At the end of 2020, Dispute Resolution Service (DRS) was repositioned within RICS to the Profession Directorate. This area focuses on standards across the built environment.
The DRS senior team are currently working to develop a fresh strategic vision, focusing on how RICS as a professional body develops its dispute avoidance, management, and resolution role.
To help with this we ran a consultation In April/May 2021 to active professionals working across the sector to gauge their views in relation to the
- the importance of chartered surveyors in advising and resolving disputes.
- the significance of its conflict avoidance and dispute resolution function as a key part of RICS’ future strategy
- the reputation of the RICS Dispute Resolution Service (DRS) in the market
- the quality and value of RICS ADR training and suggestions for improvement
- the quality and value of RICS professional guidance on ADR and suggestions for improvement and any additional support needed.
We received a strong response to the consultation, and you can read a full an analysis of the results. However, some highlights were that:
- over 95% of those participating agreed that dispute resolution services are significant in RICS’ future.
- there was strong recognition that chartered surveyors play an important role in advising and resolving disputes and
- there are many growth opportunities in this sector.
Whilst DRS provides an income stream to RICS to support Member functions, we also set benchmarks for quality and standards and how this impacts the profession. We will continue to offer our services but aim to make a real change.
In the medium to long term, the survey results identify several steps that can be taken to ensure that the chartered surveying profession takes a leading role in shaping the future of dispute resolution in the UK and globally. This includes changes in the way RICS engages with its Professionals in the field of dispute avoidance, management, and resolution, but also in how professionals can make a huge difference in providing better access to justice for people and businesses and generating additional, rewarding professional work.
In the short term, there are future steps that point DRS to work to:
- Create greater clarity and public awareness of key DRS services and improved engagement with users of the service.
- Develop greater transparency of the selection process to improve confidence in the panels of dispute resolvers
- Develop mentoring and pupillage prospects for new panellists and offer support systems through mentoring for existing panel members
- Review the current DRS education portfolio and identify areas where there can be a greater variety of subjects and trainers delivering courses
- Develop specific education for advisers and party representatives
- Explore and develop potential pro-bono work and/or low value consumer services to provide new practitioners with opportunities to practise their skills upon qualification
- Create and implement a strategic awareness campaign around DRS guidance (both for panellists and consumers)