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Upholding professional standards

RICS sets globally recognised standards for professional members and RICS regulated firms to follow when conducting their work. RICS ensures these are upheld by the profession through our system of independently led regulation.

  • Standards of conduct
  • Sector standards
  • Standards of qualification
  • Regulation

Standards of conduct

Sector standards

Sector standards apply to specific disciplines within the profession: building surveying, construction, dispute resolution, land, real estate, and valuation. Sector standards establish the expectations of members of the profession and RICS regulated firms when practising in these sectors and relate primarily to technical competence and ethical conduct.

Standards of qualification

Regulation

How we develop our standards

Our standards to ensure public and stakeholder trust in RICS accreditation. This accreditation means that when anyone employs an RICS professional, they are assured of quality. Our standards documents lay out the ethical-, conduct- and competence-related standards for the profession. 

RICS professional standards

  • Professional statements

    These contain ‘musts’  our mandatory requirements, along with details of regulatory interventions if these requirements are not met.

    Guidance notes

    These contain ‘shoulds’  non-mandatory requirements, but recommendations of best practice on undertaking given tasks.

    Assessment of Professional Competence (APC)

    These are the requirements and guidelines relating to entry into the profession.

    Data standards

    These ensure software programmes and technology can adopt RICS standards into their offering.

  • All RICS standards must be good for business. They need to support the delivery of quality surveying services to clients and the public. To make sure this happens, every potential standard must go through a robust process before being approved. Non-executive boards oversee approval of ideas, development of standards, and the final draft documents for consultation and publication. There are many points during the development process at which the standard can be challenged: why are we doing it and is it delivering an important benefit to our professionals and their clients and customers?

  • As a global professional body, we aim to set global standards. We do this by working across many different sectors with partners in many different jurisdictions. Sometimes, however, there are grounds for setting specific standards for certain countries: for example, with party walls and service charges in the UK. And, in the case of global standards, we work closely with our jurisdiction partners to give clear guidance on how these standards might be adopted in any given region.

  • All our standards go through a public consultation process in which we produce draft documents and ask for feedback on the potential impact of the standard. We also consult with key stakeholders in the market(s) where the standard will have most impact. The extent of consultation activity depends on the standard’s potential impact. Anything that could fundamentally change the way people work, or have a detrimental commercial impact, needs broad and deep consultation. A proposed standard in a niche area, which is likely to have low impact, will typically entail only the public consultation.

    After the standard is launched we undertake a review of how implementation is going in the market. This enables us to assess what additional input may be needed, either in developing the standard further, or in providing training and/or education materials.

    Please contact us to find out how you can get involved in the development of RICS standards.

    Email our regulation team