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The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors - some thoughts

Published: 30/12/2021 By Jeremy Day FRICS

The period between Christmas and New Year is often a cathartic one; reflecting on the year that has passed and setting objectives for the year ahead.

For Chartered Surveyors it is also the period for ensuring they have logged their compulsory 20 hours of annual CPD (Continuing Professional Development) with the RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) before 31st December. For me it is also the date for payment of my annual Professional Subscriptions (almost £700 as a Fellow).

Whilst this is a chore, and quite a lot of money, I still take pride in doing so each year. It is a reminder of the three years of University training and two years’ post university experience that went into gaining the professional qualification. A reminder of the late nights swatting, the last-minute dash to my first boss’s house to have my diary of experience signed off, on the night before it was due in! The never-to-be-forgotten 3 on 1 APC (Assessment of Professional Competence) interview, in a bedroom of a Heathrow Hotel (as has been the binary Pass/Fail experience of so many Chartered Surveyors in the London area over decades now).

And all for what purpose? Professionalism. Being a qualified member a recognised profession. A profession with a Royal charter no less. An assurance of standards, a marque of honesty and ethics, of expertise and experience, of putting the client first, but also having regard to what is right, and protecting the consumer.

It is not just about minimum standards upon entry (high standards at that) but also ongoing regulation, to ensure there are checks and balances in all that we do. For me that means, as a minimum, the 20 hours per year of ongoing learning, PI Insurance, Regulation of the Firm, Regulation of our Valuations, Anti-Money Laundering procedures, a Complaints Procedure and membership of an Ombudsman scheme, compliance with the Commercial Lease Code (and probably other things I am taking as a given).

Recent internal management issues have made 2021 quite a difficult year for the venerable old RICS. But they are putting that right, and as with the Carsberg review in 2005 (in which I played a part), so the Bichard review, currently underway, will ensure the RICS emerges even stronger.

I was able to celebrate with a newly-qualified QS on the day of his APC result recently, and it again brought home the continuing importance of professional qualification. It is gratifying to see many young professionals announcing their hard-earned qualification via LinkedIn over the past weeks. All members should take huge pride in their membership. They ARE the RICS.

My recent experience, now practising in my own very small firm (after three decades in large practices) has served as a reminder that it is a jungle out there. Clients and consumers alike should take comfort in the RICS as the marque of assurance and quality in real estate.

Jeremy Day FRICS
30th December 2021