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Home survey standard

Home survey standard

The RICS Home survey standard will become the best practice benchmark in promoting and enforcing the highest standards in the residential sector

As part of our commitment to promoting and enforcing the highest standards in the residential sector, the RICS Home survey standard will become the best practice benchmark – enabling adoptees to demonstrate consistency, deliver the highest quality of service, meet evolving consumer needs and also contribute to delivering trust in the home survey market across the UK. It brings together the views of RICS professionals, cross-industry stakeholders and consumers.

In April 2019, RICS launched an industry and consumer consultation following an extensive review of existing guidance, which identified the need for a professional statement with a set of mandatory requirements for RICS members and regulated firms.

The resulting RICS Home survey standard is a fit for purpose standard for RICS members and regulated firms and delivers to current market needs. It is designed to significantly increase consistency, transparency and competency across all residential surveying in the UK and will be the single standard for condition-based home surveys. The concise mandatory requirements establish 'benchmarks' around which firms can design and deliver services that not only meet their clients' needs but that the public can recognise and trust.

The purpose of this professional statement is to:

• establish a clear framework that sets minimum expectations – this to protect and maintain consistent and high-quality standards in residential property survey services that RICS members and regulated firms provide

• provide mandatory requirements for RICS members and regulated firms in the UK who deliver any level of residential property survey

• replace and harmonise previous RICS publications relating to residential surveys.

In addition to the document, RICS will be developing supporting tools and materials over the coming months for members and firms delivering condition-based survey services to clients.

What has changed

The new RICS Home survey standard came into effect on 1 March 2021. To support the new standard, RICS have launched new versions of the Home Survey reports, a new software solution, and supporting materials.   

RICS Worksmart will be closing and a new version of RICS ProForms will be released containing the new home survey reports. 

RICS has been developing supporting materials to assist professionals in delivering the new survey reports in compliance with the new RICS Home survey standard. These materials are available free of charge to professionals and will be reviewed regularly. You can find the materials above.

Why has it changed

The new RICS Home survey standard will increase consistency, transparency, and competency across residential surveying in the UK.

The new standard aims to deliver not only increased clarity to the process but more open communication which will greatly benefit property transactions and will make sure consumers fully understand the process, the different levels of surveys and what is included in each one, and how to get the level they need.

The new standard and reports offers many benefits, including:

  • the ability to highlight your findings in a way that is easily understood by your clients with the traffic light condition ratings system
  • a clear report structure
  • impartial assessment of a property from RICS, updated to adhere to the Home survey standard and ensures that maintains the benchmark for best practice
  • a new design and name to make it easier for the consumer to understand
  • a cost benefit to the new system as once a member has their licence, there will be no further charge to publish reports on RICS ProForms. The software is free to use and to publish reports.

When will the changes come into effect

RICS will be implementing a transition period for the new home survey reports, which will run until 31 August 2021. This means that between 1 March and 31 August, both the old and new formats of the reports will be acceptable. This is to give professionals additional time to implement the updated surveys in the current climate.

From 1 September 2021 the new home survey reports must be used.

For more information regarding the changes to the new RICS Home survey reports please view our frequently asked questions

Future updates on the standard and supporting tools and materials will be added on this page.

There is also a dedicated Home surveys group on the digital RICS Insight Community, which all members are welcome to join. This will enable you to connect with other members that work in similar and can be a communication channel to get key advice, tips and guidelines where appropriate as and when they are developed. To join simply email digicommunities@rics.org to set you up as a community member.

RICS professionals and key stakeholders go into detail as to what the new Home survey standard is, why the need for it, how RICS developed the standard and what the future holds.