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What is RICS – and why is it important?

RICS logoRICS stands for the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, an organisation of property professionals that sets, maintains and regulates standards in the property industry. This illustrious association can trace its roots in the UK all the way back to 1792, when the Surveyors Club was formed.

However, it wasn’t until 49 surveyors met at the Westminster Palace Hotel on 15th June 1868 that the society that we know today as RICS began its long evolution. This 1868 meeting resulted in the formation of what was then known as the Institution of Surveyors. Offices at 12 Great George Street were leased and to this day the headquarters of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors occupies this same address.

In 1930 the Institution of Surveyors changed its name to the Institution of Chartered Surveyors and in 1946 it was permitted to add ‘Royal’ to its name, gaining its current acronym.

The history of RICS is essentially a history of Britain, since its foundation occurred in large part to regulate building standards at a time when rapid industrialisation meant that more and more workers were moving from rural areas to find work and cities were growing at a fantastically rapid rate.

As the cities became increasingly populous places, the need to guarantee the safety of public buildings and private dwellings became ever more vital. With thousands of people occupying a comparatively small space, building standards needed to undergo stringent inspection if disaster was to be avoided.

RICS has been instrumental in maintaining the highest of standards since its foundation and now works closely with more than 40 national and professional organisations around the world. Even in countries where the exact job description of Chartered Surveyor is unknown, the reputation of RICS is respected and it is the job of this professional association to ensure that this continues to be the case.

The areas in which RICS members are involved are numerous, but a few examples include market valuations, building and structural surveys, land surveying, property transactions, auctioneering, mineral surveying, project management, construction cost management (i.e. quantity surveying), dispute resolution, minerals and waste, geomatics, management consulting, property development and regeneration, and property agencies.

Within the ambit of RICS, there are many specialist qualifications –and the organisation insists on its members complying with Continuous Professional Development to keep their knowledge up to date within their speciality. To assist with this, RICS has numerous publications and Internet advice for its subscribing members. Much of their work has also to be carried out according to strict Rules, Guidance and Practice notes, which ensure quality and consistency of service to the individual member’s clients.

RICS has approximately 140,000 members operating in 146 countries and also maintains a network of regional offices in every continent. Created when the modern world was in its infancy, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors remains the Gold Standard of property industry professionals.

Campbell D. Ferguson says: “All of the Survey Spain chartered surveyors, covering the Costa del Sol, Costa Blanca and the rest of Spain, are members of RICS and our reports are all reviewed by a second surveyor to ensure accuracy and quality. RICS is the benchmark for quality, and for our clients the guarantee that we work to the highest standards of professionalism and integrity. As a company, we are proud members of RICS, and always strive to uphold its ethics and norms.”