23 AUG 2018
RICS regulation is undertaking its first thematic review, taking a close look at conflicts of interest.
It is the first piece of research, with the help of Research by Design, into a specific area of risk in surveying work, practice, or the implementation of a standard. Once completed, we will publish the findings and share these with our profession and the marketplace. The outcome of thematic reviews will be used to inform our thinking on risk, and to develop guidance and advice for the profession.
Our first thematic review is going to take a closer look at conflicts of interest. We will send correspondence to the contact officer of every RICS-regulated firm across the world, which includes a link to the online regulatory thematic review. The contact officer should complete and return the review on behalf of the firm.
The Conflicts of Interest Professional Statement, 1st edition, March 2017, and the Conflicts of Interest: UK Commercial Property Market Investment Agency Professional Statement, 1st edition, May 2017, became effective from 1January 2018. These place mandatory requirements on every professionals and regulated firm and highlight how vital it is that members and firms prevent anything getting in the way of their duty to advise each client objectively and independently.
Clients and the wider public need to be confident that this is the case in order to have trust in the integrity of the profession. The findings of the thematic review will assure them that the profession is living up to its standards, or that we understand where we need to take action.
Our findings will also enable firms to determine whether they are operating in accordance with good practice in the area of the review’s focus, for example in relation to their internal processes, controls and working practices, and where to make improvement if necessary. In turn, this will help firms mitigate their exposure to risk. In this case, conflicts of interest.
We expect to undertake several thematic reviews each year, covering on-going and emerging risks. The areas chosen for thematic reviews will be informed by analysis of information the profession provides us through the annual information collected, complaints we receive from the public, and any other sources of intelligence.
The ultimate aim of each thematic review is to support the profession in implementing best practice and demonstrating to clients that RICS professionals and firms meet their needs as business partners. Firms are required to participate in our thematic reviews and to make them insightful and valuable as possible.