Events in Ukraine brought February to a sobering close. The human impact of such developments is of course paramount – my thoughts and those of all at RICS are with everyone in Ukraine and further afield who has been affected.
LionHeart, the independent charity set up specifically to support past and present RICS professionals, is supporting members in the region.
RICS supports the measures taken by governments across the world to impose sanctions on individuals and institutions; and the intention of the UK government to urgently strengthen protection against money-laundering by introducing a register of foreign owners of UK property. RICS has provided an update for members – The crisis in Ukraine and the importance of sanctions compliance – reminding members and firms of the important role they play in ensuring that sanctions are complied with.
The wider impact of these distressing developments on societies, economies and our sector remains to be seen. In this perspective, and in the face of such a serious situation, the role we can play as professionals working in the built environment can feel comparatively small. However, I firmly believe our contribution as a profession that exists to serve the public must be to use our skills and expertise to make a positive difference in our world, wherever we can. In the immediate term, this means ensuring an ongoing resilient response to the pandemic, and addressing long-term factors like climate change, technological advance and growing urbanisation.
Across all these challenges, the need for an inclusive, sustainable and liveable experience for people using built structures is a priority for our profession. RICS is dedicated to supporting and enhancing professionals’ efforts in this mission. I was particularly encouraged in this regard by the recent publication of the International Building Operation Standard (IBOS) as a case in point. This innovative new approach to measuring and managing how buildings perform for people through data places user-experience at its heart. It provides adopters with a comprehensive, data-grounded framework for measuring, assessing and improving an asset’s performance.
Developed alongside the market, IBOS complements existing standards and aims to equip professionals with the practical tools and data to embed the Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) priorities that are informing so many strategic conversations in our sector. Members should look out for the interactive tool that will become available later this year, and I invite anyone interested in finding out more to contact the RICS IBOS team.
This month marks the end of the financial year for many, and it is an excellent time to consider what skills, insights and network we need to deliver effectively and maximise opportunities in the year ahead. In that light, I encourage members to activate their CPD Member Support Pack, which I know many of you have already taken advantage of since it came online in January. Members can activate and access this free resource until the end of December 2022.
I would also draw members’ attention to the live consultation on the RICS Review of Entry and Assessment into the Profession, and the role of post-qualification CPD. The consultation on this important topic for the profession is available in English, French, German, Spanish and Chinese, and I encourage all members to share their views before it closes on 13 March 2022.
Lastly, the most recent RICS Global Commercial Property Monitor covering the final quarter of 2021 showed sentiment returning to positive territory for the first time since pandemic began, even as many countries were putting in place fresh restrictions to address the Omicron variant. While this will surely fluctuate, our professionals will continue to play a central role in a resilient response not just to COVID-19, but to the other great challenges facing our world.
My best wishes to you all, and I hope that you are all safe and well.
“RICS support the measures taken by governments across the world to impose sanctions on individuals and institutions”