RICS President Clement Lau. Photography by Virgile Simon Bertrand
I know from speaking to members around the world the many pressures facing them in their work. This is hardly surprising given the weighty responsibility that bears on professionals, stemming from the trust that clients and society more broadly place in them to tackle urgent questions facing our world, from climate risk to the impact of urbanisation.
However, what makes me even more proud of our profession than its undoubted positive impact is how members consistently give their time and energy to progressing the profession itself. All contributions are valued and valuable, and I believe that everything great about our profession stems from the collective commitment of individual members to the cause of serving the public advantage through our work.
Most recently, we have seen many such examples as members step forward to help ensure RICS is transformed as a member-led organisation with public interest at its heart, as called for by Lord Bichard’s recommendations. Members and boards are providing detailed feedback on the ongoing implementation, which ensures the benefits of these changes are felt by our members globally.
I would like to highlight two relevant initiatives to members:
First, I hope that you will have already received an invitation to participate in the October update to Survey of the Profession. This short survey, which takes place six months after the in-depth annual research, is designed for members to share their views on the progress RICS is making on issues that matter to them.
The survey takes five minutes to complete and remains open until 18 November, so please look for an email from Savanta, the independent global research agency and verified RICS partner appointed to conduct the survey. Your views make a real difference and will help RICS during this pivotal period of change.
Second, I commend the launch of an initiative to improve the quality and collection of diversity data across the profession and the wider sector. Under the auspices of the Memorandum of Understanding signed by RICS in April 2022 with five other built environment organisations, RICS is now seeking data on member demographics in the UK and Republic of Ireland, which will then be aggregated to create an anonymised picture of the diversity of our profession in these regions.
Much more still needs to be done to ensure the many voices that contribute to our profession’s impact are heard and represented, but I have great hopes for the better measurement – and therefore better debate and direction – that this initiative will foster.
On a final note, next week, as COP27 starts, we will publish our Decarbonising UK Real Estate report, which calls for urgent action from the UK Government to address policy gaps in its effort to meet ambitious climate targets.
I look forward through all these actions and more to working for a future in which we add value for generations to come.