The Bichard RICS review was published this month following the inquiry into the institution by Lord Michael Bichard. In his report, Lord Bichard made a number of recommendations regarding the purpose and governance of RICS, which they were urged to adopt “at pace”.
The objective of the review is to help create new meaning and direction for RICS and to ensure that it will have the resilience to meet any future challenges it may face in the years to come. come.
The major theme of Lord Bichard’s recommendations is to endow the members themselves with more decision-making powers, by bringing attention back to them. Part of this will involve reducing the current focus on commercial activities, or at least moving them to a separate commercial arm that will report to the board. It is hoped that by doing so, RICS will be better able to offer its members the key free services which Lord Bichard considers should be at the heart of its business.
The first phase of the recommended reorganization will involve re-establishing RICS reporting lines and introducing new leadership roles to simplify its governance model. This will involve the introduction of a new role of Chairman to oversee the Board of Directors, as well as a new Board of Directors to oversee day-to-day operations and to provide a business plan which has been approved by the Board of Directors. ‘administration. These and other changes are due in October 2022. This is intended to be a significant point of change within RICS management.
In addition, Lord Bichard is proposing changes to the Board of Directors, the highest governing body within RICS, including increasing its number from 22 to 28 members and also making changes to the composition to better reflect the geographies and specialties. A senior independent governor will be introduced to oversee the board. Regional councils will also benefit from greater autonomy and delegated authority, in the hope that this will help members feel more engaged and empowered. 5 new committees and 3 new panels will be created, including a public interest panel and a diversity and inclusion panel, to better represent RICS members and their interests.
It was also proposed to create a new public fund for activities of public interest. Lord Bichard suggested that the fund should be made up of fines paid by members who breached the regulations and that it could then be used to help RICS members undertake pro bono work.
An independent review every 5 years will be carried out on the organization, in addition to external performance evaluations every 3 years. Lord Bichard however indicated that he believed RICS should remain a self-regulating body so that standards and regulations would be more autonomous. He said he would be surprised if the government did not at some point consider whether a separate entity should regulate the surveying profession, which he said would be a mistake.
It is hoped that these changes will benefit both RICS members and society at large by “advancing and facilitating access to surveying knowledge by maintaining and promoting the usefulness of the profession”.
You can read the Bichard RICS review here