Eric Allen, Director/Commissioner of Land Valuations for the National Land Agency, walks members through the NLA's decision to support the implementation of RICS global standards such as Valuer Registration

Over the past decade, the National Land Agency (NLA) of Jamaica has taken major steps toward raising the standard of its valuation and property related services.

We did this by first adopting the RICS Professional - Valuation Standards (Red Book). Secondly, we increased the number of valuers who are members of the RICS, and thirdly, we have sought to maintain currency with regional and global valuation trends.

In undertaking these initiatives, the NLA has led the way in promoting globally accepted standards in Jamaica. This is of considerable importance given the loss of confidence in valuations and appraisals which occurred following the recent global financial crisis, and which, resulted in tightened financial and accounting regulations.

As the government’s official valuer, the NLA sees as part of its role, helping to restore and maintain confidence in the property market, given that sector’s role in underpinning the financial economy. We believe that the strong emphasis on ethics and professionalism engendered in the Valuer Registration program will help to achieve this. We believe further, that the establishment, for the first time, of an international standard for the measurement of buildings (IPMS) will reduce the discrepancies often encountered by local and foreign investors, landlords and tenants, and professionals when operating within the property market.

Last December, the NLA hosted a high-level meeting between an RICS delegation and Chartered Valuation Surveyors in private practice. Each practitioner expressed enthusiasm for the VR program and for the adoption of the IPMS, and committed to both. These measures, they believe, will help to strengthen Jamaica's property and financial services market place and in turn help to attract much needed Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). The NLA shares these views, and having already adopted the IPMS on January 2, 2015, will by March 5, 2015 require its valuers to sign on for the Valuer Registration program.

By supporting and promoting awareness of these initiatives (VR and IPMS), the NLA is endorsing RICS as a standard bearer of the highest professional and ethical standards in the property industry.

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