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News & opinion

8 SEP 2022

Bichard RICS Review: creating a clear and accountable governance structure

Governing Council has been working at pace to deliver the essential changes needed to establish RICS as a modern member-led professional body with the public interest at its heart. Today, we are announcing further progress in implementing the recommendations from the Bichard RICS Review.

  • Governing Council will implement the new composition of Council, as recommended by Lord Bichard, so that it better reflects the geographic location and disciplines of members and decided that as many Council seats as possible will be directly elected by members. The changes will ensure the membership of Governing Council is proportionate to the geographic location of members and represents the core professional specialisms. Members will elect Governing Council seats covering the professional disciplines (7), geographic regions (13), and the community of younger members (1). To deliver the benefits of this decision as soon as possible, elections for these seats will be held in the first half of 2023, so that a new Council can be in place by 1 July 2023.
  • Governing Council has asked the Nominations and Remuneration Committee to review the election process for Governing Council seats. This will see the Governing Council elections reformed and simplified to encourage a broad and diverse range of applicants from across the profession. The review will cover the process by which candidates apply to stand for Governing Council to ensure that it is member-led and has the confidence of members. The Committee has also been asked by Council to review the process for recruiting the Senior Vice President, again to ensure simplicity and a system which has the confidence of members.
  • Finally, Governing Council has confirmed that the RICS President will also chair Governing Council for the duration of their one-year presidential term, in line with Lord Bichard’s recommendation. To facilitate this change, the Presidential year will begin on 1 January each year, to align with the recent decision on the RICS financial year and the existing membership year. As the most senior member of the profession and its highest elected officeholder, the President will bring unique experience and authority to chairing Governing Council, with the change in term timing encouraging accountability and strategic alignment at all levels of the Institution. Under the new arrangements, current RICS President Clement Lau FRICS will serve until 31 December 2022 – extending his term in office by a few days – before being succeeded by current President Elect, Ann Gray FRICS, on 1 January 2023.

As relevant for each measure, Governing Council will oversee the process of amending the relevant regulations and standing orders to give effect to these changes in the Bye-Laws.
Commenting on the changes, interim Chair of Governing Council Nicholas Maclean FRICS said:

“Enabling transparency and accountability is vital for rebuilding trust and delivering the member-led Institution we all want to see. These changes will ensure the full breadth of our profession’s experience and perspectives are driving RICS’ strategic direction, so that we can effectively lead on issues that matter and deliver for members and on our public interest mandate.”

President Clement Lau FRICS added:

“RICS members bring unparalleled insight and passion to their work. By empowering members to lead, I firmly believe that these reforms will equip RICS to support the profession more effectively and sustainably in their work to the public advantage in the years ahead. Governing Council is moving at pace to implement the reforms recommended by Lord Bichard.”

Additionally, Governing Council has made decisions on other key recommendations in the Bichard RICS report.

  • Recommendation 20: the Presidential Nominations Committee has been dissolved and the new Nominations and Remuneration Committee has been tasked with reviewing the Senior Vice President selection process.
  • Recommendation 21: Governing Council has appointed Lord Michael Bichard as RICS’ first Senior Independent Governor.
  • Recommendation 25: the process for appointing a Chair of the new RICS Board, who will be a member, has been set and the open recruitment process is commencing in the coming weeks.
  • Recommendation 26: the new Audit, Risk, Assurance and Finance Committee is holding its first meeting in September.
  • Recommendation 29: the consultation on the development of the Professional Group Panels has been published and the views of members are being sought.
  • Recommendation 30: the Nominations and Remuneration Committees have been merged and the new committee has reviewed and amended the Global Appointments Model to enable the appointment of the Chair of the new RICS Board to proceed.

Overall, the steps set out in this update address nine out of the 36 recommendations in Lord Bichard’s report.

Members may view all implementation updates on the Bichard RICS Review Hub.




The RICS Governing Council is the highest governing body, setting our global strategy and ensuring RICS fulfils its Royal Charter obligations.

Under the changes announced today the new RICS Governing Council will consist of:

  • Twenty-one seats elected by the profession covering professional groups (7), geographic regions (13), and the community of younger members (1).
  • Seven appointed seats covering the Presidential team (3), an appointed Senior Independent Governor (1) and appointed independent member (1), and further appointed members (up to 2) to address imbalances or gaps in expertise identified after elected seats are filled.