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17 JAN 2020

Opinion: President's Column

Tim Neal headshot

Timothy Neal FRICS

President

RICS

For more than 150 years, chartered surveyors have helped create towns and cities, managed land, fostered communities and been expert stewards and protectors of the built and natural environments.

We have made, and continue to make, an overwhelmingly positive difference in the world, living our charter commitment: to act for the public advantage. This is why I am proud and excited to have taken on the presidency of RICS, and I look forward to being a positive voice for our profession at a critical moment in our history.

My tenure occurs at a defining time for our profession. From the global movement of people to cities, to the impacts of the climate emergency, the need for sustainable transformation of the built environment to respond to and anticipate both has never been greater. Importantly, our clients face multiple new challenges as they work to succeed in this changing world. While significant, these challenges present our industry and profession with a chance to prove itself as one of the world’s greatest agents of sustainable progress.

It is within our gift to create sustainable and dynamic cities and communities, finance their construction, connect them to public services, and efficiently manage their built assets. I am therefore incredibly thankful to my predecessor, Chris Brooke FRICS, who led a programme of vital reforms to RICS’ governance structures, particularly around how RICS channels market insight into the standard-setting and regulation processes.

Those changes aim to unlock the full potential of our profession to help shape the world in ways that benefit people, society and the planet. Like many professions across the built and natural environment, chartered surveying is undergoing a period of reinvention. As we remain committed in our duty to professionalism and the public advantage, all other technical and process elements of our practices are undergoing radical change.

It is within our gift to create sustainable and dynamic cities and communities, finance their construction, connect them to public services, and efficiently manage their built assets.

With our Futures programme – where we seek advice from the vanguard of our profession – we have discovered numerous ways in which digital technologies, sustainable methodologies and agile business practices have armed chartered surveyors with new approaches and tools to deliver far greater confidence in real estate markets. This work is demonstrating that our profession is at the forefront of change in the built and natural environment.

Technological adoption, for instance, is enabling professionals to deliver with greater accuracy, insight and understanding for their clients. It is important that RICS captures these technical developments to shape the ongoing reinvention of RICS standards and services. This is crucial, as these will continue to provide a relevant baseline for members of the profession to practise in real estate, construction and natural environment markets globally.

RICS has a vital role to play in ensuring our members have the skills and experience to guarantee our communities thrive in our uncertain world. We must confront the need to reinvent our professional advice. Fortunately, change is in our profession’s DNA. And as the pace of change within society and the natural world continues to accelerate, it is only right that we anticipate the need to reinvent ourselves multiple times within the span of a single career.

I therefore look forward to revealing the extent of RICS’ latest Futures insight very soon, along with our assessment of its implications on the wider profession, and the next round of reforms that RICS will pursue in response. To make sure you don’t miss these important Futures announcements, see rics.org/futures.

Tim Neal headshot

Timothy Neal FRICS

President

RICS

Previously the President and CEO of CallisonRTKL, Arcadis’ global architecture and design practice, the Global Director of Buildings at Arcadis, and the head of UK and European Regions at EC Harris before that, Tim is an internationally recognised leader with more than three decades of experience in the buildings market, large-firm operations and talent management.

Tim has been a member of the RICS Global Regulatory Board for the previous four years and is also the Chair of the International Fire Safety Standards (IFSS) Coalition. He is a Board Trustee, and Secretary of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat.