You may be under the impression that any survey provided by any firm of surveyors will be the same. In actual fact, this isn’t the case. Just as there is a distinction between different types of survey you can get (such as valuations and homebuyer reports), there is also a difference between the firms (and individuals) who conduct them.
It may surprise you to learn that in the UK the title ‘surveyor’ is not protected and as such, anyone can actually call themselves a surveyor – regardless of their knowledge, training, qualifications, or lack of any of the above!
To use the title ‘Chartered Surveyor’, however, is a different matter and only surveyors that have undergone the rigorous training required to become accepted by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) can use it.
What is a Chartered Surveyor?
To qualify to become Chartered, surveyors have to undergo a stringent assessment process and training programme – usually a surveying degree first, then two years (minimum) structured training, before then undertaking final assessment.
The requirements don’t stop there – once qualified, all members of the RICS are required to comply with their Global Professional and Ethical Standards which necessitate a duty to act with integrity and independence and provide a high standard of service.
Furthermore, all Chartered Surveyors have to adhere to minimum CPD requirements on an annual basis to ensure they maintain high standards of knowledge and practice. Firms of Chartered Surveyors are regularly audited by the RICS to ensure the practice and its individual Chartered Surveyors are adhering to the professional and ethical standards required.
You can identify a Chartered Surveyor as they will use the letters MRICS [Member] of FRICS [Fellow] after their name. Similarly, firms of Chartered Surveyors have to state that they are ‘Regulated by RICS’ on any of their marketing materials, paperwork and website.
But what does it actually matter to a potential home buyer?
Purchasing a property isn’t like buying a television or item of clothing. There’s no returns policy and buying a home is likely to be one of the biggest financial commitments you’ll ever make. By using a Chartered Surveyor, you have certain assurances that you would otherwise not receive. For example, you can be certain that the individual conducting your survey is suitably trained, experienced and regulated and that there is a professional system of redress should you have a complaint or cause for concern.
Additionally, as all firms of Chartered Surveyors must carry Professional Indemnity Insurance at a set minimum level, any report produced by a Chartered Surveyor is backed up by this; and is therefore guaranteed for up to six years after the date of any piece of professional work.
Contact Lea Hough, Chartered Surveyors in Lancashire
Lea Hough Chartered Surveyors is a RICS regulated firm and all of our Chartered Surveyors are qualified members of The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).
If you’re moving house and would like to instruct one of our Chartered Surveyors to conduct a survey on your behalf, please get in touch here.