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CPO Investigation Cases Report

CPO Investigation Cases Report

Data on investigations relating to compulsory purchase

There are currently 2162 Members and 504 Regulated Firms that have declared to RICS that they operate within the compulsory purchase area of practice. RICS has undertaken a search of records to identify investigation cases which relate to compulsory purchase or related schemes. The search is based on the areas of practice recorded on RICS’ records.

The search identified 26 investigation cases, 2 of which are currently ongoing, with the area of practice recorded as compulsory purchase between 2016 and 2022. This is broken down by year in the below table.

 

Year

Number of investigation case opened

2016

2

2017

3

2018

1

2019

1

2020

9

2021

2

2022

8

This is indicative of the volume of concerns that RICS receives regarding this area of practice.

To put these figures into context, RICS created 412 investigation cases in 2022 (as of 17 November 2022) across all areas of surveying. Of those, 8 had the area of practice recorded as compulsory purchase, which equates to 1.9%.

Based on our experience of regulating this area of practice and others, we consider that some of the reasons for the lack of concerns being reported could be:

  • close working relationships between RICS Members and Firms (“Regulated Members”) operating in this sector and an unwillingness to ‘rock the boat’ by reporting their peers to RICS;
  • a perception that RICS does not effectively regulate this area of practice; and / or
  • lack of awareness of consumers / claimants about the CPO process and role of Regulated Members.

RICS requires information or evidence of potential wrongdoing to commence an investigation. Such information is usually received from clients, members of the public or Regulated Members. Information in the public domain, such as Land Tribunal decisions where a Regulated Member’s competence or conduct is brought into question, will also often result in an investigation. 

Members of the public and the profession can raise concerns with RICS on a confidential basis.

Regulated Members have a professional duty to promptly disclose the details of any Regulated Member that you reasonably believe may have breached RICS standards (byelaw B5.2.1(c) of the Royal charter and bye-laws). The duty to speak up is an important part of the profession's "moral compass". Think of it as protecting the reputation of your profession, by helping RICS to uphold the public interest. Members can view our Speaking Up guidance for more information.

RICS’ investigation process is set out in the Regulatory Tribunal Rules 2022 and decisions are made in accordance with our decision making guidance which can be viewed here and here.

Where a concern that is investigated by RICS is considered serious enough and is supported by evidence, disciplinary action may be taken against the Regulated Member.

For less serious cases, where the Regulated Member admits allegations, RICS may agree a Regulatory Compliance Order (or Consent Order) to ensure future compliance with the standards.  This may include a fine, caution or conditions on the membership of the Regulated Member. Where the Regulated Member does not admit the allegations, but the case may not warrant a hearing, the case may be referred to a Single Member of the Regulatory Tribunal to determine the disciplinary outcome (which may include expulsion).

For the most serious cases it may be necessary for the Head of Regulation to refer a case to a Disciplinary Panel. The Disciplinary Panel will conduct a hearing to hear the evidence supporting the allegations and determine the outcome. The Disciplinary Panel may impose sanctions ranging from a fine to expulsion and can determine costs against Regulated Members.

Disciplinary outcomes are published in accordance with Supplement 3 to the Sanctions Policy: Publication of Regulatory/Disciplinary Matters.

RICS Regulation – Dec 2022