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Hot Topic Highlight – RICS Defining our Future Consultation - Summary of Responses



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What is this week's blog about?


In this week’s blog, we take a look at the RICS Defining our Future Consultation, Summary of Responses. Essential reading for all RICS APC and AssocRICS candidates in relation to the mandatory Ethics, Rules of Conducts and Professionalism competency.


What is the consultation about?


The RICS ran a formal consultation in March and April 2021 called Defining our Future. This sought to collect responses from key stakeholders, including RICS members and staff, in relation to 8 key strategic themes.


What was the aim of the consultation?


To inform a review of RICS strategy by Government Council. This relates to structural industry shifts over the past 12 months, particularly driven by the Covid-19 pandemic and increasingly digital world.


Who responded to the consultation?


  • 8,038 members

  • 1,001 written responses

  • 106 round tables in 32 global regions


With over 130,000 RICS members worldwide (https://www.rics.org/uk/surveying-profession/join-rics/benefits-of-rics-membership/), however, this is potentially only reflective of a small proportion (c. 6% roughly) of the total membership.


What were some of the key findings?


RICS (2021)

What feedback was received in relation to the RICS APC and AssocRICS qualifications?


67. Maintaining consistency and confidence in the assessment was highlighted in round tables and the written responses as being one of the most important roles of RICS. The Survey of the Profession’s initial findings indicate that respondents believe RICS is relatively good at maintaining professional qualifications and standards in the chartered surveying profession, scoring 6.7 out of 10, compared to other activities. This is supported by feedback from the round tables.


68. However, there is clearly an opportunity to increase this score, and a number of comments made in the written responses to the consultation and round tables suggest a number of areas where improvements can be made.


69. A number of respondents to the consultation, as well as feedback from round tables, suggested there is more that RICS can do to support candidates. This was particularly true for comments from outside of the UK, where there is considered to be less support from employers, peers and access to counsellors.


70. A number of respondents noted that more support is also needed for firms and counsellors, and that firms and counsellors need to play a greater role in the assurance and support process.


71. Some respondents mentioned that modular learning and assessment might improve the current experience of candidates. Participants in round tables and written responses also discussed the need to ensure the consistency of assessments globally in order to maintain standards.


72. A number of participants in the written responses and during round tables discussed different categories of membership and their impact on the profession. Some perceived that AssocRICS status dilutes the wider chartered offering and confuses consumers, while others thought it is an important gateway into the profession. Some round-table participants suggested that a different category of membership or credential is needed in areas such as UK residential estate agency, where Associate or Chartered status may not be accessible.


73. The majority of respondents in the written responses noted that the current progression route between AssocRICS and MRICS needs to be improved to better define the relevance and status of membership grades, offering a demarcated pathway through each.


74. A number of respondents, particularly in the round tables, noted that RICS needs to ensure that the profession is valued by and desirable to the next generation. It was felt that not enough is being done to support a sustainable and diverse pipeline of future professionals.


75. During round tables, some considered that part of the problem is that the relationship and communication between RICS and higher education institutions needs improving, and more courses need to be accredited.


76. Most written respondents answering the relevant questions in the consultation believed that the current assessment provides trust and confidence, and that the existing pathways reflect current practice. However, the qualitative responses conflicted with this, suggesting that the current pathways are unnecessarily complex and could force candidates to specialise too narrowly too early. Some responses in the round tables noted that the qualification needs to keep pace in a rapidly changing world in order to maintain relevance’.


What happens next?


The RICS summarised the consultation responses in their Summary of Responses document. This will be used during future sessions of Governing Council to inform the RICS’ strategy going forward.


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.