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Conflicts of interest: Implementation and impact

Conflicts of interest: Implementation and impact

A review of the RICS professional statement

As part of its commitment to ensuring that surveying professionals adhere to high professional standards, RICS commissioned this review to assess the effectiveness of its professional statement Conflicts of interest, 1st edition.

The review looks at how the professional statement is being implemented, presenting findings from research carried out with RICS-regulated firms. The effective identification and management of conflicts of interest is a challenging but essential component of professionalism. The RICS professional statement Conflicts of interest, 1st edition came into effect on 1 January 2018. It sets out mandatory requirements that RICS members and RICS-regulated firms must follow and provides supporting guidance. The professional statement is not sector specific and has global application.

RICS' regulatory framework ensures that surveying professionals adhere to the highest professional standards. Our regulation must respond to the demands of an evolving market, foster innovation, and facilitate the delivery of excellent services.

The aim of this review was to engage firms to better understand successes and overcome potential challenges of implementing the conflicts of interest professional statement.

This review presents:

  • Major findings from two phases of research
  • Sets out how the professional statement has been received by the market
  • Identifies areas around how well conflicts of interest are understood, identified, managed, recorded and communicated
  • Details the specific actions RICS will or has already taken to mitigate the risks identified

After feedback from the profession, findings from the review included that:

  • RICS professionals and regulated firms value the professional statement primarily because it adds to the confidence and trust that clients have in their firms
  • 93% of responders believe the management of conflicts of interest is either 'critically important' or 'very important' to their work
  • 87% of firms believe staff are quite familiar with the professional statement
  • The process for identifying, managing and informing clients about conflicts of interest varies significantly across firms. Some firms have a less formal approach in place, which may result in inadequate record keeping or management of conflicts of interest
  • Firms stressed the need for maximum clarity and for RICS to provide more supporting guidance, as identifying and managing conflicts of interest comprehensively can be complex and challenging for professional services firms

The publication of the review is accompanied by supporting materials designed to strengthen implementation of the professional statement. These documents do not constitute formal RICS guidance.

CoI graph1
How often do firms experience conflict of interest?
CoI graph2
Do firms struggle to manage the processes?
CoI graph4
Does the professional statement reassure clients?

About our professional statement

The conflicts of interest professional statement, which supports the RICS Rules of Conduct, places an overarching mandatory requirement on all RICS professionals and regulated firms and specifies RICS' expectations of how compliance with the Rules of Conduct should be achieved.

Download the professional statement or find out more about conflicts of interest