The ISVA is an Association of Independent Surveyors, with experienced Members throughout the country.
These Members are not owned by financial or corporate institutions, and are therefore free to offer independent advice to clients.
In October 1992 Richard Adams, and over sixty Chartered Surveyors from small or independent practices concerned about the domination of the valuation and survey market by financial institutions and large corporate surveying practices, launched Independent Surveyors Association (ISA). The Association changed its name to Independent Surveyors and Valuers Association in May 2011.
The Association provides representation of and support for individual practices. More importantly, the Association provides a voice that has an impact both within the profession and in wider circles beyond. The extent of disciplines in which Members are engaged are widespread, encompassing commercial, industrial, rural, residential and general practice. Many Members are particular specialists in their own field. There is considerable ‘cross fertilisation’ and networking which proves to be advantageous to our Members. The Independent Surveyors and Valuers Association is run by forward-thinking Chartered Surveyors who, like you, care about the future of their profession and, of course, their livelihood. The Council consists of elected voluntary Members.
What does the ISVA do?
As individuals, we are a lone voice and can do little to influence matters that are of concern. As a body,
we are able to promote the services of small independent firms and ensure that the views of our Members are known. The ISVA, representing sole practitioners and small practices, maintains contact and continuing dialogue with other organisations including RICS and Government Departments. We encourage networking via a Members’ Directory and Website (www.isva.org.uk). The Council meets regularly and Members are kept informed of proceedings and developments. We aim to offset the cost of subscription further by providing Members with positive benefits of membership by negotiating ‘privilege discounts’ on a range of services which might not be available to a single individual alone (for instance BCIS discount and Home Survey Report Templates). The Conference is held annually, providing an opportunity for Members to meet and also to air their views. The lectures are carefully selected to cover topics of professional interest and current concern. We welcome attendance by non-members of the ISVA to ensure diversity of views. Smaller Regional Seminars are held during the year across the country, providing the opportunity for members to meet other local surveyors and fellow members and gain some CPD. We also regularly circulate topical issues to all Members via e-mail.
The Association has co-ordinated a network of progressive professional surveyors throughout the UK, who are dedicated to the ethos of ‘putting the client first’ and committed to the principles set out in the ISVA Charter. As individuals running our own businesses locally, all our Members are totally independent and proud to remain so. On the other hand, as an organised group we can offer a wide skill base to the general public. Through networking and referral of clients to other Members who hold similar principles, we are able to offer a service second to none, wider afield than our own individual areas of practice, and can make available a diverse range of specialist skills whenever the need arises.
Although we interact positively with RICS and promote the view of the small independent practice, as a body we continue to remain apprehensive of RICS’ policy towards smaller firms, particularly to the sole practitioner, and the Institution’s commitment towards global expansion. We have adopted a ‘watchdog’ approach whenever changes are proposed which we consider could disadvantage Members. We doubt that Members as individuals receive value for their RICS subscriptions. We continue to make representation for improved services and communication. At the same time, the ISVA endeavours to provide servicing and support for Members to make good what is perceived as a shortfall on the part of RICS in this area. In the past the ISVA Council has, with some success, made strong representation to RICS on a number of issues. The ISVA Council closely monitors changes in Government legislation to assess the impact on its Members and to enable pro-active advice to be offered.
Obtaining PI insurance cover at economic cost continues to present a major headache for many small
practices. ISVA maintains contact with RICS, the Insurance industry generally and has forged a new relationship via ISVA’s honorary brokers, Fraser Miller, in developing a dedicated PI scheme for ISVA Members which enables best (FSA-compliant) advice to be given and PI support to be obtained at competitive rates. We have also developed an interactive website (www.isva.org.uk) where the public can search for individual surveyors in their area and where Members can browse for information.
What of the future?
New areas of concern constantly arise. The ISVA contributed to the Brooke Review and modernisation of RICS with two ISVA Members co-opted to the Review Committee. The ISVA prepared a detailed response to the Carsberg Consultation on professional conduct and remains in continuing dialogue on how disciplinary procedures should be conducted. More recently, there has been the Bicard Review – it seems all is not well with our Regulator, RICS, and the profession is somewhat considered to be, in the residential field, at a crossroads – being positive, this potentially provides the ISVA with opportunities.
The profession is constantly changing. New challenges arise and with them new problems that need to be addressed. We hope that you will decide to become part of a vigorous, active and informed group
of surveyors who care not only about the future of their profession, but also about providing a first class service for their clients.
The benefits of becoming an ISVA member are numerous. These include:
- Be part of a growing national network of independent Surveyors and Valuers;
- Inclusion into our ‘Find a Surveyor’ database;
- Access to HomeSurvey, BuildingSurvey and valuation templates;
- Access to our private members area where you’ll be able to network and discuss topical issues and benefit from a wide range of discounted publications and reports. You’ll also have access to our extensive technical articles section on property related matters;
- Access to support and advice from other experienced Members;
- Invitation to our Annual Members Conference (which also qualifies for CPD points).
- After 6 months of membership, you would be included in our legal defence insurance policy;
- We host regional seminars across the country throughout the year to bring like-minded surveyors together for conversations and talks, qualifying for CPD;
- A members forum for online discussions;
- Discounts for surveying equipment and softwares. More details available if you become a member.
Loring Brown, Buckinghamshire
Ian Vicary, Honorary Secretary
Wessex Surveyors, Bridport, Dorset
Richard Hulls, Former Chairman
Independent Surveys (South West), Okehampton, Devon
Jason Williams MRICS
Mallard (Wales) Ltd, Swansea, Glamorgan
Quirk Associates, Abingdon, Oxfordshire
David Hamilton FRICS
David Hamilton & Associates, Harpenden, Hertfordshire
Tom Littler FRICS
Isherwoods (Salop) Ltd, Chester, Cheshire
PSB Consultancy & Design Ltd Chartered Building Surveyors, Leicester
Asset Construction Consultants, St Leonards on Sea, East Sussex
ISVA (Independent Surveyors and Valuers Association) is a non-profit organisation set up for the benefit of it’s members.