Lord Michael Bichard’s wide-ranging review of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors’ (RICS) governance was published on Tuesday.
Lord Bichard prefaced the review with the following:
“My aim has been to help create a new sense of purpose and direction so that RICS can once more stand tall as an exemplar professional institution, capable of tackling the challenges which will shape the way we all live our lives in the years to come.
I am very confident that this can be achieved but success will require nothing less than a transformation of the Institution carried out at pace. Anything less will leave RICS vulnerable to members leaving to join competitor institutions, reinforce the justifiable concerns of government, and diminish RICS’ capacity to influence policy and standards in the UK and around the world. The need for change is urgent and, in my view, unarguable.”
As part of the review, Lord Bichard made 36 recommendations, which included:
- A revised purpose incorporated into its Charter, proclaiming that the RICS exists “for the benefit of society” by “advancing and facilitating access to surveying knowledge by maintaining and promoting the usefulness of the profession”.
- Governing Council should consider the global strategy and a delegation framework to give appropriate freedoms, resources and responsibilities to regional and area boards
- Commercial activity be separated from other activities at RICS
- RICS Matrics should be re-invigorated to give younger members a stronger voice in the Institution
- A Diversity and Inclusion Panel should be established
- Significant improvement of the RICS’ technology, with the steps to achieving this set out by Bichard
- The RICS should reaffirm its commitment to work in the public interest and for public advantage
- RICS should make it clearer how clients can complain or seek redress for inadequate service
- An independent review of its effectiveness and the degree to which its work is undertaken for the public advantage every five years
Richard Collins, interim RICS chief executive, said:
“I strongly support The Bichard RICS Review recommendations, which will renew our focus on working in the public interest and to the public advantage, including the addition of a new public interest panel.
This will ensure that, we and our members, contribute to the important societal issues such as D&I, sustainability and building safety.
This work will be supported by increased independence for our regulatory functions through our standards and regulation board, as we maintain self-regulation for the benefit of our the public and our professional members.”
Nick Maclean, Interim Chair of the Governing Council, commented:
“The Bichard RICS Review represents a watershed moment for the Institution, and a key point in time which sets out a path for permanent improvement. Implementation of the recommendations will provide a solid accountable structure to effectively support our professionals and work in the public interest.”
Access the full report and all 36 recommendations here.