Photography by Ball & Albanese
Beyond the many facets of our professional lives, what shines through in all our conversations is that you are 100% committed as I am to the purpose we share: that of using our skills to make the world a better place, and of making our institution the best it can be to enhance our ability to service our clients and our communities.
You have shown great mettle and more in abundance in recent years, but even the most sanguine of you would admit this has required every ounce of patience and resolve at our command.
The way we have chosen together – through a painstaking process of following many months of heartfelt dialogue – is to work as one to deliver change that is nothing short of transformative, so that we remain trusted, relevant servants of the public good.
As such, in line with the recommendations embraced and the direction set unanimously by members of your Governing Council, we are taking a disciplined and systematic approach - a step-by-step organisational restructuring according to the best principles of governance and strictly within our regulatory confines.
Above all, this has meant rediscovering what it is to be a truly member-led institution. No one imagined this would be easy to achieve, but the prize is worth every effort I have seen you make and every commitment we will deliver as a professional family together.
Just look at the opportunities our transformation has created for every member to take a lead. From empowering World Regional Boards with dedicated funding and member engagement, to focussing members’ boundless expertise via Professional Group Panels, the change we are delivering together means members can shape the future of our professional life and impact like never before. Following up on my commitment when I took office, we are purposely identifying a broad base of participants, not just from large firms but also from SMEs who have a unique set of priorities relating to the size and locality of their operations.
Of great value to our members is the independent scrutiny we undertake to establish and sustain credible technical standards and a high level of professionalism. This is true of any institution that deserves the trust of the public, and it is exactly what the Standards and Regulation Board is delivering. By overseeing education and qualification, professional standards and regulatory policy, regulation and assurance, dispute resolution and the regulatory tribunal service, Standards and Regulation is a powerful and essential element of delivering RICS’ contract with society. Its remit is to assure that we are the best professionals we can be from the start to the finish of our careers.
It is also right – and just as vital to our public promise – that the development of technical standards is the responsibility of expert staff teams working closely with the wider membership who are at the coalface of where our practice happens, identifying new trends and seeing where standards and consistency would be of benefit. In this way, each part performs its vital functions in complement to and reinforcement of the other.
By implementing this recommendation from the Bichard RICS Review we aim to bring the best of both worlds – of technical expertise on the one hand, and independence of oversight and rigorous scrutiny on the other – to deliver for the public we serve. With the appointment of interim SRB Chair Nigel Clarke and interim SRB members on 22 July, we are ensuring the seamless continuity of this regulatory function. Nigel’s experience working with regulatory bodies and across high-profile organisations in senior roles, makes him an excellent appointment and I am very optimistic about the future of the board moving forward.
Throughout this period of evolution, as we fill permanent staff roles, run elections for seats on boards and operate selection panels to fill out advisory committees, many brilliant candidates have come forward from all walks of our professional life to serve. It has been thrilling to see so many members take up the call, and truly inspiring to see the positive difference passionate individuals can make on even the thorniest challenge when they combine their unique skills and perspectives with similarly-minded and similarly-committed people.
The change we are delivering together means members can shape the future of our professional life and impact like never before. Ann Gray FRICS, RICS President
Dedicated people are stepping up to engage, excited to be the ones who make change work when it might be much easier to stand by and criticise. More opportunities are emerging every day, and as they do I urge all members to consider seriously how they might add their voices and energy to making our institution more effective, more relevant and more deserving of the public trust underpinning our endeavours.
There is a saying I paraphrase here which says that if you want to go fast, you should go alone but if you want to go far, then you must go together – with patience for the process and for each other. We know our purpose, and we know the way to realise it. With the bonds galvanised by our shared experience over recent years and months, I know we are making a positive contribution to society today and in the generations that follow.