The Bichard Review is an opportunity for change

RICS President Clement Lau discusses Lord Bichard’s report and how its findings will inform the future of the organisation


  • Clement Lau

08 July 2022

Each month, I am grateful for the opportunity this column provides for a moment of reflection, for taking stock of how far we have come and of where we are heading as a profession. This month we all have particular pause for thought and reflection, as it follows the recent publication of Lord Bichard’s review into RICS’ Purpose, Governance and Strategy.

The points at issue are well-known to members. Indeed, both before and during the review period, they have been the subject of intense discussion among members and the many stakeholders who share an interest in the work of RICS professionals and the institution that supports them to deliver to the public advantage.

To me, the intensity of this discussion is entirely natural and to be expected. I am fortunate as President able to meet members practising all over the world, but a common thread that I see in all members is the passion and rightly high expectation that they hold for their institution. This was evidenced by the many who shared views, insights and aspirations for RICS with Lord Bichard, and I thank them wholeheartedly for the time and effort that they took to contribute to what has been a rigorous and necessarily painstaking process.

Lord Bichard’s recommendations for what a confident, sustainable future for RICS should look like are far-reaching. They emphasise the primacy of public interest and members’ leadership of the institution, covering regulation, inclusion, sustainability, engagement and future professional cohorts. These topics and the proposals that accompany them could scarcely be more fundamental to the functioning of RICS. Delivering on the changes they entail will require the commitment and application of every one of us in the RICS community.

We should therefore hold no illusions about the scale of the task we face, but I am heartened by the constructive and pragmatic attitude that I observe across RICS’ membership. I was privileged to sit alongside Lord Bichard at Great George Street in London as he delivered his findings. As always occurs when I am with fellow professionals, I was impressed by the robust and insightful nature of the input of members from the floor and online. Similarly, over recent weeks I have had many meetings face-to-face and remotely with boards at national and regional level, where members have consistently spoken to me of the great opportunity that is now before us.

For me, these conversations are a powerful reminder of the strength and unity of purpose that binds RICS and its members, regardless of where in the world they serve their calling, and I am encouraged by the promise of what we can achieve. If the experience of the last twelve months has taught me anything, it is that one should never underestimate the appetite and ability to deliver significant change that is contained in everyone committed to our profession, our institution, and the public good that they exist to serve. With Governing Council strongly endorsing Lord Bichard’s recommendations, the way is now clear for us to deliver the historic changes called for in his review. 

The past has occupied us for long enough. The need to act is urgent, and there will be many ways for each of us to contribute to this great change in the coming months. I hope that like me you are excited by this prospect, and by the opportunity we have to transform our institution, embed resilience, and build our capability to tackle the great challenges society demands we address as professionals working in the built environment.

I look forward to working with all of you to deliver this positive future for our profession and our institution that we all want to see. My best wishes to you all.


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“With Governing Council strongly endorsing Lord Bichard’s recommendations, the way is now clear for us to deliver the historic changes called for in his review” Clement Lau, RICS President

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