Appointments follows last month’s mass walkout in protest at plans to break up the board

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has appointed replacement members of its standards and regulation board (SRB) following a mass walkout last month.

The institution was rocked at the end of June when board chair Janet Paraskeva resigned and was followed out the door by all nine other members.

The resignations came after it emerged the RICS’ governing council planned to break up the board and transfer responsibilities for technical standards to the newly established knowledge and practice committee. 

RICS hq 10

The RICS’ Parliament Square headquarters

The walkout also came just days after the RICS announced the appointment of its new permanent chief executive, former Knight Frank chief operating officer Justin Young. 

> Also read: RICS outlines its version of events on standards and regulation board resignations

Nigel Clarke, governor of Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Trust and former chair of the General Pharmaceutical Council, has been named as the board’s interim chair.

Clarke’s 40 year career has included work on the interface between the government and businesses, with a focus on market access, service development and project initiation. 

Recently he has focused on early-stage businesses, particularly those discovering new technologies in academic settings, helping them to put corporate structures in place, the RICS said.

Clarke said: “The independent regulatory function of RICS is of the utmost importance in protecting the public interest and ensuring trust in their professionals. 

“RICS has responsibility for holding itself and its members to the highest standards of professional competence and conduct, and ultimately it is the SRB who hold the responsibility to make sure these standards are set and implemented to maintain public confidence.

He added: “I also look forward to working with the team to progress further implementation of the recommendations of the Bichard RICS review, and to continue to embed the strengthened independent regulatory structure within the institution.”

Only four other members have been appointed in line with the RICS’ plans to halve the board’s membership on a short term basis. 

Two seats have been filled by RICS members, CPD framework steering group chair Peter Smith and qualifications and assessments committee chair Keith Thomas, with the other two filled by independent members Yo-Hann Tan and Lynne Livesey.

All five appointments were approved by a panel comprising RICS president Ann Gray, RICS interim senior independent governor Michael Bichard, who carried out last year’s independent review of the RICS, Glenys Stacey and Des Hudson.

Gray, commenting on the appointment of Clarke, said: “Nigel’s experience working with regulatory bodies and across a number of high profile organisations in senior roles, makes him an excellent appointment and I am optimistic about the future of the board moving forward.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank our previous board members for their valued contributions to the RICS”.

The creation of a knowledge and practice committee was recommended in Bichard’s independent review of the RICS, which was ordered after a governance scandal in 2021 led to the resignations of four senior leaders including former chief executive Sean Tompkins.

Asked last month if transferring powers to the new committee contradicted the Bichard review, the RICS said “there are different ways to operationalise” the recommendations.

It said the governing council had accepted this would require the reallocation of a “small number” of technical staff and resources from the SRB to the knowledge and practice committee but had agreed the move was in line with the Bichard review.

The institution added that its governing body had “determined that it was most appropriate that the team who develop technical standards but also do wider work on practice information and professional development, should directly support the work of the knowledge and practice committee”. 

The SRB will retain the authority to approve all professional standards under the changes, including technical surveying standards developed by the knowledge and practice committee.