The Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors, (NIQS) last week joined a coalition of 100 Property Professional bodies worldwide, which make up thefirst set of ethics,) to publish the first set of ethics, principles for professionals working in land, property, construction, infrastructure and related professions.

The IES Coalition believes that creating a universally applicable set of ethics values will help assert the role of ethics and help ensure greater professionalism.

President of NIQS, Mrs Mercy Iyortyer, stating that standards help to streamline the actions and products of any industry, said that with the advent of the IES standards, clients and the public can be assured of
higher level of professionalism by members of this coalition which brings improved clarity and transparency, helping to de-risk the markets.

Globally, real estate assets reached a value of $217 trillion in 2015, which compares with global GDP of about $80 trillion and it is vital that organisations in these sectors continue to collaborate and bring greater recognition to the role that ethical values play in contributing to efficient property markets.

Peter Bolton King, Chair of the International Ethics Standard Coalition, said: “Ethical values act as an anchor to appropriate behaviours and research tells us that investment in real estate markets by pension funds and sovereign wealth funds is predicted to double over the next decade. Therefore, publishing one set of International Ethics Standards helps to underpin existing codes of ethics and creates an opportunity to strengthen the role these values play in the property industry.”

Other professions have long-established global ethics standards including accountancy, law, auditing and medicine and the IES Trustees felt that it was time for real estate and related professions, which are among the largest industries in the world, to produce one set of global ethics standards.
Speaking in the same vein, Samson Agbato, a Fellow of the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV), and a Trustee of International Ethics Standards Coalition (IESC), said “The absence of a single, clearly understood and internationally adopted approach means that for clients of professionals and for the public at large, ethics can sometimes be seen as fragmented. Creating one over-arching set of ethical principles brings improved clarity and transparency, helping to de-risk markets.”

The International Ethics Standards is an international organisation that* aligns the ethics principles set out in many codes of conduct published by Coalition organisations. The Coalition first met at the United Nations in 2014.
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. Included in the group areprominent real estate representatives from Russia, China, France, the USA, Germany, Brazil, Japan, Malaysia, Canada, Africa and the UK.
The IES Coalition held a three month global public consultation to ensure that the final version is high quality, understood and accepted by all participating organisations, practitioners and their clients.

By Marc Philips