We have been watching several professional organisations agonise over agendas for change for some time now, among them the RICS and the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.
The problem, which has recently been prominent in your correspondence and other columns, seems to stem from a policy of satisfying a perceived public demand for the regulation of their members rather than serving their commercial interests.

Unlike other professions, for example medicine, dentistry and architecture, which have duplicate organisations – one to guard the rights of the public against malpractice and the other to serve the members' needs – the RICS and the CIArb are attempting to perform both functions simultaneously. Insofar as the protection of the public is more financially rewarding, both the RICS and the CIArb have singularly failed to provide what the members require. The members' pain is intensified when increased subscription fees are proposed to fund losses incurred through these changes.

The result is the alienation of the membership. If the RICS and the CIArb continue to publicise themselves as the equivalent of the General Medical Council, the General Dental Council or the Architects Registration Council, then members who have faithfully supported their professional organisations for so many years will go elsewhere.