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Bichard rejects outside regulator to police RICS members

RICS is best placed to check its members are obeying regulations, Bichard says, and it would be a mistake to set up an independent regulator.

David Callaghan

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An independent regulator to police RICS members has been rejected by Lord Bichard, in his report into how RICS is run.

He said it would be a mistake to set up an outside regulation body, but he warned that he would not be surprised if the government considered the proposal.

lord bichardBichard said: “It [RICS] is, of course, not the only professional body to have wrestled with these problems and in professions such as solicitors, auditors and healthcare professionals the government has intervened to create separate regulatory or oversight bodies.

“In fact, separate bodies have become the default setting for professional regulation and I would be surprised if government does not consider that option for Chartered Surveyors.

“For my part, I believe that it would be a mistake to establish a separate body”, and he agreed with the conclusion reached by Peter Pereira Gray in his review of real estate valuations, that RICS is best placed to fulfil this role.

Board strengthened

The RICS Standards and Regulation Board needs to be bolstered, Bichard said, to ensure it can properly police members.

“I therefore favour immediately strengthening the independence of the SRB to create and maintain clear divisions which prevent the representative functions prejudicing the regulatory functions,” he said.

RICS needs to restore its reputation and public perception if it is to move on from last year’s governance scandal, Bichard argued, and he made a series of recommendations.

His recommendations included measures to make it clearer how customers can complain about RICS members, and an independent review every five years into how effective these steps are working.

Read the Bichard review in full

June 23, 2022

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