The RICS general council meeting on Monday voted 69-9 against plans to postpone an extraordinary general meeting. This is to be held March, and will allow members to vote on the proposals in Agenda for Change.
QS division president Neil Pountney was one of the nine who voted to delay the meeting. He had wanted the postponement so that Agenda for Change could be made more palatable to quantity surveyors. The QS divisional council has already voted to reject Agenda for Change.
Pountney said RICS president Simon Kolesar had recently provided him with more information on the costing and organisation of the proposed structure. A team of four is now collating this information before it is passed to the QSs.
Pountney intends to convene a meeting of the 30 000-strong QS division for 8 December, at which they will be able to give their reactions to the modified proposals.
Although more information has been presented, the sticking points for the QS division remain. These include the proposal to create 16 faculties to replace the seven divisions in the existing structure. The QS division wants to reduce the number of subdivisions to three. QSs make up one-third of the RICS.
Pountney said having the EGM in March meant that he now had to work a lot faster than he would have liked. "Some of the stuff that has been provided gives us a little more comfort and I'm still hopeful that we can get some more comforts and modifications."
Industry response to the Monday's meeting has been cool. The senior partner of one QS said chartered status was not that important anymore.
"Gardiner & Theobald, Davis Langdon & Everest and EC Harris don't even use the words 'chartered quantity surveyor' on their sign boards anymore," he said.
There have been frank exchanges between Pountney and Kolesar over alterations to Agenda for Change. Over the past few weeks, Kolesar and Pountney have held meetings to try to resolve their differences.
This culminated in Pountney writing a strongly-worded letter saying that the RICS had failed to address the QS division's concerns – principally that QSs will be marginalised by the 16-faculty structure.