Eco Vida Homes Ethical Code of Practice

Eco Vida Homes is a “company of Chartered Surveyors” by way of the fact the John Wolfendale is a qualified RICS member. We are also architects, technical architects, and a contractor. John still carries out valuations and building surveys to RICS standards as an independent professional. Eco Vida Homes is therefore regulated ethically by the RICS in London.

The point about the RICS ethical code is that it is clearly expressed in good English. In an industry, and in a country, which has recieved a very bad press regarding for ethical standards this is of enormous comfort.

It also matches the personal values of everyone in our team whether they be a Chartered Surveyor or not. Eco Vida Homes comprises many professionals each of whom is regulated by its professional body. Architects in Spain for example are regulated by their local college.

The following text is quoted directly from the RICS code of practice:

“Behaving ethically is at the heart of what it means to be a professional; it distinguishes professionals from others in the marketplace.

We’ve created a clear and streamlined set of professional and ethical standards to guide our members and ensure that all those we deal with have confidence in us.

There are five standards
All members must demonstrate that they:
1. Act with integrity
2. Always provide a high standard of service
3. Act in a way that promotes trust in the profession
4. Treat others with respect
5. Take responsibility

Act with Integrity
Be honest and straightforward in all that you do. This is one of our five professional and ethical standards. This standard includes, but is not limited to, the following behaviours or actions:
• Being trustworthy in all that you do.
• Being open and transparent in the way you work. Sharing appropriate and necessary information with your clients and/or others to conduct business and doing so in a way so they can understand that information.
• Respecting confidential information of your clients and potential clients. Don’t divulge information to others unless it is appropriate to do so.
• Not taking advantage of a client, a colleague, a third party or anyone to whom you owe a duty of care.
• Not allowing bias, conflict of interest or the undue influence of others to override your professional or business judgements and obligations.
• Making clear to all interested parties where a conflict of interest, or even a potential conflict of interest, arises between you or your employer and your client.
• Not offering or accepting gifts, hospitality or services, which might suggest an improper obligation.
• Acting consistently in the public interest when it comes to making decisions or providing advice.

High Standard of Service
Always provide a high standard of service
Always ensure your client, or others to whom you have a professional responsibility, receive the best possible advice, support or performance of the terms of engagement you have agreed to. This is one of our five professional and ethical standards. This standard includes, but is not limited to, the following behaviours or actions:
• Be clear about what service your client wants and the service you are providing.
• Act within your scope of competence. If it appears that services are required outside that scope then be prepared to do something about it, for example, make it known to your client, obtain expert input or consultation, or if it’s the case that you are unable to meet the service requirements, explain that you are not best placed to act for the client.
• Be transparent about fees and any other costs or payments such as referral fees or commissions.
• Communicate with your client in a way that will allow them to make informed decisions
• If you use the services of others then ensure that you pay for those services within the timescale agreed.
• Encourage your firm or the organisation you work for to put the fair treatment of clients at the centre of its business culture.

Act in a Way that Promotes Trust in the PProfession
Act in a manner, both in your professional life and private life, to promote you, your firm or the organisation you work for in a professional and positive way. This is one of our five professional and ethical standards. This standard includes, but is not limited to, the following behaviours or actions:
• Promoting what you and the profession stand for – the highest standards globally
• Understanding that being a professional is more than just about how you behave at work; it’s also about how you behave in your private life
• Understanding how your actions affect others and the environment and, if appropriate, questioning or amending that behaviour
• Fulfilling your obligations. Doing what you say you will
• Always trying to meet the spirit of your professional standards and not just the letter of the standards Some of the key questions that you could ask

Treat Others with Respect
Treat everyone with courtesy, politeness and respect and consider cultural sensitivities and business practices. This standard includes, but is not limited to, the following behaviours or actions:
• Always being courteous, polite and considerate to clients, potential clients and everyone else you come into contact with.
• Never discriminate against anyone for whatever reason. Always ensure that issues of race, gender, sexual orientation, age, size, religion, country of origin or disability have no place in the way you deal with other people or do business.
• As much as you are able, encourage the firm or organisation you work for to put the fair and respectful treatment of clients at the centre of its business culture.

Take Responsibility
Be accountable for all your actions – don’t blame others if things go wrong, and if you suspect something isn’t right, be prepared to take action. This standard includes, but is not limited to the following behaviours or actions:
• Always act with skill, care and diligence.
• If someone makes a complaint about something that you have done, then respond in an appropriate and professional manner and aim to resolve the matter to the satisfaction of the complainant as far as you can.
• If you think something is not right, be prepared to question it and raise the matter as appropriate with your colleagues, within your firm or the organisation that you work for, with RICS or with any other appropriate body or organisation.

Author: Eco Vida Homes is a team of Architects, Technical Architects, Builders, an Engineer, and a Chartered Surveyor. We help people design and build beautiful energy efficient homes designed for Mediterranean living in Marbella and Southern Spain. There are two things that make us stand out: a sharp focus on our clients’ needs and every we do is comfortable and energy efficiency. It’s like Grand Designs only without the drama.