mandatory and does not provide explicit recommendations.


Practice Information can include ‘definitions, processes, toolkits, checklists, insights, research and technical information or advice’.


How can we help?

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.


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