General council must settle stand-off with QS division to rescue Agenda for Change after negotiations break down.
RICS president Simon Kolesar and president of the QS division Neil Pountney are set for a showdown on Monday over plans to revolutionise the organisation when its general council will debate the issues.

Kolesar, a QS at EC Harris, is backing Agenda for Change – the radical plan to replace the seven divisions of the RICS with 16 faculties. The QS division, led by Pountney, is against this and wants the seven divisions reduced to three. On 6 October, the QS division voted to reject the agenda and forwarded its concerns to Kolesar.

Since then, Pountney and Kolesar have failed to agree a way forward. On 2 November, Kolesar responded to the QS division's criticisms of Agenda for Change. In a letter to Pountney, explaining details of Agenda for Change, Kolesar said: "I am concerned that the QS divisional council seems to have fundamentally misunderstood the basis of how chartered surveying is to be promoted under Agenda for Change.

"I and the leadership team must bear responsibility for not having made these principles … sufficiently clear. May I look to you to lead the QS division into the next century in support of the Agenda for Change proposals as put forward to the general council. If not, we risk a disastrous fudge, compromising, perhaps fatally, the best opportunity for decades to drive the profession forward."

Pountney reacted angrily to Kolesar's letter. In a letter, also seen by Building, dated 4 November, Pountney said: "Frankly, I am most disappointed in the contents. I see no basis whatsover to ask divisional council to alter their position. Regrettably, it seems that we are now heading for a situation where divisional council will maintain its opposition throughout the run-up to the EGM [where members will vote on adopting the Agenda for Change]."

On Monday, the pair met and Pountney urged Kolesar to redraft the agenda. Pountney said one sticking point was that he saw the change of his role, from president of a division to chairman of a faculty, as a demotion. He said that a paper on the subject had been submitted to the 80-strong general council.

Kolesar confirmed that there were still differences of opinion between the two parties, but was confident that an agreement could be reached. He added: "It's up to general council council to decide [whether Agenda for Change is taken forward to an EGM]."