Members of the RICS have

backed plans to restructure their 130-year-old institution.

At last week’s extraordinary general meeting, 86.5% of votes cast were in favour of Agenda for Change. The vote was carried on a

turn-out of one in three of the

75 000 eligible voters, a level the RICS says is a record proportion.

The ballot came three months after a U-turn by the QS division, which endorsed the plans in December after much opposition. The QSs originally feared that the scheme would dilute their influence.

The vote means that the RICS’ 100 000 members will now be divided among 16 faculties that aim to reflect client demand, instead of the seven divisions now.

The construction faculty will be one of the largest, with 30 000-

35 000 QS members, plus 10 000-15 000 surveyors from other disciplines taking advantage of the rule that allows them to join up to four faculties for one fee.

RICS president Simon Kolesar said: “The faculties will have more autonomy. They’ll be able to launch targeted journals and send information direct to members.”

Elections for faculty boards will take place this year, with faculties starting work in January 2001.