Governing Council strategy meeting, Shanghai

Gillian Charlesworth

Director of Regulatory and Corporate Affairs (RICS)

At the second of its new format annual strategy meetings, Governing Council agreed further steps in ensuring the future of RICS as a global professional body, fit for the 21st century and able to equip future generations of professionals. This report sets out the meeting highlights, priorities and actions agreed by Council.

shanghai skyline

At the meeting, held in Shanghai on 29 and 30 March, Council debated and set the direction for:

  • Vision and purpose
  • Future governance of the Institution
  • Communication with the profession
  • RICS 150th anniversary celebrations

Council also elected a new Senior Vice President and reviewed insight gathered from the World Built Environment Annual Summit which had taken place in the days before.

Vision and purpose

Council affirmed the central importance of retaining public trust and continuing to be the body trusted to set and enforce its own standards.  Investment in standards, professional knowledge and assurance would continue to be the highest priority to retain and build confidence across markets. 

In support of this, Council endorsed initial proposals for a new single, independently-led Board that would set the strategy for the profession’s standards and their enforcement.  The disciplinary tribunal would remain tightly ring-fenced in its decision making on conduct cases.  

Governance of the Institution

Building on previous decisions for reform of its own structure and operating approach, Council debated two further issues on its own future: the composition of the new 25-strong elected cohort of Council members and the election mechanism itself. 

Further online debates on these issues are now taking place and final decisions on Council’s governance will be concluded over the coming months, with the aim of ensuring that the Council, RICS lead governance body, is well equipped to develop and lead the profession.

Communication with the profession

Council members agreed that communication and connectivity both between its own members and with the profession were vital ingredients for success.   A small working group of Council members will look at enhancing communication and connectivity over the next months.

Election of Tim Neal FRICS

Tim Neal FRICS was elected to the role of Senior Vice President and will become President in 2019. 

Insights from RICS World Built Environment Forum, Shanghai

Council reviewed the rich insights from the World Built Environment Annual Summit under the headings of Cities, Infrastructure, Next generation of professionals and proptech, concluding a number of key findings to inform our strategy:

  • The importance of education and training and the need for an education strategy over the next 15 years to meet future demand for jobs which do not yet exist. Part of the education offer could be to introduce built environment courses into schools.
  • The enormous scope of China’s One Belt One Road economic development plan, which could lead to adoption of standards, regulation, education, the building of capacity and facilitating connectivity across multiple markets.
  • RICS should increase its collaboration with PropTech companies, finance and organisations such as the UN.
  • RICS valuation qualifications and standards should make RICS-qualified valuation professionals the valuers of choice and the authenticators of reliable data.
  • RICS was uniquely placed to act as a connector of experts, themes and disciplines.

Celebrating RICS at 150

Council received a briefing on the emerging plan for celebrating and recognising the profession’s 150th anniversary in 2018.  Council agreed that the milestone anniversary would provide rich opportunities for the profession to feel deeply proud of its achievements and to promote the value and contribution of the profession, past and present.

Next steps:  Impact on Strategy

The World Built Environment Annual Summit and subsequent Council Strategy meeting enabled Council to confirm the strategic priorities we will focus on to ensure that the profession is fit for the 21st century:

  • Investment in standards and effective enforcement of standards to ensure that the profession remains trusted by governments and markets around the world to set and enforce its own standards
  • Meeting the needs of the next generation of professionals
  • Understanding the impact of technology on the profession so that the profession is equipped to meet the changes
  • Growing RICS’ role as a convenor of ideas and solutions to bring about beneficial change in the world and meet the demands of markets, economies and the wider public for professionalism and best practice.

Council now intends to take these themes and discussions and will publish a new vision and statement of strategic intent as the profession enters its 150th year.


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