RICS Expert Witness Accreditation Service is a voluntary scheme that sets the standards for professionals who act as expert witnesses.

front shot of the Royal Courts of Justice building

The ground-breaking Supreme Court decision in Jones v Kaney made it possible to sue experts in negligence. The recent implementation of the 'Jackson reforms' to costs infrastructure in civil litigation have placed greater emphasis on the quality and value for money of expert witnesses. 

Some practical consequences of the decision in Jones v Kaney are that it:

  • Highlighted that there is no proper market definition of what is meant by an expert witness.
  • Demonstrated that professionals who act as expert witnesses must apply a high level of professional standards in discharging the role
  • revealed that there is no organisation or professional that trains, assesses and also quality assures expert witnesses
  • Revealed that there is no organisation that provides a range of services to help instructing parties identify and source experts witnesses who:
    • are trained and assessed in the role of expert witness
    • are routinely and robustly monitored as part of a quality control regime
    • are bound to follow published professional best practice and guidelines
    • have the specific relevant expertise required by the clients
    • have been checked to ensure they are free from conflicts of interest
    • have been checked to ensure they are available to act as and when required

Our Dispute Resolution Service (DRS) has developed EWAS to provide reassurance to parties who instruct expert witnesses that their experts are:

  • Appropriately experienced in the relevant subject matter
  • Trained and assessed by RICS in the roles and duties of an expert witness
  • Subject to the comprehensive quality control regime managed by RICS DRS   

This qualification signals high standards of expertise and professionalism for expert witnesses underpinned by regulation.  This qualification is not only worthwhile; it has become crucial.

The service

EWAS is designed to raise standards in a sector that has not previously been subject to quality control by a professional body.  It sets universal standards for expert witnesses across the property and built environment sector. 

Accreditation as an RICS Expert Witness is open to all property professionals and underpinned by a dedicated training course, for those who need it, and assessment.  The dates and costs of the next accredited expert witness training course in the UK can be found in the training brochure which is available to download below. 

Do you qualify to become an RICS Accredited Expert Witness? 

If you have previously undertaken expert witness training and/or have significant experience as an expert witness, please complete and return the EWAS application form which can be downloaded below.  Your application will be assessed by an independent assessment panel.

The Value of RICS Accreditation for Expert Witnesses  

RICS Expert Witness Accreditation is a clear indicator of quality and competence in market underpinned by RICS’s 150 years of pre-eminence in the property and built environment sector. 

It also signals that RICS accredited expert witnesses:

  • Are formally assessed and qualified to rigorous RICS standards
  • Have been recognised by RICS as expert in their subject fields and in their duties to court and clients
  • Understand and comply with RICS practice statements, ethics and guidance for expert witnesses; keep up to date on law and practice, and are regularly reassessed
  • Are subject to a quality assurance process, managed by RICS DRS

    Global markets

    While the role and function of court experts varies from country to country, EWAS will establish fundamental principles of good practice that apply globally. 

    For a list of RICS Accredited Expert Witnesses please see the downloadable register at the bottom of this page.

Referral service

The EWAS referral service provides reassurance to parties who instruct RICS accredited expert witnesses that they are appropriately qualified and able to discharge the role they are instructed to undertake. A key factor of the referral service is that it can be used to source expert witnesses who:

  • Have relevant expertise which meets the specific needs of the parties seeking to instruct an expert
  • Are available to act as and when required (including attending court)
  • Have been checked for independence and are free of conflicts of interest
  • Have appropriate professional indemnity insurance for the matter on which they are to be instructed
  • Are subject to a quality control regime managed by RICS Dispute Resolution Services (DRS)   

The service includes members with the specialist knowledge and practical experience to provide impartial, independent evidence for a wide range of fields, including but not limited to: 

  • Agriculture and farm business
  • Arts and antiques
  • Boundaries and party walls
  • Building surveying
  • Commercial property (rent review, lease renewal, etc.)
  • Construction disputes and claims
  • Dilapidations and housing disrepair
  • Environmental surveying
  • Landlord and tenant
  • Leasehold enfranchisement
  • Mineral and waste management
  • Planning and development
  • Professional negligence
  • Property management
  • Rating Valuation
  • Valuation

RICS charges an administration fee of £395.00 inclusive of VAT to make a nomination of an Expert Witness.

You are able to source an RICS Accredited Expert Witness for free using the EWAS referral service.  Please complete and return the EWAS Referral Service Application Form which can be downloaded below.

How to apply for accreditation

If you are seeking exemption: 

  1. Review the accreditation criteria
  2. Complete and return the EWAS Application Form along with the application fee
  3. Provide a copy of three years’ worth of continued professional development (CPD)
  4. Provide details of two people who you would like to act as referees on your behalf. These should be people who are active in your sphere of professional practice and who have first-hand knowledge of your experience.

If you do not wish to apply for an exemption: 

  1. Attend the RICS expert witness accreditation training – download the training brochure below for the next available dates
  2. Successfully complete the assessment
  3. Complete and return the EWAS Application Form along with the application fee

Note: RICS does not assess technical knowledge as part of the entry process. The competence of an expert witness is ultimately determined by the client and the relevant judicial body.

A flow chart which details the process of applying for accreditation is available to download below.

Assessment

If you are required to undertake the RICS expert witness accreditation training to become accredited, you will need to complete three assessments. 

Module 1 & 2

Module 1: Open book invigilated assessment - 45 minutes

Module 2: Closed book invigilate assessment - 90 minutes

  • Members - £120 +VAT
  • Non-members - £145 +VAT

Module 4

Cross examination video recorded assessment.

  • Members - £250 +VAT
  • Non-members - £275 +VAT

For those who have successfully completed the RICS expert witness accreditation training and assessment or have been granted exemption, you will need to undertake the Online Ethics Test and a telephone interview*.

*Telephone interview by WebEx.  RICS reserve the right to request a face-to-face interview.

Online Ethics Test and telephone interview

Member - £300 +VAT

Non - Member - £350 +VAT

Advanced Professional Award in Expert Witness Evidence (APAEWE)

If you attend Modules 1,2 and 4 and pass the 3 assessments in those Modules you are eligible for a formal qualification, the Advanced Professional Award in Expert Witness Evidence accredited by Pearson Learning -  Edexcel at a level 7 (Masters level) BTEC.

There is a fee of £180+VAT to Legal Experience Training to apply for the award.  This includes the £90 +VAT fee for Edexcel.

Pearson Learning (Edexcel) is the UK’s largest awarding body and provides testing and qualifications over 85 countries across the globe.

Please email admin@legalexperiencetraining.com to confirm if you wish to obtain the Advanced Professional Award in Expert Witness Evidence (APAEWE) certificate. You will need to let Legal Experience Training (LET) know what address you wish the certificate to be sent to and they will supply you with details of how to make a BACS payment to LET.

Further information

Please contact Mrs Raj Sohal (e rsohal@rics.org)

Expert Witness Accreditation Service 
RICS Dispute Resolution Service
Surveyor Court
Coventry CV4 8JE
t +44 (0)20 7334 3806
f +44 (0)20 7334 3802
e ewas@rics.org


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