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Independent external review information centre

Independent external review information centre

Find out the latest updates on the independent review into the events that took place in 2018 and 2019

On 21 January 2021 RICS Governing Council voted unanimously to proceed with an independent review into the events that took place in 2018 and 2019.

Alison Levitt QC has been appointed to conduct this independent review, which focuses on issues raised following the commissioning by the RICS Audit Committee of a Treasury Management Audit in 2018. Independent Reviewer Alison Levitt QC will be assisted by barrister Christopher Foulkes, also of 02 Hare Court Chambers. They are instructed by Kingsley Napley, Solicitors to the Independent Review.

A Steering Committee drafted the terms of reference. This committee is made up of members of Governing Council who took up their positions more than a year after the events, which form the subject of the independent review, took place. They are Nick Maclean (Chair), Marion Ellis, Uche Obi, Martin Eberhardt and Rob Wilson.

The findings and recommendations of the independent review will be published here when the review is complete.

  • RICS has instructed Alison Levitt QC and Christopher Foulkes to carry out an independent external review in respect of the issues raised at RICS in 2018 and 2019 following the commissioning by the RICS Audit Committee of a Treasury Management audit. To access the Independent Review’s own website please click here.

Latest Updates

August 2022 — Steering Group Update

This week saw the launch of the new RICS Whistleblowing Policy in collaboration with Protect, a UK charity established to provide advice on whistleblowing. The new policy will support and protect our employees across the globe in raising their concerns where the public interest is at stake including: risk to the wider public, members and firms, customers, staff or RICS itself. The policy will not affect current routes for RICS members raising concerns about RICS services or other members.

Many thanks go to Louise Archer FRICS who has championed this work, along with RICS staff, resulting in the launch of the comprehensive new policy. Louise will continue to act as Whistleblowing Champion, promoting a culture of openness, hearing any concerns and helping to oversee of the effectiveness of our whistleblowing arrangements.

This new policy concludes the implementation of Alison Levitt’s 18 recommendations from last year’s independent external review published in September 2021. Therefore, the work and mission of this steering group is now complete thanks to the unwavering support and determination of my fellow steering group members and RICS staff. We can now collectively look to the future and lend our support, along with the broader membership, to the fullimplementation of the recent Bichard RICS Review.

David Sandbrook FRICS
Steering Group Chair

February 2022 - Steering Group Update

Since November, the Steering Group set up by Governing Council to oversee the implementation of recommendations from last year’s independent external review has been busy working to ensure they are addressed swiftly and effectively, and I am pleased to note that 12 of the 18 recommendations have now been fully implemented.

The remaining recommendations are focussed on our procurement of legal services, implementing a new whistleblowing framework for RICS staff and reviewing executive reward. The Group is also overseeing Lord Bichard’s review of RICS’ purpose, governance and strategy.

Our whistleblowing champion, Louise Archer, is a member of the Steering Group and we have appointed the whistleblowing support specialists, Protect, who have undertaken a review of the current approach and made a series of recommendations for the future, which will be implemented. The focus of this recommendation is on whistleblowing made by staff and non-executives and we will ensure these changes are communicated clearly with RICS staff and wider stakeholders.

Lord Bichard’s review has been progressing well and has received a strong level of engagement with both the profession and stakeholders. The Bichard RICS Review call for inputs closed in late January and Lord Bichard intends to write a short summary in the coming weeks on the issues identified in the review. We expect the full report by June 2022.   

The remaining recommendations are all on track to be implemented in the first half of this year and I would like to thank my colleagues on the steering group and RICS staff for their support in ensuring this important work continues at pace.

David Sandbrook FRICS,
Steering Group Chair, RICS Governing Council

04/11/2021 - RICS Governing Council establishes steering group to deliver remaining recommendations

The Governing Council of RICS has established a steering group to lead on progress in delivering Alison Levitt QC’s recommendations following the independent external review published in September.

The steering group is currently comprised of members of Governing Council and a representative from the independent Standards and Regulation Board, with David Sandbrook FRICS serving as chair.

David Sandbrook FRICS, said

"I'm honoured to chair this team of professionals dedicated to the timely, transparent implementation of Alison Levitt QC's 18 recommendations for the RICS. We have already acted swiftly to deliver progress on many of the recommendations, with our initial focus being the establishment of an independent review into RICS’ purpose, vision and strategy."

Members of the steering group include:

  • David Sandbrook FRICS, member of RICS Governing Council, Head of Minerals and Waste Management at Carter Jonas in the UK
  • Albert Wang Hao, FRICS, member of RICS Governing Council in China
  • Louise Archer FRICS, member of RICS Governing Council and the UK and Ireland World Regional Board, Executive Property Director at Broadland Housing Group
  • Benjamin Towell FRICS, member of RICS Governing Council, Senior Architect at the Building and Construction Authority in Singapore
  • Robert Wilson FRICS, member of RICS Governing Council, Director at BTY Group in Canada
  • Julia Woodhouse, member of the RICS Standards and Regulation Board, and an independent non-executive Board member of Outokumpu in Helsinki

Alongside members of the RICS staff, this steering group will deliver the remaining recommendations from the independent review, which include a new whistleblowing policy; updates to governance documents; embedding the new Values Statement; and external reviews into governance, purpose and strategy and senior executive reward.


The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) is today announcing the appointment of its new interim leadership team to drive the further modernisation of the Institution.

RICS Governing Council has made the appointments for a period of up to 12 months to lead the institution in delivering necessary reforms, following Alison Levitt QC’s report. The team’s focus will be to work with Governing Council, members and staff to rebuild trust in the Institution through the implementation of the Levitt review recommendations.

The team will work with Governing Council, which is comprised of elected members of the profession, to commission the review of governance, purpose and strategy, consider its findings and begin to implement the review’s recommendations.

Nicholas Maclean, RD, FRICS, has been appointed interim Chair of Governing Council.

Richard Collins, who joined RICS in 2019 as Executive Director of the Profession, has been appointed interim CEO.

Isobel O’Regan, FRICS, an elected member of Governing Council, has been appointed interim Chair of the Management Board.

Please see the Leadership Update Press Release included in the Latest Documents below for more details.


Today, Governing Council have provided a detailed update on progress made in response to all 18 recommendations in Alison Levitt QC’s review. They have also published a Values Statement, emphasising the culture and behaviours expected of all who represent RICS, as well as the public apology letters to the former non-executives and members of Governing Council 19 (GC19).  All of these updates are available under “Latest Documents.”

Independent Review Press Conference

Alison Levitt QC was commissioned to conduct an independent review into historic treasury management matters and subsequent actions at RICS.
The Levitt Report will be formally published today (Thursday 9 September) at midday BST.
We are fully committed to transparency, in both the process of publication and RICS responses to the finding.
To this end, the press event will be delivered by Nick Maclean FRICS, Chair of RICS Governing Council Steering Committee and member RICS Governing Council Advisory Group, and Alison Levitt QC. Ms Levitt will also be joined by her Senior Counsel, Christopher Foulkes.

The press conference will allow members of the Press to pose questions to Nick Maclean and Alison Levitt QC. All RICS employees and members are welcome to view the press conference too by clicking on this link:
If you cannot view the conference in real time, it will be available to watch at any time via the RICS YouTube channel:

August 2021 update

The Governing Council of RICS is now in receipt of the Independent Review delivered by Alison Levitt QC and is in the process of carefully considering its findings and recommendations. We will issue a formal response once this process has concluded.