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Complaint Handling and Alternative Dispute Resolution

Complaint Handling and Alternative Dispute Resolution

Handling complaints promptly, openly, and professionally is vital to maintaining public confidence in the profession.

Our global position on Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)

The following guidance is to assist RICS-regulated firms and RICS Members who carry out work outside of a RICS-regulated firm but are registered on certain RICS Schemes (such as RICS Valuer Registration) as to their obligations in regards to Complaint Handling and Alternative Dispute Resolution.

Complaint handling

The Rules of Conduct specify that it is mandatory for all RICS-regulated firms to publish a complaints-handling procedure (CHP), which includes an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) mechanism, and they must maintain a complaints log. For more information on the Rules of Conduct and related case studies and guidance see Rules of Conduct.

RICS Members who carry out work outside of a RICS-regulated firm but are registered on certain RICS Schemes have in place a CHP which includes an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) mechanism.

For further guidance on Complaint Handling, please see Complaints Handling Procedure (CHP) – guidance for RICS firms and Example Complaints Handling Procedure and Complaints Log.

Alternative Dispute Resolution

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is a way of resolving disputes between clients and RICS-regulated firms that usually avoids having to go to Court. The Rules of Conduct specify that the CHP for RICS-regulated firms must include an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) provider approved by the RICS Standards and Regulation Board (SRB). In addition to the requirement in the Rules of Conduct to publish a CHP, RICS-regulated firms should be transparent about their CHP and chosen ADR mechanism by informing clients when the terms of engagement are agreed and if the client makes a complaint.

RICS-regulated firms and those subject to requirements under the RICS Schemes to have ADR, must find a provider (or providers) who are appropriate for the professional services they provide. This can depend on whether they provide services to consumers or commercial clients, and whether they are required, in their region to register with a government approved ADR.

The SRB has set out principles for approving ADR mechanisms and a provided a list of approved ADR mechanisms for all global regions. If a RICS-regulated firm wishes to use an ADR mechanism not on these lists, then they must seek SRB approval. For further guidance on the lists of ADR mechanisms and seeking SRB approval see individual guidance documents for each region below.

Meeting the requirements in your region

  • The ‘Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Mechanisms – UK and Ireland’ guide sets out the list of approved ADR mechanisms, including Consumer redress mechanisms and Business-to-business ADR (for UK and Ireland).  It also contains information on seeking SRB approval for an alternative ADR mechanism.

    The consumer redress mechanisms are used by RICS-regulated firms for complaints received from consumers and should be free at the point of entry.  A consumer can be broadly defined as a person who is not acting in the course of any business. Where a RICS-regulated firm does not have any consumer clients, they should inform RICS by selecting the option "no consumer clients" in the firm’s annual return.

    The business-to-business ADR mechanisms are available for complaints and disputes received from commercial clients in the UK.

    If a RICS-regulated firm selects the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR) for consumer redress on the annual return, there is no additional registration required (as this will indicated on the RICS Annual Return) and this can be used on a case-by-case basis. However, CEDR cannot be used for residential agency surveying services and therefore additional registration will required with a government approved ADR for residential agency such as for lettings agency work (England and Wales), property management work (England and Wales), or estate agency work dealing with residential property (UK wide). Currently these are Property Redress Scheme or The Property Ombudsman.

    If you have any questions on ADR in UK and Ireland, please email regulation@rics.org.

  • The ‘Alternative Dispute Resolution Mechanisms – EMEA' guide sets out the list of approved ADR mechanisms, including Consumer redress mechanisms and Business-to-business ADR (for EMEA).  It also contains information on seeking SRB approval for an alternative ADR mechanism.

    RICS automatically recognises and approves the European Commission’s list of organisations for consumer-facing ADR involving consumer claims.  This list would meet the requirements as set out in the Rules of Conduct.

    The Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR) is approved throughout the EMEA region.  As indicated above there is no additional registration required (as this will indicated on the RICS Annual Return) and this can be used on a case-by-case basis.

    If you have any questions on ADR in EMEA, please email regulation@rics.org.

     

     

     

     

  • The ‘FAQ: Alternative Dispute Resolution Providers - Asia Pacific’ guide sets out the list of approved ADR mechanisms. 

    If you have any questions on ADR in Asia Pacific, please email regulationapac@rics.org

     

  • If you have any questions on ADR in the Americas, please contact us through americasregulation@rics.org.