I read with interest your article entitled ‘Time to act on conflicts’ (24.03.16).

RICS absolutely agrees that this is a serious issue affecting the reputation of our industry, and one that we are committed to addressing.

It is essential that our standards are constantly evolving and that we remain fit for purpose in the face of changing market conditions. For this reason, we undertook extensive market research in spring last year along with a comprehensive review of our existing guidance. Since then, we have been working with a wide range of industry leaders from the real estate, legal and banking sectors.

Following this, a major review of our rules on conflicts of interest is now nearing completion. The industry leaders have been working with us to develop additional, mandatory RICS rules and supporting guidance on the identification and management of conflicts of interest across the profession. This will ensure consistency of interpretation of the overarching rule of conduct. The final consultation draft of the new rules is due to be issued next month, and we urge all industry stakeholders and participants to engage with our consultation when it is released.

We invited Leeds University to participate in the current review and now welcome the findings of its report, which we will consider among the consultation responses we receive.

Gary Strong, director of practice standards and technical guidance, RICS