RICS action on surveying standards

Credit crunch losses have massively increased the number of overvaluation claims against surveyors and as a result professional indemnity insurance has become increasingly difficult to obtain. Several high-profile surveyors’ firms have collapsed under the pressure and the profession’s reputation has been hit.

As a result, RICS has launched the Valuer Registration Scheme to “ensure that members adhere to, and can be monitored on, practicing the standards contained in the RICS Valuation Standards (also known as the Red Book)”. In essence, the Scheme will require specified information from its members to allow RICS to monitor compliance. If RICS detect anomalies it can call in surveyors’ files, visit members and ultimately use the information to commence disciplinary proceedings.

RICS will launch the Scheme formally on 20 October 2010, at which time members will be able to sign up on a voluntary basis. For members undertaking Red Book valuations in the UK, the Scheme will become mandatory from 30 April 2011. The Scheme is also being rolled out across the rest of the world on a staggered basis. Failure to register under the Scheme will result in a surveyor being unable to undertake Red Book valuations.

The Scheme will be open to any RICS member who carries out valuations in line with the Red Book which includes (although is not limited to) valuations undertaken for loan security, financial reporting, investment portfolio performance and takeovers.

This article first appeared in Law-Now, CMS Cameron McKenna's free online information service, and has been reproduced with their permission. For more information about Law-Now, please go to www.law-now.com.