News

Row worsens as QSs threaten to quit RICS

7 May 2010

The turbulent relationship between the RICS and its QS members has reached crisis point, Building reported. It has seen a draft letter to the RICS governing council from the institution’s QS faculty that raises the prospect of the group quitting the RICS.

The QS group intends to send to the document to the Council before its next meeting in July. It sets out a number of grievances including a new reporting line for QSs within the RICS and a perceived lowering of standards for obtaining chartered QS status.

The strongly-worded document increases the possibility of the QS faculty leaving the RICS. This would be a serious blow to the institution as QSs make up 40% of its 100,000 global members. Membership fees, usually paid by firms on behalf of their employees, are £400 a year per chartered member.

A source close to the QS group said: “Things are coming to a head, the feeling is very strong. Quitting the RICS is being discussed by some members.”

The letter, which may be revised before being sent, is the product of many years of discontent among QSs. The specific complaints reflect their more general concern that despite their numbers, they make up only one of 17 groups within the institution, which means their voice is not heard at sufficient volume.

It also springs from an uneasiness over the RICS being run as a commercial concern. The document puts forward the idea of asking the Financial Services Authority (FSA) to replace the RICS as the profession’s regulator. The document says that “several large firms” have held discussions with the FSA about this.

But Max Croft, the current president of the RICS, blamed the row on “a handful of members pursuing personal agendas” and said all RICS professional groups were working well with new governance arrangements.

He added: “If we have disgruntled QS members on the current board, it is better that they leave the board and are replaced by members who wish to support the profession.”

The 17-strong QS board is chaired by Stuart Earl, a partner in Gleeds. Other members of the board include senior staff from Davis Langdon, Turner & Townsend and Driver Consult.

Comments

I am not a member of the RICS but have always wanted to be one, however I believe the RICS is seen as the body for auctioneers rather than quantity surveyors. I see the RICS pandering to achieving greater numbers of members rather than establishing the quality by the difficulty to achieve membership. I have heard members complaining how easy it is to become a member by various routes other than taking the formal examination approach where all the skills of surveying are tested. For someone who still rates the RICS, but is not a member I find this disruption in the ranks reasonable since those I have spoken with believe RICS is becoming more expensive every year but diluted on an equal proportion.

Michael Matthews, 7 May 2010

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