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News & opinion

18 JUL 2019

RICS & ASA partnership to create a transparent valuation ecosystem

Recently, RICS and the American Society of Appraisers (ASA) reached a preliminary agreement and signed a letter of intent to create a valuation partnership, providing common standards and practices for appraisal professionals in the United States and globally.

While the details of this partnership are still under discussion, the move represents a common mission for the two organizations: to simplify the appraisal landscape and build public trust in professional valuations.

Over the last several years, the two internationally recognized leaders in high standards for business practices and ethics have progressively aligned, bringing a confluence of international standards and recognizing the importance of transparency and professionalism. The two professional bodies recognized the need for collaboration for the greater good of the appraisal industry and to build public trust.

By reducing duplication and separate credentialing standards, RICS and ASA aim to create a single valuation ecosystem for the appraisal of real estate, land, infrastructure, personal property, machinery, organizational valuation, gems and jewelry.

Targeting a late summer launch, the partnership will see a streamlining of organizational workstreams in valuation, including branding, professional standards, tech platforms, member qualifications and training programs.

A stronger industry together

Both RICS and ASA are growing standards bodies that are continuing to expand their respective footprints across the globe, so the natural question is why they'd come together now, considering their competition in the valuation space.

With more than 130,000 members worldwide, RICS is a major force for positive change in the global business community, particularly in land and the built environment, and across the infrastructure, real estate, construction, land and investment sectors. RICS professionals are fluent in the latest best practices and professional discourses, as well as are highly knowledgeable about the current state of the market and investor sentiments.

ASA is a recognized and respected international credentialing body devoted to the appraisal profession. It is the oldest and only major appraisal organization designating members in all appraisal specialties, providing standards and clarity for clients across the full range of business and investment disciplines. ASA fosters professional excellence in its membership through education, accreditation, publication and other services with an emphasis on professional ethics to protect the public.

Both organizations are committed to collaboration, both within their organizations, where members are encouraged to share knowledge, and externally, creating a better world through better investment and business practice.

Despite the competition, the groups' success, reach and high standards also make them a natural fit to work together. Both ensure that their members meet a high bar for practices, values and ethics for the benefit of members' clients. Both build and maintain the exceedingly high level of trust that is essential to the valuation industry. It's why, for instance, ASA and RICS make ethical issues like anti-money laundering a major focus of their energy.

More than that, both believe that what is good for business should also be beneficial for all stakeholders, from clients to the wider public. People's lives are affected by the business decisions derived from valuations. RICS and ASA factor this into all the decision-making, standards and practices they put into place.

Unity and clarity build trust and efficiency

Competing standards make life more difficult for appraisers, stakeholders and the public who rely on valuation products. Working together safeguards the reputation of the industry by ensuring professionals have the full support of both organizations and are practicing according to international standards that are upheld by both RICS and ASA.

As both organizations continue to expand, it's important to streamline the effort to create a transparent, effective, accurate and ethical industry. By reducing mixed messaging and potential confusion in the marketplace about accepted professional standards, RICS and ASA are taking the first step toward simplifying the task of obtaining an appraisal.

Speaking together on behalf of the profession, ASA and RICS will more effectively represent the needs of the profession. Both organizations are committed to collaboration, both within their organizations, where members are encouraged to share knowledge, and externally, creating a better world through better investment and business practice.

One of the main benefits achieved with the recent letter of intent then is that RICS and ASA are practicing what they preach to their members and the community: best practices consider the benefit of the widest possible range of stakeholders. A single valuation ecosystem achieved through collaboration between two large, diverse and highly skilled groups means a healthier ecosystem for everyone, which includes the public.

  • By Neil Shah, Regional Managing Director, Americas, RICS, and Johnnie White, CEO and Executive Vice President, American Society of Appraisers. This article was originally published in the MTS Journal and has been reprinted with permission.