The bosses of the controversy-hit Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) will today (Wednesday) hold a meeting with past presidents in an attempt to allay some of their concerns.


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Several former presidents of the historic body have voiced dissatisfaction with the way the current administration has handled the governance crisis that has rocked RICS in recent months. 

Chief executive Sean Tompkins and president Kathleen Fontana are to host a discussion with a number of RICS former presidents on Wednesday as part of its broad review into the institution’s purpose and relevance. The discussion is expected to centre on issues including transparency, engagement and membership value. 

Past presidents are split in their support for the current executive team, with some figures backing the current administration and others demanding more transparency and communication.

One past president defended the current executive team, telling Property Week that it is “impossible to please 133,000 members” and that “there are always some people who see fault in whatever they do”. 

However, another past president said that they had “major concerns” about the way RICS has been run and that they want to see more transparency from the body’s bosses. 

The 152-year-old institution has been facing trouble from past senior figures since allegations in the Sunday Times late last year that four directors were dismissed in 2019 for raising the alarm over a 2018 BDO financial report. 

At the end of January, RICS bowed to industry pressure and announced plans for two reviews, one of which is being overseen by independent QC Peter Oldham, who is investigating the events that led to the dismissal of four non-executive directors. The other review is a broader probe into the “purpose and relevance of RICS in 2021 and beyond”.

Earlier this month, Tompkins spoke to Property Week about the crisis, defending his 11-year record at the top and dismissing concerns over the independence of the broader review that he and Fontana are overseeing.

The meeting with the past presidents is one of 84 ’future facing roundtables’ that RICS is carrying out as part of the broader review.