Sean Tompkins, Chief Executive RICS

Fancy building the 2022 world cup stadium in Qatar? Or advising the Bank of England on subsidies for first time buyers? Perhaps being part of the Disaster Emergency Committee tasked with rebuilding Haiti following the earthquake?  Or working with the United Nations to ensure global food security?

The scale of these world challenges mean we need the brightest and the best to work in the UK and overseas and to do that means tapping into talent from diverse backgrounds and skillsets across the full breadth of the UK workforce. 

As the CEO of the world’s largest professional body, which sets and enforces standards across land, property, infrastructure and construction, Sean is passionate about diversity in all its forms. He is launching ‘Surveying the Future’, a new campaign to attract more talent to this rapidly changing industry.

“Organisations within the industry recognise that greater diversity of thought is likely to be their biggest business advantage in the future.  One of the problems is that influencers, such as teachers, parents and careers advisors are not aware of the broad range of surveying careers.”

President of RICS, Louise Brooke-Smith, firmly believes that one of the greatest challenges is the leadership deficit, particularly in a number of areas where skills and collaborative leadership styles excel:

 “Encouraging people to do better and achieve more can be helped significantly by making success visible, and that’s relevant across all career paths. Our campaign will really drive through change in this area and highlight a broad diversity of talented professionals who are shaping the world we live in.”

 Find your profession in the industry, visit: and follow us on Twitter: #SurveyingtheFuture

Case Study:

Name: Rebecca Spokes
Employer: Stiles Harold Williams LLP
Role: Graduate Surveyor
Age: 26

My route into surveying hasn’t been what you’d call a direct one. I originally attained an English Degree at Sussex University followed by a Masters Degree in History. With a view to entering a technically challenging career, I first started work in the Local Taxation department of a local Council.

I first came into contact with the surveying profession when I moved to the Commercial Property department of the same local authority. As part of my role I would be in day to day contact with surveyors and other property experts. It was as a result of this experience that I started to consider a career in surveying. Based on the recommendation of a consultant surveyor while working for the Council, I contacted Stiles Harold Williams about its graduate scheme – which luckily I secured a place on.

Since joining the scheme I’ve never looked back. As well as working full time in an industry I’m really passionate about, I’m also working towards completing a conversion course in Real Estate Surveying whilst also looking to achieve fully chartered status in the next two years.

Day to day my role consists of providing commercial sales, lettings and marketing advice to clients and meeting with potential purchasers or tenants. Every day is different and you never know what it may bring when you come into the office in the morning – I could meet anyone, from someone looking for a space to start their first business, to someone from a multi-million pound company looking to relocate to the local area.

If you have the right attitude and can handle challenges on a daily basis, this is the perfect career for you. Surveying offers a massive scope for learning new things and experiencing different people and places – particularly when becoming a RICS accredited surveyor which practically gives you a passport to work anywhere in the world.