Surveyor or Chartered Surveyor?

Not all surveyors are equal – anyone can call themselves a surveyor. It’s not a protected title like architect or solicitor. And because anyone can call themselves a surveyor they can do so with no training at all, that means they may know nothing, something or everything about their specialist field but you won’t know that when you commission them.

The chap who measures for your double glazing – the window company’s “surveyor” – probably can use a tape measure, probably can’t advise on residential leases and probably wouldn’t know where to start carrying out a forensic inspection of glazing faults.

The Chartered bit is not only protected but earned – the hard way! To become a chartered surveyor means following an approved training course of at least three years and then undertaking a minimum two year period of in work competence training followed by a professional entrance interview which if passed (and for chartered building surveyors the pass rate is a challenging 59%) allows one to become a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). It’s not easy and requires a breadth and depth of knowledge and professionalism which is reflected in the service they provide.

RICS logo
Collier Stevens are Chartered Surveyors and member of RICS.

Chartered surveyors are bound by the regulations of the RICS and their firms have to state that they are “Regulated by RICS” and to maintain a Complaint Handling Procedure. They are not regulations without teeth and disciplinary actions are regularly taken and chartered surveyors are called to account by their professional body, where appropriate their qualifications are revoked. Importantly, and unlike “surveyors” chartered surveyor firms and sole practitioners have to maintain adequate professional indemnity insurance and conduct themselves in an ethical and professional manner.

You can identify a chartered surveyor with the letters MRICS (member) of FRICS (fellow) after their names. It is your assurance that the surveyor you are engaging is suitably trained, experienced and regulated with a professional system of redress should you have a complaint or cause for concern.

Pick your surveyor carefully, as a firm of chartered surveyors we meet all of the regulatory requirements of the RICS. Our surveys are always conducted by chartered surveyors with many years appropriate experience. You can of course choose a surveyor who is not chartered but experienced, you may wish to use your mate the builder or you might decide not to bother (our earlier post explains why this is a bad idea). We think you and your property investment are best protected by a proper survey by a proper Chartered Building Surveyor.

Need a survey by a chartered surveyor – contact us to get a quote.

(Originally published by Steve Way, 27 August 2016)