‘The impact has been appalling in scale’

RICS President Ann Gray discusses the devastation caused by the Turkish earthquakes and the vital importance of standards in the built environment


  • Ann Gray FRICS

01 March 2023

Ann Gray sat in grey chair looking off camera

My deepest sympathies go out to all who have been affected by the earthquake and subsequent aftershocks in Turkey.

The impact has been appalling in scale. I cannot be the only RICS member who has viewed reports of the devastation with feelings of deep sadness at the human suffering as well as an acute professional awareness of the vital importance of standards in the built environment.

Where I live in California, we are no strangers to the terrifying effect even small tremors can have. We can only send all our hopes and prayers in support of those who have been impacted and to those who have led the response in the region, including members of our sister organisation, the Turkish Chamber of Surveying and Cadastre Engineers (TMMOB).

Help and support is available for members past and present, and their families, through the independent charity Lionheart. This includes its emergency grant programme, which provides funds following natural disasters or any other emergency wherever you are based. Please get in touch or share LionHeart’s contact details with anyone you know who needs help (free helpline: +44 (0) 121 289 330 or Likewise, you can find out how you as an individual can contribute to LionHeart’s great work by visiting its website.

Roles with RICS

In hard times, even a seemingly small gesture like reaching out or sharing a useful contact can make a huge difference to someone, but this is no less true during our everyday lives. In fact, this instinct of mutual support is a quality that I think characterises our profession, one which we saw really shine during our experience of the pandemic. However, I see it on show every day in my encounters with members all around the world. And, as President, I am keen to ensure every RICS member has the opportunity wherever and whenever they are willing and able to share their unique energies and skills.

One obvious way members can contribute is by applying for, supporting a candidature or simply spreading the word about the currently open roles for members to serve on Governing Council, within the Presidential Team or as part of the new RICS Board Committees. In these positions, you can make a pivotal difference to the future of your profession, driving forward the transformation of RICS as a member-led organisation with public interest at its heart. I urge you all to consider where you or a fellow professional could add to the success and resilience of our community. Everyone has a part to play, and I look forward to seeing where our newest crop of leaders will take us in the next chapter of our profession’s story.

Another important way we can all take a lead is by nurturing our networks. Those living tapestries of people and information sustain us as individuals and connect us with our fellows within a body of learning, collaborative professionals working to the common good.

“Help and support is available for members past and present, and their families, through the independent charity Lionheart” Ann Gray FRICS, RICS President

myRICS Community

A core part of RICS’ ongoing transformation is about enhancing and adding to the many ways members can connect with each other and stay updated on the latest developments across the profession and the institution. I encourage you to take advantage of them all as part of your membership.

For instance, the new myRICS Community is a versatile digital platform where you can build expertise and connections with fellow professionals centred on your shared professional interests. Cutting-edge industry insight is also constantly being updated on RICS’ award-winning Modus publication and the sector-focussed Journals, available for you to access alongside the latest RICS news on the recently revamped By updating your account preferences, you can also benefit from receiving regular professional insights directly through our RICS range of newsletters. These include the CEO update (also published online), sector-focussed newsletters and updates from World Regional Board Chairs.

By signing up you will also be sure to hear about the increasing number of online and in-person events that members are leading through local boards across the world. I have enjoyed some fascinating conversations with a range of professionals at recent events, and I look forward to having many more, perhaps with you, very soon.


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