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Regulatory audit guide

Profession Support and Assurance guide

A key added value of membership of RICS is that we not only produce mandatory standards but we monitor compliance and provide help and free training to firms and members to assist them with compliance

Regulatory Support and Assurance through Regulatory Schemes

The RICS Charter and Bye-Laws authorise the Standards and Regulation Board to make regulatory schemes to ensure the maintenance of standards of the membership. In addition to the Rules of Conduct requirements for all Members and firms, compliance and best practice is regulated through registration on following Schemes: Client Money Protection Scheme, Designated Professional Body Scheme for General Insurance Distribution (UK) and Valuer Registration.

All members of the profession and registered firms are bound by our rules which means they must comply with reasonable requests to review their systems, processes, files, and related documentation.

Profession Support and Assurance programme for Members and Firms

We support the profession and underpin client and wider public confidence through our Profession Support and Assurance programme. This programme comprises a range of quality monitoring activities, to assess the performance of RICS professionals and firms against RICS mandatory standards and, where necessary to support them back into compliance. While this is almost always a cooperative and constructive process, in serious cases of non-compliance we use our disciplinary powers to enforce compliance.

In line with international best practice in regulation, our programme is risk-based – which means using data and market insight to target our resources where we see the greatest likelihood of public or client detriment occurring.

Compliance monitoring and reviews

In order to monitor compliance with the standards and rules, our specialist, qualified reviewers engage with registered professionals and firms, to review their compliance materials including mandatory returns of information, undertake interviews and file/document reviews.  This can be completed in a variety of ways either by remote off-site means using digital technology such as Teams, or via face-to-face on-site at the Member or firms’ premises (subject to COVID-19 restrictions). The RICS powers are contained in the Monitoring and Investigation Rules (latest version with effect from 2 February 2022).  The different methods are outlined below:

Regulatory Review Visit (RVV)

Previously our main tool, this in-depth review and detailed report is now primarily used for a small control group to monitor levels of compliance using a grading system. We would also use this approach where we have received complaints or intelligence which suggest a firm presents high levels of risk which need to be investigated.

Member Support Visit (MSV)

This is now our preferred approach and is similar to the RRV but does not result in a detailed report, nor is the compliance of the firm/member graded, nor is disciplinary action intended. The firm's practices and documents are reviewed and non-compliance noted. This is followed by a detailed feedback session where we attempt to coach and lead the firm/member into compliance, providing framework documents and advice as appropirate.

In exceptional circumstances we reserve the right to escalate to an RRV.

Workshops

Workshops have proved to be a very effective way of helping firms/members to examine regulation and best practice in depth and to arrive at solutions for their own setting which comply. Each workshop gathers a group of up to 15 people who will work together in small break out groups. The presenters use PowerPoint presentations to speak to the subject matter and open forum discussion is encouraged.