The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) is a prestigious global professional body established in the UK, which aims to uphold and promote the highest international standards in the land, real estate, construction, and infrastructure sectors. Here’s a breakdown of its roles, influence, and interactions with the damp proofing industry:

  1. Professional Standards and Qualifications: RICS sets the benchmark for professional standards, providing qualifications and training for individuals seeking to become chartered surveyors. The rigorous training and examinations ensure a high level of competence and ethics among its members.
  2. Industry Advocacy: RICS acts as a voice for the surveying industry, advocating for best practices, sustainable solutions, and professional ethics. It often interacts with governmental bodies, industry groups, and other stakeholders to promote the interests of the surveying community.
  3. Guidance and Resources: Through various publications, guidelines, and online resources, RICS provides invaluable insights and guidance on a wide range of topics, including dampness in properties.
  4. Networking and Collaboration: RICS facilitates networking and collaboration among professionals, enabling the exchange of knowledge, ideas, and best practices within the surveying and broader construction industry.
  5. Engagement with Damp Proofing Issues: RICS professionals often encounter damp proofing issues in their practice. They rely on their training and the standards set forth by RICS to identify, diagnose, and recommend solutions for dampness in properties. However, there is a tendency among some RICS surveyors to rely on guarantees provided by bodies like the Property Care Association (PCA) when it comes to rising damp, despite the fact that rising damp may not be the actual cause of dampness.
  6. Professional Development: Continuous professional development (CPD) is encouraged, allowing members to stay updated on the latest techniques, technologies, and regulations pertaining to damp proofing and other surveying concerns.
  7. Consumer Protection: By adhering to high professional and ethical standards, RICS plays a significant role in consumer protection, ensuring that property assessments, including damp surveys, are conducted accurately and fairly.
  8. Critique from Within: Stephen Boniface, a former chairman of the construction arm of RICS, has brought a critical perspective to the traditional understanding of rising damp and its treatment within the industry. Boniface informed the institute’s 40,000 members that ‘true rising damp’ is a myth and asserted that chemically injected damp-proof courses (DPC) are ‘a complete waste of money’. This statement challenges the conventional practices and invites a reevaluation of the methods employed to address damp issues.
  9. Conclusion: RICS is a cornerstone in maintaining professionalism and ethical practice in the surveying industry. Its engagement with damp proofing issues is pivotal, but there could be room for improvement, especially in fostering a deeper understanding and more accurate diagnosis of dampness issues, moving beyond over-reliance on guarantees against rising damp.
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