I read with interest that the RICS' forum group had written to its president, Peter Fall, to oppose the ridiculous increase in fees. Fall says in his – very poor – attempt to win support for the rise that the RICS' membership has increased 30% over the past two years (25 April, pages 24-25).
I expect we shall see a fall in membership if this goes ahead, especially now that the Chartered Institute of Building is able to award chartered status.
Fall should also remember that a great many fellows do not get their subscriptions paid for by their employers and a large number of small firms do not earn or pay large fees. The rise is therefore likely to mean the end of the small practice as a member of the RICS.
David Rundle, Butler & Young, via email.
Abusing the captives
At the risk of seeming cynical, I believe the RICS' proposals are more about bankrolling their grandiose ideas to pamper their overinflated egos than offering value for money.
Perhaps a trip into the real world of zero price inflation and achieving targets within tight budgets might bring them back to reality. I only wish we had a captive market that we could charge 32.5% more to.
J Agar, via email.
What did they ever do for me?
No, the RICS is not good value for money. As a partner in a small quantity surveying practice, I cannot think of one thing that it does to benefit my day-to-day operation, apart from allowing me to put FRICS after my name. Any useful service has to be paid for on top of the fee.
We are an old-fashioned QS that offers an old-fashioned QS service and, believe me, there is a great demand for our services. We have no ambitions to be planning supervisors, facilities managers or value engineers – which makes us dinosaurs as far as the RICS goes.
Peter Fall appears to be on an ego trip. Unlike him I don't want people to know what I do; I find my job interesting even if the average person would say it's boring. He uses a typical politician's ploy of saying "it's about £2 a week more" but ignores the fact that it is on top of another £6 a week. May I suggest the RICS uses some value engineering to offer the same service (if not improved) at the same cost.
The RICS’ proposals are about bankrolling their grandiose ideas to pamper their egos …
T Iles, George Brownlee Partners, via email.
The end beckons
I am a sole practicing QS and I was elected a fellow of the RICS in 1983. I am not aware of the relevant statistics but I am sure that there are many fellows such as myself who are not in Peter Fall's "high flying, upwardly mobile category", and have no wish to be.
At my end of the profession, the RICS and the service it provides is close to useless. In all my years I have obtained little work from my qualification; most of it comes from satisfied clients giving repeat orders.
The money that the RICS is spending on glossy paperwork seems particularly wasteful. We do not need to impress ourselves. I have always said that an advertising campaign on television on the function of a QS would be a much better way of telling the public what we do and our areas of particular expertise.
In my view, the RICS does not justify the current fee of £320, let alone the prospective increase of 30%. I have been reluctant to pass up my membership because it cost me much time, nervous energy and money to obtain. I have often thought of passing it up, though, and this increase could just influence me enough to do that. So is the RICS good value for money? You've got to be joking.
Geoff Weston, Aspect Survey, via email.
Let's hear it for the RICS!
I think the RICS is excellent value for money. It offers its members first-class services such as professional information, a library, business support, conferencing, a referral service, the In Business publication, email updates and a continual interaction with other markets and organisations on its members' behalf.
The RICS president is continuing the good work of promoting and developing the image of the RICS and the status of the chartered surveyor. I say well done to him and his team for driving forward the institution as a global professional body. In my opinion, the rise in membership fees to fund these ambitions is fully justified.
I am glad to say that I have never encountered a client who did not value me or my practice's chartered status. I say to those disgruntled QSs to try and think positively about the agenda for change and the progression of our profession. I am sure they will benefit as well.
If some backward-thinking QSs want to break away from the RICS, I, for one, will not be sad to see them go; with their attitude, they do nothing but detract from the profession.