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RICS appoints Lord Bichard to lead independent review

Following an open recruitment process, Lord Michael Bichard has been appointed by RICS to lead a wide-ranging independent review into the governance and purpose of the institution.

The review was a key recommendation of Alison Levitt QC’s report into historic issues at RICS, which was published in September.

Lord Bichard will begin work on the review immediately with a six-month timetable for completion and will issue a call for evidence to all members and interested parties in early December.

He will set his own terms of reference for the review, which will be published shortly, based on the three objectives set by Governing Council:

  • To create clarity about RICS’ purpose
  • To make proposals for the future to make RICS a beacon for best practice in governance, transparency, and accountability, strengthening the reputation of members and the Institution
  • To ensure that RICS’ governance structures, culture and resources are fit for today and contain mechanisms which can be reviewed and refreshed so they remain relevant in the future

Lord Bichard will report directly to Governing Council. A dedicated website is being created to host all documents and relevant materials so that members can follow the progress of the inquiry.

During a long and varied career in public life, Lord Bichard has served as a Permanent Secretary in Whitehall and Chief Executive of two local authorities. He was Director of the Institute of Government, has chaired several organisations, including the Social Care Institute for Excellence, and led a major government inquiry.

Speaking about Lord Bichard’s appointment, Nick Maclean, interim Chair of RICS Governing Council, said: “We could not have wished for a better independent reviewer than Lord Bichard, who has a wealth of experience, derived from a long and distinguished career in public service and as Chair of leading organisations. He was the outstanding candidate from a very strong shortlist and he will bring to the review his deep understanding of governance and commitment to promoting the highest values in public life.”

Lord Bichard commented: “I am delighted to have been asked to undertake this review. I want this to be a positive, forward-looking review, advising RICS on how it can become a world-leading membership organisation again. I will focus on the purpose and governance structure needed to achieve that and look forward to receiving evidence from the membership and to meeting as many stakeholders as possible during my inquiry.”

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