The new requirements build on previous measures and have been introduced to provide a more robust assurance of quality from chartered surveyors to FISA members. The list of requirements for the panel of valuers now includes:
· A requirement to have a written Quality Assurance (QA) Policy and the provision of auditing evidence against this. The QA should cover all head office and administrative procedures of the firm, including how work is assigned and also the preparation of individual valuation reports.
· A minimum of 5% of FISA valuations are to be audited quarterly with the requirement to provide an annual certificate of compliance.
· All valuations to be carried out by FRICS or MRICS surveyors only, in accordance with the RICS Red Book.
· Firms’ area of coverage will be limited to the geographical spread of those locations where the surveyor’s expertise is most relevant. Valuations will only be permitted in those postcodes for which an office or home-based surveyor has been approved by FISA. The basis of approval will normally be that the postcodes are within a strict 15-mile radius of the individual office, or for home-based surveyors their designated base.
· Professional indemnity cover must be maintained in accordance with RICS regulations.
Improvements and updates have been made to FISA’s existing valuation forms – both the Mortgage Valuation Report and the External Valuation Report for Mortgage Purposes have been revised. To accompany these changes, FISA has issued Valuation Guidance Notes providing information on common criteria and lender expectation, clearer statements on the comparables used in assessing the property’s value and delivery of transparent evidence used to arrive at a value.
The requirements must be met by both existing FISAVal members, who are required to reapply, and prospective new firms. The FISAVal panel of surveyors remains the definitive list of lender-approved firms for use by the broker members of FISA.
John Parker, Chief Executive of FISA, commented: “The provision of these new requirements for surveyors’ who wish to join FISAVal, the changes to our valuation forms and the accompanying Guidance Notes are all designed to improve the quality of the valuations FISA members receive from our panel members. The nature of today’s housing market means there has never been a greater need for valuations to be conducted by competent and experienced surveyors. These new requirements will ensure FISA’s valuation processes and systems are fit for purpose now and in the future while providing a greater degree of interaction and information for our surveyor firms.
“This has been a hugely important stand of work for both FISA and our members and we are already greatly encouraged by the response from a number of existing FISAVal members who took part in a recent pilot project. Both our revamped forms and the new Guidance Notes are now available from the FISA website and our broker and lenders are able to use our online search facilities to find out which surveyors are on panel and able to carry out valuations in a particular area or postcode. We look forward to working with the surveying industry to ensure the continued quality of valuations for our members.”
Chris Rispin, Technical Director at Allied Surveyors, said: “These new requirements stem from a process which began in December last year when FISA representatives met with a number of surveyor firms to discuss a series of changes which were felt necessary for the future of FISAVal. Following these discussions a pilot study was initiated and Allied Surveyors was pleased to put itself forward to take part. The changes that have been made and the requirements as outlined today are a boost to standards particularly at a time when quality valuations have never been more necessary. We are sure these changes will usher in a new level of continuous dialogue between surveying firms and FISA and we look forward to remaining an integral panel member of FISAVal.”
For further information on FISA itself and the new acceptance and application requirements for FISAVal, firms should visit: www.fisa.co.uk