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#053 Ethics, Rules of Conduct and Professionalism - Level 1 📚

Hi folks 👋

We are nearing the end of these competency posts. We have reached the final mandatory competency which comprises three parts. In this post, we are covering Level 1 of the Ethics, Rules of Conduct and Professionalism competency.

I would highly advise you to go through the candidate guide and the QS pathway guide to understand the basic requirements.

DISCLAIMER: The following is not an exhaustive set of notes, but it's an attempt to help those who, like me at the beginning, did not know where to start! Please feel free to let me know if I have said anything incorrect or out of date!

So what is Level 1 Ethics, Rules of Conduct and Professionalism all about?

The RICS note that to demonstrate competence at Level 1, you need to demonstrate your ability to:

Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the role and significance of RICS and its functions. Also an appreciation of your personal professional role and society’s expectations of professional practice and RICS code of conduct and conduct regulations, including the general principles of law and the legal system, as applicable in your country of practice.

The structure of RICS

  • I’m assuming that this is referring to the RICS’s corporate governance structure. There is a handy org chart which breaks it down quite well:

RICS’ global and professional ethical standards

  • The RICS have 5 professional and ethical standards which all members must comply with:

    1. Act with Integrity

    2. Always Providing a High Standard of Service

    3. Act in a Way That Promotes Trust in the Profession

    4. Treat Others with Respect

    5. Take Responsibility

  • There are more details for each of the above standards in the following link: the-global-professional-and-ethical-standards.pdf (

Mandatory Professional Statements e.g. Conflicts of Interest

  • Standards of conduct include the RICS Rules of Conduct and several related mandatory standards which set out the RICS requirements, across all disciplines, concerning competence, ethical conduct, service standards and consumer protection. Standards of conduct apply to all professional members and RICS-regulated firms.

  • Here is a link which contains all the professional statements: Upholding Professional Standards (

Guidance notes and their status

  • The RICS defines guidance notes as documents that provide users with recommendations or an approach for accepted good practice as followed by competent and conscientious practitioners.

  • Within every guidance note there is a table which shows the status of documents:

  • Guidance notes aren’t legal documents, but a court would use the guidance note to understand what a competent surveyor would do!

  • Here is a link with a list of guidance notes: Black Book (

RICS’ CPD policy

  • Once you are a chartered member of the RICS, you need to undertake a minimum of 20 hours of CPD per year.

  • Whilst on the APC however, that number is 48 hours!

  • Here is a link with more info: CPD requirements and obligations (

The role of Professional Groups

  • Professional groups are the way that RICS segments the various technical specialisms of the profession. In total18 groups are covering a broad spectrum of surveying services.

  • Here is a link with more info: Professional groups (

Bodies within the RICS e.g. Matrics, LionHeart

  • The RICS has associated organisations which provide services for its members!

  • LionHeart is an independent charity set up specifically to support past and present RICS professionals and their families through any of life’s unexpected challenges, from the very beginning of their surveying careers through to retirement. Here’s a link with more info: Lionheart (

  • Matrics - RICS Matrics supports new members entering the profession, as well as working with RICS to shape the future of surveying and grow the size and respect of the profession across industries globally. Here’s a link with more info: RICS Matrics

Rules of Conduct for Members

  • These Rules set out the standards of professional conduct and practice expected of Members of RICS. They cover those matters for which individual members are responsible and accountable in their professional lives. The rules focus on our regulatory goals and adopt the five principles of better regulation:

    • Proportionality

    • Accountability

    • Consistency

    • Targeting

    • Transparency

  • Here is a link to the Rules of Conduct: rules-of-conduct-for-members_2020.pdf (

Rules of Conduct for firms

  • These Rules set out the standards of professional conduct and practice expected of RICS-regulated firms. They cover those matters for which individual firms are responsible and accountable. The rules focus on our regulatory goals and adopt the five principles of better regulation:

    • Proportionality

    • Accountability

    • Consistency

    • Targeting

    • Transparency

  • Here is the link to the Rules of Conduct: rules-of-conduct-for-firms_2020.pdf (

Policy documents

  • RICS is emphasizing three main policy areas: Housing, Town centre and high street renewal and Sustainable infrastructure. Here is a link with more info: UK policy (

Help sheets

  • On the RICS website, there is a reference made to Help Sheets where further information is required. I’ll be honest, I can’t find them - there is no section for help sheets and I can’t see to find a document with a ‘Help Sheet’ heading? If you know where these are located please let me know!

RICS Bye-laws

  • Byelaws are effectively local laws to deal with local issues. They are made by a body, such as a local authority, using powers granted by an Act of Parliament, and so is a form of delegated legislation. The RICS has a royal charter and has its own set of bye-laws. Here is a copy of them: rics-bye-laws---feb-2020.pdf

Government, legislation and regulation

  • I don’t what there is to write about this bullet point. It’s very vague.

Common law

  • Common law is the law declared by judges, derived from custom and precedent. The doctrine of binding precedent, whereby courts follow and apply the principles declared in previous cases decided by more senior courts, known as “courts of record”, is also known by the Latin expression “stare decisis”. Common law rules may be superseded or replaced by legislation, which is said to “trump” or take precedence over the common law.

  • Here's an article with more info about common law: What is common law and why is it being misinterpreted? | Law | The Guardian

Construction and Technology Court

  • The Technology and Construction Court (commonly abbreviated in practice as the TCC) is a sub-division of the Queen's Bench Division, part of the High Court of Justice, which together with the Crown Court and the Court of Appeal, is one of the Senior Courts of England and Wales.

  • For more info check this document: RICS Dispute Resolution toolkit: Technology and Construction Court


That’s all for this post folks - if you have any queries give me a shout!

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