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Support and guidance for SMEs

Support and guidance for SMEs

Navigating a continually changing situation whilst understanding how to adapt, remain resilient and plan recovery can be a challenge for small businesses. We remain committed supporting you.

Below you will find key updates, information to address specific concerns, and relevant guidance and resources from RICS. This supplements the range of guidance we have already published in response to the ongoing impact of COVID-19.

Our approach for SMEs regulated by RICS in light of COVID-19

In times of uncertainty, it is vitally important that as a profession, we deliver confidence to the public, clients, investors, markets and governments. That is why our commitment to regulation and upholding professional standards remains as consistent and resilient as ever, while also ensuring that we support our regulated members as much as possible through difficult times. We adopt a risk-based approach, which is balanced and proportionate to a firm’s size, scope and complexity, and accounts for the current unprecedented operating conditions.

(Last reviewed 11 January 2021) 

Regulatory Review Visits

In response to the Covid-19 pandemic and recognising the legal, practical and logistical challenges experienced by RICS members and firms, we took the decision to suspend routine Valuer Registration, Client Money and DPB regulatory review visits (RRVs), both on-site and remote. We have continued to undertake RRV and other regulatory activities, as required, to facilitate regulatory investigations and in response to other intelligence, identified risks or concerns.
We anticipate the resumption of targeted and proportionate review activity as part of a wider Profession Support and Assurance strategy in 2021.

(Last updated 11 January 2021) 

RICS professional subscription renewals

If you are having any financial difficulty renewing your subscription, please contact us. RICS already has a policy on subscription concessions which can be viewed here. In light of COVID-19, concessions will remain open.

(Last reviewed 11 January 2021) 

Business resilience for sole principal firms 

RICS published additional advice and template documents to help sole principals put arrangements in place to safeguard their business continuity should they unfortunately become unwell during this crisis, or at any time in the future. The documents are available here.

These documents are drafted based on the law in England and Wales. Sole principals based outside England and Wales may find these documents helpful as a guide but should take local legal advice.

(Last updated 11 January 2021) 

Advice for candidates working for SMEs

We understand that many candidates working for smaller companies facing financial pressure as a result of COVID-19 will be understandably anxious about their futures and professional development. 

We can confirm that all candidates will continue to have access to the Assessment Resource Centre. If you are completing APC structured training, remember any relevant work experience you have gained since you enrolled on the APC will be valid and will still count towards your minimum 400/200 days requirement.
If you have to defer your assessment during this period, you will be given a 6- month extension on the validity of your case study(ies) for example from 24 months to 30.

This also applies to any apprentices who have applied for their assessment. 

We know that this may be an unsettling time if the firm you are working for is no longer trading and for further support, we encourage you to engage with Lionheart an independent charity for RICS professionals and candidates globally, which offers free and confidential advice, financial support, professional counselling, and legal advice in certain jurisdictions.

(Last reviewed 11 January 2021) 

Using digital communications platforms

RICS has set up an Insight Community on the Yammer platform for RICS professionals and related industries to connect, stay up-to-date, share insight, knowledge and best practice.

Search for and join the new Our Mental Health group to openly discuss mental wellbeing with fellow professionals, share your views and experiences and access supporting resources.

To join the Insight Community please email: digicommunities@rics.org

(Last reviewed 21 January 2021) 

Our approach for SMEs facing insolvency and closure

We have received many requests for guidance and have developed detailed guidance for businesses to support them on business continuity measures or winding down of their businesses. This covers the steps that a firm will need to take to close in an orderly way and highlights the support that is available. Read more

(Last reviewed 11 January 2021) 

Professional Indemnity Insurance

When you close your firm, whether temporarily or permanently, you must ensure that all previous work is covered by appropriate and adequate professional indemnity cover.

(Last updated 11 January 2021)