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Hot Topic Highlight – New RICS Rules of Conduct

Updated: Oct 30, 2023

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What is today's blog about?

In today's blog, we look at the new RICS Rules of Conduct. This is essential reading for all RICS APC and AssocRICS candidates, as well as qualified Chartered Surveyors.

You can download the full document here.

When do the new Rules of Conduct take effect?

2 February 2022.

Until then, the existing Rules of Conduct for Firms and for Members and the Global Professional & Ethical Standards still apply.

What are the aims of the new Rules of Conduct?

The new Rules of Conduct aim to address global risks and opportunities, following a lengthy period of consultation by RICS.

This includes:

  • A simpler structure

  • Clear examples to support each Rule

  • A focus on respect, diversity and inclusion

  • Highlighting the use of data and technology

  • Tackling global challenges, including sustainability

Who do the new Rules of Conduct apply to?

The new Rules of Conduct apply to both Members and Firms globally.

What are the key changes?

The new Rules of Conduct replace the existing Rules of Conduct for Firms and for Members and the Global Professional & Ethical Standards.

There are five new rules, supported by a list of example behaviours demonstrating compliance by the Firm or Member with the relevant rule. Appendix A provides a list of core professional obligations of Members and Firms to RICS.

Only serious breaches of the rules are likely to result in discliplinary action. RICS state that minor breaches will generally be dealt with through self-correction or revised firm-wide processes.

What are the new Rules of Conduct?

  • Rule 1 - Members and firms must be honest, act with integrity and comply with their professional obligations, including obligations to RICS. Example behaviours include not being improperly influenced by others and being transparent with clients about fees and services.

  • Rule 2 - Members and firms must maintain their professional competence and ensure that services are provided by competent individuals who have the necessary expertise. Example behaviours include only undertaking work where a Member has the relevant knowledge, skills and resources and undertaking sufficient CPD each year.

  • Rule 3 - Members and firms must provide good-quality and diligent service. Example behaviours include understanding clients' needs and objectives before accepting work and communicating clearly with clients.

  • Rule 4 - Members and firms must treat others with respect and encourage diversity and inclusion. Example behaviours include treating others courteously and respectfully and developing an inclusive workplace culture.

  • Rule 5 Members and firms must act in the public interest, take responsibility for their actions and act to prevent harm and maintain public confidence in the profession. Example behaviours include managing professional finances responsibly and responding to complaints promptly, openly and professionally.

Don't forget to read the full Rules of Conduct for a more comprehensive list of example behaviours.

Appendix A sets out the professional obligations of Members and Firms to RICS.

For Members, these include cooperating with RICS, complying with CPD requirements and providing information promptly to the Standards & Regulation Board.

For Firms, these include publishing a written Complaints Handling Procedure, ensuring adequate Professional Indemnity Insurance is held and cooperating with RICS.

What do I need to know for my APC?

For candidates sitting their RICS APC interview this Autumn, RICS confirm that candidates will not be assessed against the new Rules of Conduct, but should be aware that they have been published (e.g., effective date and structure).

For RICS APC and AssocRICS candidates being assessed after February 2022, you will be tested on the new Rules of Conduct. The existing ethics module will be replaced in February 2022.

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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