News

RICS showdown with QS firms

14 May 2010

The RICS and eight of the largest QS firms in the country are to hold crisis talks next month, Building reported.

The meeting will discuss the profession’s grievances against the institution. It follows the news that the QS group within the RICS was threatening to leave the body over a number of sticking points, including a new reporting line for QSs within the RICS and a perceived lowering of standards for obtaining chartered QS status.

The discussions, which will include the issue of whether QSs should continue to be regulated by the RICS, will take place at a meeting on 8 July between the QS Forum and RICS president Max Crofts. The QS Forum is a body outside the RICS that represents the eight largest QS firms, including Davis Langdon, Cyril Sweett and EC Harris.

However, it has emerged that senior partners at a string of large firms do not want to break away despite pressure from smaller firms to leave.

Richard Steer, senior partner at Gleeds, said: “The QS Forum has discussed leaving the RICS and there is a strong swell from the within the RICS QS group to do so, but it is not on the cards.”

Another senior QS indicated that the time and money required for the move made it unfeasible.

The July meeting is understood to have four key grievances on its agenda. These are whether or not QSs should be regulated by the Financial Services Authority rather than the RICS; whether they are properly represented by the RICS; the “dumbing down” of educational standards by allowing entry into the RICS without a degree; and the view that in a bid for international expansion the RICS is lowering the standards of entry to the institution.

Sean Tompkins, who will take over as RICS chief executive later this year, said last month in an interview with Building that he would seek to mend fences with QSs.

Leave a comment