Talks begin to remain in Construction Industry Council after big QS firms threaten to walk out

The RICS is considering a u-turn on its decision to leave the Construction Industry Council after senior QSs threatened to leave and set up a rival group, Building understands.

It is understood that RICS boss Louis Armstrong is to meet Graham Watts, chief executive of the Construction Industry Council (CIC), next week to discuss the “future of the relationship” in the wake of a severe industry backlash. Sources close to the talks said they were “very hopeful” the RICS would change its mind.

The heads of the big consultants reacted furiously to news that the surveyor’s body intended to resign from the umbrella organisation. A series of meetings has since taken place between industry figures and RICS officers, and opponents to the move have been garnering support via email.

One senior consultant at a major firm said: “We have said the RICS shouldn’t pull out. We would even corral the other big practices to see if we could go and form our own thing. That’s how strongly we feel about it.”

Another added: “The RICS is reconsidering its position and I hope there will be white smoke by the end of next week.”

The institution’s position has also been weakened by opposition to the move from Paul Morrell, the chief construction adviser, and senior QSs. One source said: “They’re in a sticky situation. It has become clear that the CIC is the one organisation that people like Morrell and the government are going to talk to.”

A RICS spokesperson said: “There is ongoing dialogue.

We will listen to feedback and the option to stay is still there.”