Chartered Surveyor is the description (protected by law in many countries) of Professional Members and Fellows of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) entitled to use the designation (and a number of variations such as "Chartered Building Surveyor" or "Chartered Quantity Surveyor" or "Chartered Civil Engineering Surveyor" depending on their field of expertise) in the (British) Commonwealth of Nations and Ireland. Chartered originates from the Royal Charter granted to the world's first professional body of surveyors. Chartered Surveyors are entitled to use "MRICS" or "FRICS" after their names as appropriate.

Chartered Surveyors are highly trained and experienced property professionals. Surveyors offer impartial, specialist advice on a variety of property related issues and the services which they provide are diverse.[1]

Chartered Surveyors work in all fields of property and building consultancy. At the most basic level, their duties include valuing property and undertaking structural surveys of buildings. They also provide expert consultancy advice in property, construction, and related environmental issues.

United Kingdom

A Chartered surveyor in the United Kingdom is a surveyor who is a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors ("RICS"). Until the end of the 20th century, some members were members of the ISVA ("Incorporated Society of Valuers and Auctioneers"), but this organization merged with the RICS in 1999.[2]

In the reforms of the RICS in the 1990s, the former divisional structure of the institution was abolished, and the use of the alternative designations was retained solely for the use of members to retain clarification when informing clients of specialist areas of expertise. Despite the attempt to unify the profession under one title "chartered surveyor", there is very little in common across the whole range of disciplines that are within the grasp of all members. The core membership is based in the construction profession and another large sector deals with property ownership and management. Beyond these cores, there are marine, land, rural, and antiques specialists.

Chartered surveyors in the core of the profession may offer mortgage valuations, homebuyer's surveys and valuations, full building surveys, building surveyors' services, quantity surveying, land surveying, auctioneering, estate management, and other forms of survey and building-related advice. It is not usual for an individual member to have expertise in several areas, and hence partnerships or companies are established to create general practices able to offer a wider spectrum of surveying services.

An old Ordnance survey map

Building surveying

See also: Surveying § Building surveying

As well as surveying, building surveyors in the UK give advice on design, construction, maintenance and repair.[3] They may also assess damage or dilapidations on behalf of an insurance company.

A Chartered Surveyor is one who attains MRICS professional membership via the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) by undergoing rigorous training and attaining key work experience across various technical competencies set out by the RICS who then in turn test, scrutinize, examine and assesses such candidates before awarding them Chartered status (MRICS). It is therefore accurate to say that all chartered surveyors can be qualified building surveyors, but not all qualified building surveyors are necessarily Chartered Surveyors.[4]

Quantity surveying

Main article: Quantity surveyor

Quantity surveyors work for private and commercial clients, main contractors and subcontractors in the construction industry. Their function is the management of the commercial interfaces of construction: writing, negotiating, awarding, and administering contracts, including variations and claims arising during the performance of a contract; cost control and cost engineering,[5] i.e. to document and estimate costs, progress, and risks. In the UK, not all quantity surveyors are necessarily chartered surveyors; some may be chartered through the Chartered Institute of Building ("CIOB").[6] Albeit, the title of 'Chartered Quantity Surveyor' can only be used by Members of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

Additional duties may include performing feasibility studies, preparing tenders, procuring materials, managing subcontractors, and even advice on taxation or building management.[7] Surveyors may also be involved in dispute resolution.[8]

Quantity surveyors sometimes act as project managers of a construction site.[6]

Land surveying

Main article: Land surveying

See also: Cartography

Essentially, land surveying is making accurate maps and plans.[9] Land surveying encompasses cadastral surveying, cartography, engineering surveying, hydrographic surveying and oceanographic surveying.[9] Land surveyors may be accredited by the RICS, the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB), or the Chartered Institution of Civil Engineering Surveyors (CICES),[9] but only RICS members can call themselves "chartered land surveyors". Members and Fellows of CICES are eligible to attain Chartered Engineer status through the Engineering Council.[10]


Main article: Estate sale

Firms of chartered surveyors sometimes act in property auctions.[11]

Other aspects of surveying practice

As well as the services mentioned above, UK chartered surveyors may offer advice in boundary disputes, business rates, compulsory purchase matters and party walls.[12] ("Party walls" in the UK are walls on your property shared with your neighbors.)


The largest employer of Chartered Surveyors is Turner & Townsend.[13]

Becoming a Chartered Surveyor

In order to become a Chartered Surveyor, trainees must undertake a degree accredited by the RICS and pass the Assessment of Professional Competence.[14] Occasionally RICS withdraws accreditation of degree courses.[15][16]

Notable Chartered Surveyors

United Arab Emirates

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A Chartered surveyor in the  United Arab Emirates are professionals who provide expert advice on various aspects related to real estate, construction, and property-related matters. Their primary role is to offer specialized services to individuals, businesses, and government entities to help them make informed decisions about property assets. Here are some of the key tasks and responsibilities of chartered surveyors in the UAE:

Property Valuation

Chartered surveyors assess the value of residential, commercial, industrial, and agricultural properties. They consider factors such as location, condition, market trends, and other relevant variables to provide accurate and impartial property valuations.

Property Management

They manage and oversee real estate properties on behalf of property owners, ensuring that they are well-maintained and generating maximum returns. This may include rent collection, lease negotiations, and property maintenance.

Building Surveys

Main article: Land surveying

See also: Cartography

Chartered surveyors conduct detailed inspections of buildings to assess their condition and identify any structural issues, defects, or potential risks. They provide comprehensive reports to clients, which are crucial for buyers, sellers, and property investors.

Project Management

Main article: Project Management

See also: Management

They may act as project managers for construction and development projects. They oversee the planning, design, and execution of projects, ensuring they are completed on time, within budget, and meeting quality standards.

Feasibility Studies

Chartered surveyors conduct feasibility studies for proposed real estate developments. These studies assess the viability of a project, taking into account factors such as market demand, costs, and regulatory requirements.

See also


  1. ^ Benedictus, Leo (26 September 2009). "The chartered surveyor: Made to measure". The Guardian. Retrieved 28 September 2013.
  2. ^ Property Week
  3. ^ Government careers advice Archived February 10, 2009, at the Wayback Machine site
  4. ^ "Residential Building Surveys London". ZFN. Retrieved 2021-03-10.
  5. ^ "Icoste". Archived from the original on 2007-07-13. Retrieved 2016-07-07.
  6. ^ a b Salford University
  7. ^ Prospects website Archived March 30, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ Government careers advice Archived February 10, 2009, at the Wayback Machine site
  9. ^ a b c Our property website
  10. ^ "Quick Guide Plus to Chartered Engineer (CEng)" (PDF). CICES. Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 May 2021. Retrieved 15 December 2020.
  11. ^ RICS Archived March 16, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ RICS website Archived March 2, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ "Top 50 Surveyors". Building. Retrieved 28 September 2018.
  14. ^ Ford, Liz (1 December 2007). "So you want to work in ... Building surveyancy". The Guardian. Retrieved 28 September 2013.
  15. ^ Bassey, Amardeep (25 February 2001). "SURVEYOR SNOBS IN UNI WRANGLE". Sunday Mercury. Retrieved 28 September 2013.
  16. ^ "Degree without license". Times Educational Supplement. 19 January 1998. Retrieved 28 September 2013.
  17. ^ "Find a member: Andy Irvine". Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. Retrieved 28 September 2013.
  18. ^ "Commercial Property Services in Edinburgh". Jones Lang LaSalle. Archived from the original on 22 June 2013. Retrieved 28 September 2013.
  19. ^ Dunton, Jim (23 May 2013). "Former Scots rugby star swaps scrum for surveying". Building. Retrieved 28 September 2013.
  20. ^ "Find a member:Paul Morrell". Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. Retrieved 28 September 2013.
  21. ^ "Find a member:Tim Wonnacott". Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. Retrieved 28 September 2013.
  22. ^ "Find a member:Marianne Suhr". Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. Retrieved 28 September 2013.
  23. ^ "Find a member:Philip Serrell". Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. Archived from the original on 26 February 2015. Retrieved 28 September 2013.