In the past 12 months, extreme weather events across the globe have highlighted the urgency of action against climate change. Key to success will be the decarbonisation policies of governments throughout the world, within which strategies for decarbonising the built environment are critical.

RICS has identified opportunities for policy reform in several global markets, and is calling on leaders in the UK, North America, Hong Kong, India, and the European Union to make changes with urgency to meet their own targets for decarbonisation. Read the policy reform reports for key global markets.

New senior vice president

This month, RICS also elected Nick McClean to be the next Senior Vice President. Nick will take up the position in January. Nick is a hugely experienced surveyor, and has been Chair and Managing Director of CBRE Middle East, North Africa region, for the past 19 years.

He also has extensive knowledge of RICS. Whilst representing Middle East & Africa on Governing Council, he chaired the 2021 Levitt Report and served as interim Chair of the Council for 12 months. He is currently interim Chair of the Membership Services Committee at RICS, a role he will step down from before assuming the Senior Vice President position. I look forward to working with him.

UK Manifesto

One area where we will be working together is in liaising with government. We do this is various ways. Sometimes we provide a collective voice for our members; other times we lend our expertise in response to specific questions or issues. As an independent organisation with a public interest remit, we can and do also make the case for changes or improvements in public policy and practice, or wider national and local regulation, in various nations.

In that spirit, and with a UK general election now no more than 15 months away, we launched the RICS UK manifesto last month, and shared this with Britain’s two main parties at their conferences. It includes proposals to address the nation’s housing shortage, improve both sustainability and fire safety, address the persistent skills gap in construction, unlock investment, and deliver more benefits to communities. We will continue to promote these policies up to and beyond polling day.

Changes in UK valuation standards

We have also now released our Red Book UK Supplement. This includes new standards to improve the governance of valuations. We are introducing a compulsory rotation cycle for valuation firms and responsible valuers who are valuing an asset for regulated purposes. This ensures that valuations relied upon by investors remain relevant and trusted. The changes are the result of a three-year Valuation Review project which included public consultation with those commissioning, undertaking, auditing, and regulating valuations.

The changes are intended to reduce the risks of conflicts of interest in the commissioning of valuation reports. They will come into effect on 1 May 2024, with a transition period for the rotation requirements to allow clients and valuers to implement them. Separately, we recognise that we need a tailored approach in respect of valuations for financial reporting in the public sector. We are commissioning a workstream to review these standards, working closely with key public sector stakeholders to deliver a practical and public interest-oriented approach.

UK Black History Month

October was a busy month for our UK teams, as we also took part in UK Black History month. We

highlighted and celebrated the outstanding contributions of Black professionals to surveying, recognising their vital role in shaping the industry's success. Governing Council member Sunny-Thomas Obasuyi talked about the importance of racial equity in the profession and shared his personal experiences. A diverse profession is stronger, more innovative and more successful, so RICS will continue to work to drive positive change and create an industry that reflects the diversity of the nations it serves.

Your views matter

Today, we’re launching a consultation with members on our CPD framework. We want to provide a robust framework focused on the future and on the key issues affecting the profession. This will also include wider, non-technical competencies required for smaller firms. Whatever your role or career, sharing your experience and opinion will help shape CPD to ensure all members can maintain and advance their professional skills and knowledge.

We are also in the midst of our next Survey of the Profession. You should have received an email from our independent survey company Savanta; use the link in that email to take part. The survey closes on 17 November.

Since joining RICS, I have been struck by how much members care about the organisation and its future, so it is crucial that we understand what you all think and feel about RICS. Your individual views are an important part of this, and taking part in these regular surveys helps us to understand where we are improving and where we need to do better, for you, for the industry and for society.