Flashcards in RICS Rules of conduct and disciplinary action Deck (40)
What are the RICS Rules of Conduct?
Sets out MANDATORY standards of professional conduct and practice expected of all RICS members, students, trainees, and regulated firms
Help protect the public and uphold reputation of the profession
Demonstrates to clients, consumers and the public the high professional standards that RICS professionals and firms employ
What are the FIVE principles of better regulation under the RICS Rules of Conduct?
When did the ROC come into force?
Came into force on 4 June 2007
How is the ROC set out for (1) Firms and (2) Members?
ROC = set out individually for:
- RICS members
- RICS firms
Are the ROC mandatory?
Absolutely yes - for all RICS members and RICS-regulated firms
What is Conduct Unbenefitting?
A particular activity / behaviour that is either:
- dishonourable; or
- liable to bring the profession into disrepute
What are some examples of Conduct Unbenefitting?
Dishonesty - whether or not resulting in a criminal conviction
Misapplication of clients' funds - whether for the RICS member's benefit or otherwise
Refusing to enter into an undertaking required by a disciplinary body of RICS
Breaching an undertaking given to RICS or any other third party
Giving false and/or misleading information to RICS or any third party
What is the purpose of RICS' disciplinary action?
To protect the public interest and safeguard the reputation of the profession
What do the ROC state about disciplinary action?
Not every shortcoming by RICS member / firm will result in disciplinary action
But failure to follow RICS guidance = considered with behaviour of member / firm
The member / firm will be asked to justify the steps they took and why
Who sets the rules on RICS disciplinary powers?
The RICS Standards and Regulation Board
They formulate and deliver the regulatory policy objectives of RICS under delegated authority from Governing Council
What are the Regulatory Tribunal Rules and who sets them?
Set by the RICS Standards and Regulation Board
These rules set out the processes, decisions RICS can take and regulatory actions available to us in relation to discipline
What is the RICS Sanctions Policy?
Sets out the Regulatory Board’s approach to disciplinary sanctions when applied to a member / regulated firm under RICS’ Disciplinary Rules
Policy intended to be compatible with Human Rights Act 2000
What is misconduct?
Failure to follow RICS’ rules of conduct / professional standards
Where RICS believe the need to take action to protect the public / uphold standards
Behaviour that is likely to damage the public’s confidence in the profession
In what cases might disciplinary action be triggered?
Complaint made to RICS
Allegation of client / third party
Result of information received / established by RICS
When might a case be less serious for discipline?
Where Regulated Member admits allegations, RICS will use a Regulatory Compliance Order (RCO) to ensure future compliance with the RICS standards
Where Regulated Member does not admit allegations, the case can be referred to a Single Member of the Regulatory Tribunal to decide whether to impose a disciplinary outcome
(The Regulatory Tribunal is independent from RICS and the regulatory department)
When might a case be more serious for discipline?
May need to refer case to a Disciplinary Panel, drawn from independent Regulatory Tribunal (Panels are selected from the Regulatory Tribunal)
Disciplinary Panels can issue sanctions ranging from cautions, imposing fines, imposing conditions or expelling Regulated Members and removing registration of RICS-regulated firms
What is a fixed penalty and which Rules are applicable?
A caution and/or fine payable by RICS member / firm for breaching following FOUR Rules:
- Rule 6 of Rules of Conduct for Members - CPD;
- Rule 8 of Rules of Conduct for Members - Information to RICS;
- Rule 10 of the Rules for the Registration of Firms - fees;
- Rule 14 of Rules of Conduct for Firms - Information to RICS.
How might you consider the seriousness of a breach for (i) Regulatory Compliance Order (RCO) and (ii) panel hearings?
Whether breach involved wrongdoing, blame, recklessness or dishonesty;
Risk of loss, or size of damage to the public or consumers;
The member / firm's level of experience in practice;
Where relevant, the length of time over which the breach occurred;
Number or frequency of the breach(es); and
Duration of the breach(es).
What are some mitigating factors for a breach?
Steps taken to rectify breaches, or to avoid a repeat;
Responsibility taken by the member / firm for any failings;
Whether the member / firm notified RICS of the breach;
Any admission and/or regret expressed;
Any steps taken by the member / firm to compensate the client;
A willingness to assist RICS; and
Following Oct 2019, what are Consent Orders now referred to?
REGULATORY COMPLIANCE ORDER (RCO)
What is a Regulatory Compliance Order (RCO)?
A formal written agreement between RICS and the member / firm confirming:
- They are liable for disciplinary action
- admits that they have fallen short of the standards expected
- agrees to an appropriate sanction
- in some cases, take steps to meet the standards expected and/or to prevent it happening again
What does an RCO generally include?
One or more of the following:
- A requirement that the Regulated Member gives one or more undertakings as to future conduct
- A requirement that the Regulated Member takes or stops taking certain actions within a specified period of time
- Conditions on the Regulated member's continued membership of RICS
- Conditions on a Regulated Members registration for regulation
- A requirement that the Regulated Member pays a fine of up to £2000 per breach
- RCO will be published on RICS website for up to 12 months
When might RICS enter into an RCO with a member / firm?
If RICS believes that the rule breach concerned is not serious enough to call for a public disciplinary hearing
If member / firm admits the breach and is willing to co-operate with RICS to rectify the matter
Where a public disciplinary hearing is called for, what are the different penalties that can be issued?
undertakings as to future conduct
conditions on / expulsion of member's continued membership of RICS
conditions on / removal of the firm's registration for regulation
What is the level of penalty dependent on?
The penalty imposed will be proportionate to the breach and all the circumstances
When might a CAUTION be given?
Where breach = minor and is unlikely to be repeated
When might a REPRIMAND be given?
Where there has been / is a risk of public harm
When might UNDERTAKINGS be imposed?
Where standard of the RICS member / firm's professional work has fallen short / not have necessary competence
What are some UNDERTAKINGS which can be imposed?
The member / firm to refrain from practising in a particular specialism;
The member / firm to practise that specialism under supervision; or
The member / firm to refrain from practising a specialism until RICS is satisfied that competence has been achieved in that field