Skip to content

RICS launches quality mark for the UK property and construction industries

The land, property and construction sector is not known for its diversity but RICS said it has been working across the industry and learning from other professions to find out what is not working and what can be done differently.

Findings from the organisation’s research have led to it launching a scheme known as the Inclusive Employer Quality Mark, designed to help firms gain a competitive advantage and a diverse workforce.
Launching next month, the Inclusive Employer Quality Mark asks employers to pledge their commitment to adopting and continually improving several key principles including increasing the diversity of the workforce engaging and attracting new people to the industry from underrepresented groups.

It also includes developing training and promotion policies that offer equal opportunities for career progression, introducing flexible working arrangements and adaptive working practices and creating an inclusive culture where all staff engage with developing, delivering, monitoring and assessing the diversity and inclusivity policies.

It also wants firms to continually refresh and renew commitments to being the best employer as well as sharing and learning from best practice across the industry
Accompanying each of RICS’ these six principles are multiple ‘proof points’, against which signatories will be required to assess, on a bi-annual basis, the actions they are taking and the outcomes to date. RICS has created two separate criteria metrics too so that both small and large firms are assessed fairly. RICS will be using the assessment to document the outcomes and trends for the profession as a whole.
Once a firm becomes a signatory they gain access to details about how they are performing according to RICS standards across all six principles in comparison with their peers, as well as a spread of support, ideas and case studies from high performers to help drive up improvements for all. Signatories will be published on the RICS website, and member firms may then use the tag line ‘signatory to the RICS Inclusive Employer Quality Mark and the logo’.
Louise Brooke-Smith, RICS president said the launch will mark a step change that the profession needs. ‘This initiative has been discussed with, and has the support and encouragement of, a number of leading firms, both large and small, across the land and property sector,’ she explained.
‘Employee needs are changing, along with their expectations and demographic make-up. The competitive war for talent has also shifted the focus to attracting and retaining talent in the industry. Only by doing so, can we deliver a sustainable future. By committing to the Quality Mark, firms will gain a competitive advantage. An inclusive approach allows organisations to reflect and engage with their clients more effectively and efficiently,’ she added.
Kim Worts, external affairs director at RICS, pointed out that if current workforce statistics about the industry don’t improve, Britain will stop building in 2019. ‘We must ensure this does not become a reality. We need to bring more skilled and qualified people into our sector, and until we change the culture in the workplace, we are not going to attract the brightest and the best,’ she said.
‘The Quality Mark will put RICS at the heart of the profession, leading on rewarding and sharing best practice, and recognising and promoting the work of firms, whatever their size, who are striving towards creating an inclusive workforce,’ she explained.

‘An inclusive workforce is a competitive workforce, mirroring both their clients and the community. Real change will not happen overnight, but we want firms to commit to the journey with us,’ she added.