Last edited 11 Apr 2016

International Ethics Standards Coalition

In January 2016 it was announced that a coalition of more than 60 professional bodies had joined forces to create the built environment’s first global ethics standard.

A global consultation on ethics was launched by the coalition for those working across the sector, from land and property, to construction and infrastructure. It is hoped that by reasserting the role of ethics and by producing and adopting a set of common international standards, greater transparency and consistency will be enshrined in the global property industry.

The International Ethics Standards Coalition (IECS) is made up of 63 professional bodies, associations and standards-setting organisations, with real estate representatives from Russia, China, France, USA, Germany, Brazil, Japan, Malaysia, Canada and the UK. Ten leading UK organisations have signed up to the coalition, including ICE, RIBA, RICS and CIOB.

IECS describe their mission as, ‘Creating a universal set of ethics principles for real estate and related professions.’ This is in response to the inconsistent approach to ethics in real estate. The International Ethics Standard (IES) will set out high-level principles that will be implemented through codes of conduct owned by coalition organisations and will provide assurance, consistency and confidence to users of professional real estate services.

IECS suggest that "By creating the IES and establishing the global Coalition we can make sure professional ethics is even higher up the agenda and stimulate conversations about enhancing client confidence and public protection. This is (a) powerful and positive step for the property profession and for the many thousands of professional practitioners around the world."

Sean Harris, ICE membership director said, “ICE has its own robust standards and codes of conduct and is committed to working with our fellow global professionals in developing a common ethics standard. Establishing this important standard across the entire supply chain will enhance transparency, consistency and trust in the services being offered by professionals in what is a global interconnected market place.”

Chris Blythe, Chief Executive of the CIOB said: “Construction is a challenging environment and that will only increase as national players and agendas mix together on the international stage. It is crucial that professional ethics are implemented throughout the supply chain, particularly in markets that are susceptible to differing standards. By joining the IES and developing a collaborative and consistent approach to ethics we can ensure that with greater standardisation professionalism across the globe will be raised.”

On 28 January 2016, a draft code of ethics was published by the Coalition for a three month consultation process. Peter Bolton King, Chair of the IESC said: “The new standard has been written by a group of independent industry leaders and international ethics and compliance experts appointed by Trustees of the IES Coalition... The IES Coalition is organising this three month consultation to ensure that the final version is high quality, understood and accepted by all participating organisations, practitioners and their clients. Relevant organisations and individuals throughout the world are invited to respond.” Ref IES consultation opens: tell us what you think.

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