This group, which had expanded to 49 members by 1868, met again at the Westminster Palace Hotel on June 15, 1868, to approve the resolutions and elect the first Council. John Clutton was elected the first president of the Institution of Surveyors. Offices were then leased at 12 Great George Street, London, which is still part of the RICS headquarters today.
The Institution of Surveyors later became the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). Queen Victoria granted RICS a charter in 1881. A series of mergers followed with associations across the property disciplines. In 1946, the title Royal was granted, creating the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and the RICS Coat of Arms, with motto ‘Est modus in rebus’ (There is measure in all things).
The requirement for such an organization was driven by the rapid development and expansion of the industrialized world. As it began to take shape — and the infrastructure, housing and transport links grew — there was a need for more stringent checks and balances.
RICS Americas established an office in New York City in 2001 and since has almost doubled its qualified membership. Even in parts of the world where the term ‘chartered surveyor’ is unfamiliar, the high standards of our members speak volumes. They are viewed by major financial institutions and world governments as the ‘Gold Standard’ when it comes to professional regulation in the property sector. RICS is incorporated by Royal Charter, which sets out the objects of the Institution and requires it to: “maintain and promote the usefulness of the profession for the public advantage. “In practice, the Charter means that important changes to the RICS constitution – its Bye-Laws – have to be ratified by the UK government, through the Privy Council, even after they have been approved by a majority of RICS members voting at a General Meeting.
Following the 2008 AGM Privy Council has approved changes to the Royal Charter and a new set of Bye-Laws to establish a new governance model for RICS. Governing Council has also approved new Regulations to support the Bye-Laws. The continued demand for Royal Charters, which may seem an antiquated concept, shows that they retain their cachet in the modern professional world as a “gold standard” of excellence and integrity.
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