In October 2021, The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) released new Rules of Conduct that came into effect from 2nd February 2022.
According to RICS, these changes will help the profession adapt to new risks and opportunities when professionalism matters now more than ever.
The new rules were introduced after RICS failed to act on reports that the organisation was at risk of fraud and misappropriation of funds. RICS was given a rating of no assurance for the effectiveness of financial control by BDO, a prestigious accounting firm, which the new code hopes to help rectify by creating more trust and transparency throughout the industry.
This set of rules has a more straightforward structure to allow members to follow them and easily cite clear examples for each rule. The rules also consider the evolving role of technology and the global challenges that face the industry. The new rules are as follows:
Rule 1: Members and firms must be honest and act with integrity while complying with professional obligations, including obligations to RICS.
Examples of this rule are that members and firms should not mislead consumers about their actions and should not be influenced by gifts.
Rule 2: Members and firms must maintain professional competence and ensure services are provided by competent individuals with the necessary expertise.
This rule states that members should only take on work they know they have the skills and resources to carry out competently. Firms should also supervise employees and ensure they have the relevant knowledge to carry out various tasks.
Rule 3: Members and firms must provide good-quality and diligent service.
Rule three is set out to ensure that both members and firms set out agreements with clients about timescales, limitations, and the scope of services and that communication is open and transparent to allow firms to deliver high-quality work.
Rule 4: Members and firms must treat others with respect and encourage inclusion and diversity.
Examples for rule four include:
- Working cooperatively with others
- Not victimising anyone in the workplace
- Respecting the rights of everyone
Another example states that firms should check whether suppliers are involved in modern slavery practices and report any abusive labour practices to the authorities.
Rule 5: Members and firms must act in the public interest, take responsibility for their actions, act to prevent harm, and maintain public confidence in the profession.
This rule stipulates that firms and members question practices and decisions they suspect may be incorrect. They should also respond to any complaints openly and professionally and comply with any investigations into complaints or concerns.
The updated rules are packaged in a new, easy-to-read format that will simplify implementation and help firms integrate the new rules swiftly.
In a statement, Dame Janet Paraskeva, the chair of the Standards and Regulation Board (SRB) at RICS, stated: “Standards in professional life must evolve to reflect modern-day expectations of clients and society at large, to maintain confidence. These revised Rules of Conduct will support our members and those that depend on their advice to continue addressing the challenges of today and tomorrow.”
RICS new Rules of Conduct try to win back respect for battered body… Original article.
RICS also offer a free CPD course to all members and firms outlining the new rules. You can find the course here.