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20 MAY 2021

Defining our Future: Consultation Update from RICS Governing Council

Statement from President Kath Fontana

Two months ago, Governing Council asked you to help define the future of RICS. Since we last reviewed our strategy and business plan three years ago the world has changed.  The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated many ongoing global structural shifts.  

Our profession is strongest when we collaborate, and therefore Governing Council were clear that any changes to our strategy need to be co-created with our members and stakeholders. 

We launched the Defining our Future consultation to hear from all voices across our global profession, to make sure that our support is relevant and fit for the future. 

More than 8,000 members responded to the online survey as part of our annual Survey of the Profession, and we received over 1,000 written submissions. We held over 100 roundtables spanning 32 different global regions. It was my privilege to join some of the virtual roundtables.  What stood out for me was the deep expertise, dedication and passion which underpins RICS members' professionalism.  I am so grateful to all the members, stakeholders and supporters who took time to engage with this process.  

All the feedback has now been collated and was presented in full to Governing Council on the 18th of May. We promised to publish a summary of the responses we received, and so today we are releasing this initial report. 

Clearly, some of this feedback is challenging. But it is essential for us to listen and we hear you loud and clear that there must be changes. We have heard that we must do more to earn the trust and confidence of our members, increase transparency and step up to lead the industry through these challenging times. 

We are already working hard to address many of the issues raised in this consultation process. This includes a major programme of digital transformation to provide a better, more personalised experience for members and stakeholders, and a new dedicated global membership engagement team with staff based around the world.

However, we are not complacent about the scale of work ahead. We will hold two further Governing Council meetings in May and June to consider what further work will be commissioned. 

Wherever possible, Governing Council will act right away – either to accelerate projects already in development or initiate new work. We will take a careful look at where we need longer-term investment and focus.  

In the months ahead, Governing Council and all RICS will focus on how we meet the challenges set out in this report. We will continue to engage with our members on these matters as our thinking develops.  

There was overwhelming feedback that our purpose under our Charter still reflects the role of RICS as a professional body in the 21st century: to promote the usefulness of the profession for the public advantage. We will keep this core purpose close as we build a more resilient organisation that ensures our profession can thrive into the future.

RICS President Kath Fontana