4 JUL 2019
One year into the job, Brian Henning FRICS, Chair of our Northern Ireland Regional Board, gives his views on how he's enjoying the role and the challenges he's faced.
It's hard to believe that it's a full year since I took over as Chair of the Northern Ireland Regional Board. It's also hard to believe that in those 12 months, two major issues affecting chartered surveyors and the NI economy as a whole remain very much unresolved.
When I took over as chair, I of course highlighted the challenges associated with there being no Northern Ireland Executive, and I also talked about the need for preparedness for the post-Brexit world.
Today, we still have no Executive, and we remain pre-Brexit. Whether either of those situations changes in the Autumn remains to be seen. However, from my time in office, I am certainly convinced that, either way, the professional skills and competencies of our membership will remain of central importance to the Northern Ireland economy. Indeed, in uncertain times, they come to the fore.
During the last year, I have had the opportunity to meet hundreds of members at events including the RICS Awards, our diploma ceremony, and our Stay Informed events. Whilst many chartered surveyors are no doubt frustrated by, for instance, a lack of progress on some infrastructure projects, my experience is that they continue to see significant industry recognition of their skills as RICS members.
And indeed, I have heard from many chartered surveyors how RICS membership is an important differentiator for them, inspiring employers and clients with confidence that they are in good hands.
But we cannot afford to be complacent. We all need to continue to develop our skills. We also need to continue to drive standards. And to inspire the next generation. And again, these will be high on my agenda during my second year in office.
The widespread adoption of ICMS is something that I will again champion; as well as the need for members to keep pace with the rate of technological change to remain as completive as possible and to drive value for their clients. So too apprenticeships and other initiatives to attract more young people into chartered surveying.
But most of all, I will continue to champion the importance of the profession to Northern Ireland's economy and society. Across land, property and construction, RICS members are making an incredible impact. The calibre of the projects in the RICS Awards, Northern Ireland, is tangible evidence of this. My conversations with many members in the last year about the work that they do has also been truly inspiring.