What's the difference between a chartered surveyor and a surveyor?



The term Chartered Surveyor applies to a varied profession that can generally be summed up as advising on landed property. This can include people who have specialisms in everything from valuing domestic or commercial property, advising on large scale construction projects, evaluating the environmental impact of property development, assessing the physical state of land or property, and a myriad of other specialist areas in between.

As a Chartered Surveyor you must be a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), which includes passing their stringent qualifications, signing up to their code of professional ethics and undertaking thorough continuing professional development.

However many people may be surprised to find out that in the UK it is only the term ‘Chartered Surveyor’ that is protected, which means that anyone regardless of their level of experience and qualification can call themselves a ‘Surveyor’. This means that anyone styling themselves as a ‘Surveyor’ does not necessarily need to have even the most basic knowledge of their subject, have gained any relevant qualifications, undertaken any appropriate training or supervision or be governed by any professional standards and ethics.

How do you become a Chartered Surveyor?

To become a member of the RICS, and thus be able to describe yourself as a Chartered Surveyor, there are a number of professional standards that you must meet. These ensure that all Chartered Surveyors can be relied upon to provide the highest levels of expertise and professional standards.


In order to become a member of the RICS surveyors must have undertaken relevant academic qualifications and then passed the Assessment of Professional Competence (APC) Assessment. This is an on-the-job training scheme and final written assessment which provides industry-ratified proof of their competence.

Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

All RICS members must make an undertaking to continually update their skills and knowledge and thus remain fully professionally competent. A minimum of 20 hours of CPD must be logged by each member per year, of which at least 10 hours must be formal or structured CPD.

Ethics and Professional Standards

All members of the RICS must demonstrate that they:

  • Act with integrity
  • Always provide a high standard of service
  • Act in a way that promotes trust in the profession
  • Treat others with respect
  • Take responsibility

What protection does working with a Chartered Surveyor provide?

Firstly by choosing to work with a Chartered Surveyor you know that you are working with a fully and appropriately qualified professional who has completed relevant training and experiential learning, and who also undertakes continuing professional development to ensure that they are up to date with any relevant developments and legal changes in their field. This alone should provide peace of mind that you are working with the very best.

Also through being a member of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, members (and more importantly their clients) are covered by both the RICS Complaints Handling Procedure and each member firm must hold appropriate Professional Indemnity Insurance (PII).

Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors is a UK-based professional body for surveyors designed to effect positive change in the built and natural environments.

RICS Complaints Handling Procedure

In the rare case that something does go wrong when you are working with a RICS regulated Chartered Surveyor there is an official and independent complaints handling procedure. Simply contact the RICS and once the compliant has undergone an initial assessment an investigation could be launched which will aim to provide a swift and unbiased resolution.

Professional Indemnity Insurance (PII)

As part of their membership of the RICS all Chartered Surveyors or their firms are required to hold an approved level of adequate and appropriate Professional Indemnity Insurance. This means that if a claim is brought against them by a client for a breach of their professional duty the PII will cover the cost of servicing the claim and providing appropriate compensation to that client. Therefore if for any reason you are ever left out of pocket due to the actions of a Chartered Surveyor you will be covered.

Eddisons is a leading firm of Chartered Surveyors providing specialist advice pertaining to all manner of commercial property requirements. Along with commercial property sales and auctions, and machinery and business asset sales, our knowledgeable Chartered Surveyors can provide professional valuations along with other property services including rating advice, occupier services, building and project consultancy and lease advice.

Contact us today for professional and reliable advice regarding all of your commercial property needs.

Get in touch with the Eddisons team

Please contact us for more details and information

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