Why the Red Book received an essential update

Ben Elder FRICS

RICS Global Director of Valuation (RICS)

RICS Valuation — Global Standards 2017 has undergone an essential update.

Widely known as the 'RICS Red Book', the updated edition reflects the growing importance of combining professional, technical and performance standards to deliver high-quality valuations to clients, governments, regulatory bodies and the public.

The update to the RICS Red Book follows a review by the International Valuation Standards Council (IVSC) of the globally benchmarked International Valuation Standards (IVS) earlier this year. IVS 2017 is an important milestone in harmonising valuation practices to bring greater efficiency across international markets.

Watch: What's changed? (Updated 28 June)

A guide to key changes

The accompanying Red Book 2017 (Global Edition) — A guide to key changes & basis of conclusions explains the rationale behind updates in the final version and highlights significant changes to ensure you can quickly identify what you must do differently to remain compliant. Specifically, it addresses the main refinements made in consequence of the responses received to the public consultation. It has been produced purely to assist the reader and does not form part of the standards.

A valuable resource

The RICS Red Book is increasingly valued by investors, mortgage lenders, portfolio managers and the public sector across the world because it enhances transparency and consistency of valuations.

The revised Red Book provides greater clarity on what is mandatory and what is advisory. The individual professional standards and the technical and performance standards contained in VPS 1 to VPS 5 are mandatory for all members, whereas the 'Valuation Practice Guidance — Applications' are advisory and embody best practice.

The updated Red Book also references the RICS Conflicts of Interest professional statement as well the RICS measurement standards that incorporate International Property Measurement Standards (IPMS).

The updated Red Book is available to download here and will be mandatory for all RICS valuation professionals from 1 July 2017.

Watch: What's the value of the RICS Red Book?

Comments (24)

  1. The view from RICS

    The guide to key changes & basis of conclusions is not designed to be read in isolation — it must be read alongside/concurrently with the new Red Book to make sense.

    It is designed to lead the reader to the key changes, not to provide a list of the changes. It is really important that all RICS valuers read the Red Book 2017 and understand the changes as it affects their individual work, from a professional viewpoint, and also potentially their PII cover.

    Ben Elder FRICS

    Ben Elder FRICS, RICS RICS Global Director of Valuation 30 June at 14:59PM

  1. This is useless. Telling me that 'paragraph 1-4' has changed, is about as useful as a chocolate teapot.

    Please let us have a short written précis of the changes, not a stupid and pointless video.

    James Collier James Collier, 26 June at 09:05AM

  2. James - appreciate your succinct comment; saves me time and teed up my week. Andrew

    Andrew Farquhar Andrew Farquhar, 26 June at 09:19AM

  3. Typical RICS! Yes I am in a hurry but this tells me nothing and no I haven't got all day to wade through the Red Book to cross reference those paragraphs. Please let us have a simple concise précis then I can read up on the parts relevant to my specialisms.

    Hugo Prime Hugo Prime, 26 June at 09:32AM

  4. Dead right James. This has just wasted several minutes of my Monday morning preparation for the week to no advantage whatsoever!

    Robert John Robert John, 26 June at 09:36AM

  5. I agree that a written summary is required. That was what I was expecting to find when I clicked on the link.

    Mark Sanders Mark Sanders, 26 June at 11:11AM

  6. I have to agree - pointless video and annoying 'music' to boot...

    Christopher Duncan Christopher Duncan, 26 June at 11:39AM

  7. Hi all,

    We have added the full list of 11 key changes to the text and we will look to add further information to this web page in response to your comments.


    Rory Tufano
    RICS Digital Content Editor

    Rory Tufano Rory Tufano, 26 June at 12:01PM

  8. I've just watched the video and learnt absolutely nothing.
    Shall I wade through the 455 pages of the old Red Book and compare it with the 272 in the 2017 version?
    What is required is a one-page pdf summarising the changes that can be printed, not a waste-of-money video with abysmal soundtrack.

    Paul Harriss Paul Harriss, 26 June at 12:44PM

  9. Why can't the RICS send targeted emails with succinct updates to their members. They know the areas we operate in from our annual returns.
    Surely for £1000.00 pa fees in one way or another a better service to their members is not too much to ask.

    Kevin Gregory Kevin Gregory, 26 June at 15:43PM

  10. Dear Rory,
    When you have written a summary please could you send a further email to members notifying them of this.
    Thank you

    Benjamin Lenton Benjamin Lenton, 26 June at 15:58PM

  11. Absolutely agree - we are a small practice and unlike the "big boys" we can't afford a Compliance Officer to keep wading through all the red tape the RICS sends out. The Red Book is a huge document, much of which is not really relevant to a small residential practice but it's "mandatory" so it looks like I'll have to find a weekend to wade through it yet again and spot areas where things have changed so that I can then decide if our Terms of Engagment, report formats, website etc need to be changed. This is NOT GOOD ENOUGH, RICS - give us some value for money and tell us what has changed and what we need to do about it.

    John Brownlow John Brownlow, 27 June at 07:27AM

  12. I wholeheartedly agree with the comments so far. Even in the larger firms it takes a huge amount of time working through the ever more complex Red Book and reducing it to a set of clear and logical guidelines for valuers. What is more, we are expected to pay £160 for the privilege of attending a Red Book seminar! We should not have to bear the cost of learning about the ever more complex regulation.

    Edmund Kornicki Edmund Kornicki, 27 June at 10:15AM

  13. May I add support to members' comments that a concise summary, readable and comprehensible, guiding us all as to requirements would hugely assist. Regulation is inevitable but it can be made accessible, practical and engaging to help us apply and comply. Written summary awaited with anticipation. Jim Major

    Jeremy Major Jeremy Major, 27 June at 13:45PM

  14. All the previous comments are correct. There is no practical information given. And the video. Just repeats the written empty text but nice music and some pretty pictures. Please don't insult our intelligence. Suppose this means attending a cpd event which has to be paid for just to have the changes revealed to us. Same old, same old.

    Stuart Rattner Stuart Rattner, 27 June at 14:58PM

  15. A point I intended to make, Edmund. RICS introduce these swathes of mandatory regulation and then expect us to take time out of our working days, and to pay an arm and a leg for the privilege, and attend seminars so they can tell us about the new rules! Can't they disseminate this information in a more efficient and cost-effective manner in these days of electronic communications or does the cynic in me spy a profit motive?

    John Brownlow John Brownlow, 28 June at 16:59PM

  16. Thank you for all your comments.

    We have taken them on board and produced ‘A guide to key changes & basis of conclusions’ — the emboldened parts of this document show the substantive changes to the Red Book and the additional content provides a clear rationale. Additional support is available through online training courses and seminar events which are taking place across the UK.

    I hope that this new guide makes the transition to the Red Book 2017 more straight forward; however, as with any new or updated standard, we strongly encourage RICS professionals to download and read it in order to familiarise themselves with the detail.

    Richard Stokes Richard Stokes, 29 June at 10:33AM

  17. My firm's Firewall has been most prescient. It considers e-mails from the RICS to be Scam and it is diverting them to my Junk box!
    Robert Sumner.

    Robert Sumner Robert Sumner, 29 June at 11:52AM

  18. As a retired member but one with a reasonable sized portfolio I thought it would be interesting to see what the changes were so that I would understand the reports of any valuers I use. I found the video completely useless and like other comments that have been made a short précis of what they actually meant would be much more useful. It seems to me that the cost of the video is justifying somebody's job.

    Lyell Fairlie

    Lyell Fairlie Lyell Fairlie, 29 June at 12:13PM

  19. I have just read the Guide to Key Changes etc. Still none the wiser. Surely it should not be rocket science to write the Note in a style that the majority of practicing surveyors and valuers doing their job day in day out, trying their best to comply with Mandatory Requirements, can understand. If an APC student fresh out of University with a shiny new Degree had produced a summary like this, I would politely ask them to do it again.

    Christopher Smith Christopher Smith, 30 June at 10:08AM

  20. Hmmm - events in Baku remind me that we are all probably suffering from RICS rage rather than road rage. I remain confident that I will eventually discover what the changes in the Red Book are.

    Andrew Farquhar Andrew Farquhar, 30 June at 12:37PM

  21. Well C+ for a belated effort RICS but it's really a "must try harder to get your point across" I'm afraid. I'm really none the wiser as to how these changes really impact on me, my daily valuation work and what I have to do, if anything, as the Director of a SMB. The only thing I'm certain of is that they're now the RICS Valuation - Global Standards 2017 To be frank unless you have a nerdy knowledge of the Red Book almost word for word then you can't identify from this precis what has changed and whether any of it is really very important in your daily work. There's a lot of wordspeak and we now even have - just to pick out one gem - the concept of a "non-special assumption" so my head now hurts. It looks like the best option will be to download the new version and go through it section by section - hours of work - and try to pick out anything I need to change. Does it really have to be this complicated? Can't there be a simplified version for those of us who only undertake small scale residential valuation work that could surely be covered in 50 pages not 500?

    John Brownlow John Brownlow, 30 June at 19:54PM

  22. I have read the Guide to Key Changes now and it is a reasonably useful document, so thanks RICS for that, but why was something like this not produced to start with?

    Having just looked at the RICS email concerning the update to the Money Laundering Regulations today, I see some very similar comments being made as to the content that the RICS has published on the website (basically nothing but a link to the regulations themselves).

    What is a professional body for if not to digest and scrutinise legislation and advise its members of the key points?

    Is it that, as I suspect, the web editors know very little about the content they are publishing, so are unable to provide a considered précis?

    James Collier James Collier, 3 July at 15:13PM

  23. Call me cynical but the alternative, of course, is to attend one of the RICS Seminars on "Changes to the Red Book" at £160+VAT, and several hours out of your working day, per delegate.......to get information that should surely be disseminated for free.

    John Brownlow John Brownlow, 4 July at 22:34PM

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