RICS Regulation of Firms Consultation

Appendix: Definitions of key terms

The following definitions are derived from the RICS Rules for the Regulation of Firms (currently in force) other than the section in Italics which explains the definition of surveying services to assist understanding.

"Contact Officer": the individual designated by the Firm to be the main liaison point between the Firm and RICS and the person authorised by the Firm to submit the Firm's Annual Return.

"Firm": currently means

a. the whole or part of any body corporate; or

b. a partnership; or

c. a limited liability partnership; or

d. an unincorporated practice of a sole practitioner concerned with the business of surveying or providing other related services, which is regulated by RICS; or

e. an equivalent in any of the world regions to any of the above in a-d.


  1. a sole practitioner, or
  2. a partner, a director or a member of a limited liability partnership, or
  3. a person whose job title includes the word “partner” or “Director”, or
  4. a person who performs the function of a sole practitioner, a partner, director or member of a limited liability partnership, or equivalent.

“surveying service to the public”
means acting to provide a service(s) considered by RICS to be within those which are the responsibility of RICS Professional Groups to professional, corporate, institutional and all other clients.

Explanatory Note: This can be described as the technical and professional skills required to value, measure and manage the whole life cycle of land, property, assets and construction to achieve sustainable outcomes and comprise , but are not necessarily limited to , advising, analysing and reporting on all aspects of these processes.
For the purposes of regulation we expect firms to seek registration if they provide the following services to consumer or corporate clients:

  1. Valuing and advising on investment in land; residential and commercial property, personal property, intangible assets, and minerals and waste;
  2. Managing land, estates, property, minerals and waste;
  3. Advising on planning and development of land and construction;
  4. Surveying buildings and advising on their condition, maintenance, alteration, improvement and design;
  5. Measuring, managing and analysing data about the physical features of the Earth;
  6. Planning, measuring and managing development and construction works including the estimation of costs, procurement of materials and labour and the control of budgets; 
  7. Selling, buying or letting property as an agent.