#055 Ethics, Rules of Conduct and Professionalism - Level 2 📜

Hi 👋

In this post we are covering Level 2 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 Please feel free to let me know if I have said anything incorrect or out of date!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 2 Ethics, Rules of Conduct and Professionalism all about?


The RICS note that to demonstrate competence at Level 2, you need to demonstrate your ability to:

Provide evidence of practical application in your area of practice, being able to justify actions at all times and demonstrate personal commitment to the rules of conduct, ethics and RICS standards.

Your involvement with RICS

  • This is a very vague bullet point but you should be able to identify any interactions you have with the RICS, i.e. paying your professional fees, using RICS resources like iSurv etc.

Identifying a conflict of interest

  • This one is actually quite important and you might have a conflict of interest in your role when you least expect it. For example, I was once on a commission for a client, where the client had also ask me to review the invoicing and timesheets of my company staff. Although it was acceptable for me to check the timesheets and ensure they were correct - it was a conflict of interest for me to sign off any payment, therefore I had to present my findings to a client representative who took ownership and formally signed off the monthly payments.

Transparency in professional fees

  • This is another vague bullet point but it could be referring to two things. The professional fees we charge to clients and the professional fees we pay to the rics.

  • With respect to fees for the client, this is generally broken down in two ways - time charge basis based on a day rate and lump sum. A lump sum is essentially a fixed price given to the client based on a scope of work, that price is obviously built up off an estimate.

Checking a terms of an appointment document for compliance with RICS rules

  • In my experience, appointment documents have been prepared by senior staff members, therefore when you start on a new commission, make a habit of requesting a copy! It gives you the chance to understand the scope of work, what the client expects and what your duties are!

Handling gifts and hospitality

  • Gifts are always a contentious topic in professional services - atleast in the QS world! When I joined the profession, my seniors used to tell me about the days clients rewarded consultants with box ticket to football games or concerts etc. I think those days are long gone!

  • The reason why gifting is frowned upon is due to bribery. If you work in consultancy, I will be extremely surprised if you have not undertaken mandatory anti-bribery training. Have a look at this article, the first conviction for the 2010 Bribery Act was a QS firm!

Complying with RICS’ CPD policy for members

  • This is fairly straightforward - you need to ensure you undertake the minimum CPD requirements! Where do you find CPD? Many firms offer internal learning opportunities, but you can also seek your own CPD. The RICS have formal training available and I generally find a lot of FREE CPD through LinkedIn.

Checking your employer’s compliance with RICS rules for firms

  • If you haven’t read the RICS’ Rules for Firms here’s the link. You can review and compare against your employer’s policies!

 

That’s all for this post folks! As always if you have any queries feel free to drop me a message.

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