The Impact of Moral and Ethical Standards for Property Surveyors

Level: Undergraduate | Grade: 2:1 | Approx. Word Count: 1,157

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In recent decades, ethics and morals have formed an increasingly important part of corporate and business standards and governance (Fisher and Lovell 2008). Therefore, it is not surprising to find that these principles now form an intrinsic part of the code of practice for most professional associations, with the aim being to improve the behaviour and integrity of their members’ performance in the market place.
Using the UK profession of chartered surveyors as an example, there follows an examination of how these principles impact on the professionalism of the individual and firm.

Essentially, the meaning of the words morals and ethics are similar in meaning and there is certainly a synonymous link between the two in the social context. The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (2010), confirm this link by indicating morals underpin the behaviour of their individual and firm members while ethics embody the moral principles that form the basis of the institutes codes and standards of conduct. In their professional guidance notes on ethics, the RICS (2000) define these codes as meaning “giving of one’s best to ensure that clients interest are properly cared for, but in doing so the wider public interest is also recognised and respected.”. Nonetheless, despite this expectation, a report containing the results of a survey of members of this profession conducted by Poon (2004), suggests these codes are not always apparent in the practical environment. Indeed, although the respondents considered promoting the client’s interests was the most important part of their role, nearly 4 in 10 considered that ethical standards were declining.