The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) is a professional organisation that regulates qualifications and standards for land, property and construction surveyors throughout the European Union. RICS was created in June 15, 1868, and its headquarters are in London, England. RICS promotes the surveyor profession and ensures its members abide by the code of professional conduct. It is also responsible for providing educational courses and training to surveyors.
Surveyors are responsible for measuring land, confirming the boundaries of the property, providing a property description and evaluating the overall value of land. Surveyors prepare design sketches and maps of the property. A surveyor's assessment can help the landowner maximise the use of the land, determine ways in which the land can be developed, or ensure that construction on the land complies with building and zoning regulations.
RICS established a uniform standard of professional conduct and ethics for the surveying profession within the European Union. RICS facilitates the promotion and networking of chartered surveyors to private clients and government organisations in different countries. The professional conduct of the firm members is strictly regulated. Members are required to participate in continued educational programs to ensure they are informed of the most current laws, regulations and ethical standards.
Code of Professional Conduct
Honesty and transparency in dealing with clients is of utmost importance, according to the RICS Code of Conduct. Surveyors have to divulge any potential or perceived conflicts of interest and not allow any personal interests affect their job performance. All of the members' actions must be legal, comply with current regulations and demonstrate due diligence. Members are not permitted to engage in discriminatory behaviour and must treat their clients with respect at all times.
Every firm member must have a complaint-handling procedure that adequately addresses any issues from clients. The complaint should either by handled by a senior firm member or a third party who can investigate the problem and recommend a satisfactory resolution for both parties. RICS can also investigate the claim and attempt to redress the issue. If a complainant seeks monetary damages, the complainant would have to make that request directly to the firm or file a lawsuit.
Factors which affect the disciplinary action taken by RICS include the type of wrongful behaviour, the extent of the damage to the client and the frequency of the wrongful behaviour. The firm's attempt to correct the problem and steps taken to ensure the behaviour is not repeated are also taken into consideration. Disciplinary actions may involve a formal warning, imposition of a fine, temporary suspension, limitation of membership benefits and expulsion from RICS.