Placing members at the heart of the institution

RICS President Clement Lau discusses the progress being made on the findings of the Bichard Review and the industry’s global economic outlook


  • Clement Lau

04 August 2022

It is now a little over a month since Lord Bichard presented his recommendations. In that time many members have spoken to me in positive terms about the opportunity before us. This is a time for looking forward, and for taking the practical steps that are necessary for ensuring our institution is refocussed on being member-led and championing the public interest in all it does.

I have been greatly encouraged by the progress on the recommendations since their publication. This includes Governing Council’s agreement of steering groups to guide implementation of the recommendations, and the readying of a consultation on RICS Professional Group Panels. All these initiatives aim to place members at the heart of the institution, giving force to their insight and expertise in shaping the future of the institution and its work, and I look forward to seeing further developments in due course.

Amid this important work, we must always remember that everything we do as professionals must be about serving the public advantage and benefitting the wider world. Indeed, today the societies we serve face great challenges as the human and economic impact of geopolitics continues to shape our daily lives.

Supporting past and present RICS members

The conflict in Ukraine continues and our deepest sympathies go out to those directly affected. The independent charity LionHeart is supporting past and present RICS professionals and their families who are in need. I commend them and members of the profession who have contributed to their efforts. Of course, LionHeart’s work extends beyond this particular situation – their recent report showed a 51% increase in the number of people they have helped in 2021-2022, as the ongoing effects of the pandemic and other challenges continue to be felt. I encourage anyone seeking assistance or who wants to find out more about LionHeart’s inspiring work to visit their website.

The conflict evidently has broader and less direct impacts too, with a shifting operating context forcing governments, firms and individuals to re-examine their assumptions. Disruption to supply chains and capital flows are adding to the cost burdens faced by individuals and firms around the world, and the most recent RICS Global Commercial Property Monitor shows higher interest rates weighing on the global economic outlook and professional sentiment.

However, in trying times we must redouble the energy and enthusiasm we bring to our work. Challenge is the wellspring of innovation, and in the face of the rapidly changing dynamics that shape our world we must continually adapt so that we remain relevant to the communities and societies we serve.

Sustainable and meaningful growth

The Presidential Team has been busy of late, speaking with leaders in and beyond our sector about how we can bring pragmatic solutions to the issues facing our sector and our world. This includes President Elect Ann Gray’s insightful remarks on economic drivers for a recent WBEF webinar and my own discussion at the RICS Hong Kong conference on the role professionals can play to nurture sustainable and socially meaningful growth.

Extreme temperatures are affecting many parts of the world. Bringing practical solutions that focus resources on building resilience and address root causes through carbon reduction remains an urgent priority for built environment professionals. I encourage all of us to ensure this is a central consideration in our daily work.

Whether directly in our roles or as we work to reform our institution, I know that we as professionals can add societal value through all our endeavours. I look forward to working with you in the years ahead to make a positive difference to the world around us.

My best wishes to you all.


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“Everything we do as professionals must be about serving the public advantage and benefitting the wider world” Clement Lau, RICS President

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