Advance notice to members of the profession of our intention to seek changes to RICS bye-laws
To ensure the profession is equipped for the future, we’re proposing changes to RICS bye-laws – our governance. We plan to request the necessary formal Royal Charter authority endorsement of our plans, and we want all members of RICS profession to know of our proposals in advance and have plenty of time to consider their value and implications for the future of the profession.
On receiving endorsement from the UK Royal Charter authority (the Privy Council) we will invite members to vote in relation to the changes via a special resolution at an EGM. Those members who are eligible to vote (MRICS and FRICS) and who cannot attend the EGM in person will be able to vote online.
We welcome views from members of the profession as we prepare to submit Governing Council’s proposals to the Royal Charter authorities
Your elected Governing Council has been considering in depth how we can modernise our governance - including the role and make-up of the Council itself – in order to meet the needs of a rapidly changing world in which the profession operates.
Council has taken the view that we need a smaller, more agile and more geographically diverse governing body which focuses on the future and takes the lead in ensuring the global profession continues to be trusted by society, equipped and ready to meet the challenges and opportunities ahead in an increasingly digitalised and data driven world.
We propose to make the changes in two stages.
There will be four proposals for the first vote under two headings:
This involves 1. moving to a more globally representative and diverse Governing Council and 2. the creation of a new role of Chair of Governing Council.
The proposals under this heading are 3. creation of a joint ‘Standards and Regulation Board’ and 4. the renaming of our Conduct and Appeals Committee to the RICS Regulatory Tribunal.
If members of the profession vote in favour of the first set of changes, Council then wishes to bring forward a wider package of reforms to underpin the high-level structure agreed in the first vote. This would be drawn up in 2019, and approval sought from the profession via a vote towards the end of 2019.
This second vote would build logically on the first vote relating to the high-level governance structure and enable us to streamline and modernise our constitution which has not been updated for a number of years.
Please let us have your questions and comments – we welcome views from members of the profession.
We will publish 30 days’ notice of the EGM once we have the necessary endorsement from the authorities. When the vote opens, we strongly encourage all members of this profession to vote and, in doing so, take part in ensuring the profession continues to be trusted, valued and equipped for the future.
There would be 15 geographical seats (six for EMEA including UK, five for Asia Pacific, four for Americas) and six strategy seats, based on sectoral expertise. Four office holders (the Presidential Team) would make up the remainder of the 25 seats.
In terms of the Chair proposal, the current position is that the President chairs Council for the one year of their presidency. We propose appointing an individual from the profession who would chair Council for a standard Board term (up to six years), which will provide greater continuity to the Governing body. The President would focus on an already challenging programme of ambassadorial duties and we should add that all current and future presidential office holders, already on the path to the presidency, fully support this plan and see the need for the change.
The rationale for this part of the plan is Council’s continued desire for RICS to remain a body trusted to set and enforce the profession’s standards. We are one of a handful of professions today that continues to enjoy public trust to self-regulate.
Your Council believes we need to enhance our model for this through the extension of independent oversight to our standard setting as well as through the creation of a new Standards and Regulation Board that carries responsibility for our professional standards as well as regulation. Currently, independent oversight only extends to regulatory matters. Council believes we should fully welcome independent external scrutiny across the portfolio of standard setting and enforcement in order to continue to advance public trust.
The renaming of the current Conduct and Appeals Committee to the RICS Regulatory Tribunal is intended to better reflect its important role in upholding the profession’s status and standing in society.