Skip to content

News & opinion

17 OCT 2022

RICS launches initiative to improve diversity data

In April 2022, RICS signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to drive forward the creation of a more diverse, equitable and inclusive sector alongside five other built environment organisations; the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB), Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), Landscape Institute (LI), Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) – collectively representing around 350,000 members. 

The agreement focuses on:

  • Data collection — To create a consistent approach and standard model that will allow meaningful comparison between and across respective memberships and help to formulate a clear picture of the built environment sector more widely.
  • Improve understanding of transition from education into employment — To develop a robust, evidence-based understanding of the disparity between the diversity of students that start on institute accredited courses and the talent that makes it into the workforce. To build on existing good practice from individual institutes to improve our collective understanding of retention rates and awarding gaps on accredited courses.
  • EDI competencies — To develop understanding and guidance for the sector, supporting organisations, individuals, and institutes to improve and maintain professional standards.     


October 2022 marks the start of RICS proactively collecting demographic data from members in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland that will be aggregated to provide anonymous reports used to help understand the current shape of the profession, better track trends over time, and identify priority areas for improvement, as part of our commitment to the MoU.

Sybil Taunton, RICS Head of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion says:

“Without an accurate data set our actions are based on assumptions, and that needs to change. The standardising of member data collection across the sector will create a consistent approach, allowing meaningful comparison across our collective memberships and form a clearer picture of the wider built environment sector that informs targeted actions. By agreeing to one set of data questions that is aligned with the Office of National Statistics, we can create a more holistic picture of the built environment that is both sharable and comparable.”

Over the upcoming months, RICS will be actively informing its membership of data collection targets and encouraging members in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland to share their demographic data.

“There are significant complexities when trying to gather diversity data on a global scale, so we are starting these collection efforts exclusively in the UK and Republic of Ireland. However, work to develop and deliver an inclusive and lawful strategy for extending this out to our global members is a part of the action plan we have committed to,” said Taunton.

Over time, this improved data will help drive more targeted, collaborative, and effective initiatives to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion across the whole of the built environment.

RICS is committed to privacy protection. For details on how this data will be collected and used, please see the RICS Privacy Policy.