Who and what is RICS?

    The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) is an institution with offices all over the world. The organisation accredits professional surveyors within the property, land, and construction sectors.Founded in London on the 15th June 1868 after a meeting of surveyors at the Westminster Palace Hotel, it was originally known as the ‘Surveyors’ Institution’. John Clutton, the man responsible for establishing property consultants Cluttons, wasthe very first president.

    The headquarters of RICS are in London, on the corner of Great George Street and Parliament Square.Their name was changed to ‘The Chartered Surveyors’ Institution’in 1930, and in 1946, the title ‘Royal’ was granted by George VI. Finally, in 1947, the professional body became the ‘Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors’, or RICS. 

    So, what exactly does RICS do? Well, apart from maintaining the highest professional and educational standards and promoting the aims of the profession, they also help to oversee regulation and provide unbiased guidance and advice.

    Worldwide, RICS accredits over 500 undergraduate and postgraduate courses. The RICS accredited course is the first step on the road to becoming a Chartered Surveyor. It provides the initial academic requirements for students training to be surveyors.Because of its uncompromising code of ethics, clients and consumers are protected from unprofessional and low-standard practices.

    The significant market presence of RICS means they’re ideally placed to influence policy and entrench standards nationwide. By working closely with government, they’re able to deliver the highest international standards and support and develop the real estate, land and construction arena for the interest and welfare of all.

    The statistics are impressive: In 2015, the number of RICS qualified professionals in 140 countries around the world totalled 120,000, while student membership came in at 81,000. The United Kingdom has the majority of accredited professionals but there are also very large numbers in Australia, Europe and Hong Kong … and the numbers in China, India and the Americas are growing at a phenomenal rate.

    The RICS works closely with other professional bodies such as The World Bank, The United Nations and The European Union. And in 2013, the RICS became a founder member of the alliance to develop International Property Measurement Standards, which launched its very first standard (for measuring office space) in November 2014. A year later, the RICS became a founder member of the alliance to develop International Ethics Standards. These member bodies are focused on the development and implementation ofnew, professional standards.

    Becoming a RICS Member

    1.      If you’re studying for or have completed a RICS accredited degree, (undergraduate or post graduate), you will need to complete two years of Assessment of Professional Competence (APC) training (if you have less than 5 years’ experience), or one year’s APC training (if you have experience of 5 or more years). But if you have at least 10 years’ work experience,then no APC training is required. 

    2.      If you already have a Bachelor’s degree or are a member of a RICS approved professional body and have at least 5 years’ experience, you can apply to become a member straight away

    Because Chartered Surveyors have the highest levels of professional skills that are recognised all over the world, they earn more too. A salary survey conducted in 2014 clearly showed that Chartered Surveyors earned at least 20% more than their non-chartered colleagues.

    Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

    RICS members never stand still for a moment and are required to continually improve their skills and competence. They do this by completing a minimum of 20 hours per year on CPD training.This programme, which encourages a spirit of continuous learning, ensures that members build on their skills and competencies on an ongoing basis.

    How Do Students Benefit?

    Students are offered free membership to RICS and can take advantage of career advice, the  extensive library of books and reference materials, exciting job opportunities, and can tap into the vast network RICS is able to provide.

    Registered Charity

    RICS has set up a registered charity called The RICS Education Trust. It offers grants of up to £10,000 for those members involved in research projects.Applications for grants areavailable to full-time practitioners and academics. The charity does not, however, provide financial support for undergraduate or postgraduate students.

    Article provided by Mike James, an independent content writer working alongside a selection of companies including Peter Barry Surveyors, who were consulted over this post.

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