20+ Years Experience

Specialist Snagging

What is the Difference Between RPSA and RICS

Enquire Today For A Free No Obligation Quote

Buying a property is a significant investment, and it’s crucial to have a clear understanding of the property’s condition before making such a decision.

That’s where property surveys come in, and two professional organisations stand out in this field: the Residential Property Surveyors Association (RPSA) and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

But what is the difference between an RPSA surveyor and RICS, and how do you choose the right surveyor for your needs? This comprehensive guide will provide you with all the necessary information to make an informed choice.

Understanding RPSA and RICS

Both RPSA and RICS are professional organisations that provide accreditation and training for property surveyors in the UK. The RPSA is a not-for-profit representative body for independent residential surveyors in the residential property surveying industry.

On the other hand, RICS is an internationally renowned professional body that accredits surveyors and other property specialists, including those who perform valuation surveys.

While both organisations share similarities, their focus and services differ, with RPSA focusing on residential property surveying and RICS ensuring its members maintain strict professional standards and receive continuous training.

Residential Property Surveyors Association (RPSA)

The Residential Property Surveyors Association (RPSA) is a professional organisation dedicated to the residential property surveying sector, offering a variety of services and ongoing training to its members. RPSA surveyors offer a range of services for residential properties.

These include homebuyer reports, building surveys, and condition reports.

Their expertise allows them to identify potential issues, enabling homebuyers to make informed decisions during the property purchase process.

By offering ongoing training and support to its members, RPSA ensures that they stay abreast of the latest developments in the residential property surveying sector, including the importance of accurate mortgage valuation.

This commitment to continuous improvement guarantees that RPSA surveyors deliver high-quality service, thereby instilling confidence in both homebuyers and estate agents.

Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS)

RICS is a renowned global professional body that accredits surveyors and other property professionals, including those who perform structural surveys.

As a well-established organisation, RICS provides its members, including estate agents, with ongoing training and support, helping them stay up-to-date with the latest business developments and best practices.

One of the key benefits of choosing an RICS accredited surveyor is the assurance that they adhere to the highest standards of professional conduct.

This means that they provide their clients with accurate and reliable advice, ensuring peace of mind during the property buying process.

Types of House Surveys Offered by RPSA and RICS

RPSA and RICS both offer a range of house surveys designed to cater to various property types, ages, and conditions.

These surveys help prospective home buyers gain a clear understanding of the property’s condition, identify potential issues, and make an informed decision before committing to the purchase.

To ensure you choose the right survey for your needs, it’s essential to consider factors such as the property type, age, size, and any known defects.

RPSA Home Condition Survey

The RPSA Home Condition Survey is a comprehensive report and full inspection for all property types, presented in a consumer-friendly format.

This survey assesses building condition defects, structural movement, damp, rot and woodworm, heating, drains, and electrical services, alterations and additions, and includes a BCIS rebuilding cost.

Relevant information is provided to the conveyancer to take into account. These include broadband speed, damp assessment, and boundary issues.

One of the key distinctions between the Home Condition Survey and the RICS Homebuyer surveys is the presentation of the report.

Home Condition Survey reports are subject to an independent assessment to verify the quality, and they are designed to be user-friendly, featuring illustrations and numbered or colour-coded ratings for each component of the property.

The clear and concise condition report format makes it easy for homeowners to understand the findings.

RICS Home Survey Levels

RICS Home Survey Levels offer a range of options, varying in detail and analysis to meet the specific requirements of the property.

The RICS Home Survey Level 1 is the most basic and cost-effective survey option available for conventional properties in reasonable condition.

It utilises a traffic light rating system to identify areas that require attention, risks, potential legal issues ongoing maintenance, and urgent defects, but does not provide extensive detail nor a valuation.

At the other end of the spectrum, the RICS Home Survey Level 3 is the most comprehensive home survey offered by RICS, providing an in-depth analysis of the property’s condition.

This survey includes all the features of the RICS Home Survey Level 2, plus descriptions of potential or hidden defects in areas not inspected, the scope of remedial work, and recommendations for necessary repairs.

This survey is ideal for buildings with extensive size and age, or older properties, especially if they anticipate considerable repairs. It can offer a comprehensive assessment of the necessary actions.

Choosing the Right Surveyor: RPSA vs. RICS

When it comes to choosing the right surveyor for your property, it’s essential to understand the differences between an RPSA surveyor and RICS surveyors.

While both organisations offer a range of property survey services, their areas of expertise and the types of surveys they provide may vary.

To ensure you make the best decision for your property, consider factors such unusual properties such as the property type, age, size, and any known defects, and consult with a surveyor for a house survey to assess the property’s condition. Additionally, consult an estate agent before making your choice.

Factors to Consider

When selecting a surveyor for a valuation survey new build property, it is essential to take into account the type of property, age, size, and any known defects. Additionally, evaluate the surveyor’s qualifications, experience, reputation, and local expertise.

It is also crucial to verify that the surveyor is accredited by RICS or a member of RPSA. By considering these factors, you can make an informed decision and choose the right surveyor for your property.

Tips for Finding a Qualified Surveyor

To find a qualified surveyor, start by checking for RICS or RPSA membership, as this guarantees that the surveyor complies with rigorous standards of professional practice and receives continual training.

You can also seek recommendations from friends, family, or local estate agents, as they may have experience working with qualified surveyors in your area.

Lastly, consider using comparison websites to compare local surveyor costs and services, which can help you find the best surveyor for your needs.

Costs and Duration of RPSA and RICS Surveys

The costs and duration of RPSA and RICS surveys can vary depending on the type of survey and property characteristics.

House surveys typically range in cost from £300 to over £1,500, with the duration depending on the size of the property and the type of house survey chosen by prospective buyer.

It’s essential to factor in these costs and timeframes when planning your property purchase journey.

Survey Costs

Survey costs depend on the type of survey, the type of property, and its value. For example, a basic survey may cost around £300, while asking price for a more detailed survey could range between £1,000 and £1,500 or higher.

It’s essential to consider these costs when planning your property purchase and choose the right building survey for your needs, including property surveys, a snagging survey, and a structural survey.

Duration of Surveys

The duration of RPSA and RICS surveys depends on the size and type of the individual surveyor does, with reports typically taking up to 5 days for Level 1 or 2 surveys and up to 10 days for Level 3 surveys.

Keep in mind that the duration of a survey may also be influenced by the surveyor’s expertise and credentials.

It’s crucial to factor in these timeframes when planning your property purchase journey.

Benefits of Choosing an RPSA or RICS Surveyor

One of the primary benefits of choosing an RPSA or RICS surveyor is their expertise and experience in surveying residential properties.

By selecting a surveyor accredited by either organisation, you can be confident that they will adhere to professional standards and provide high-quality service.

This peace of mind can prove invaluable during the property buying process, as you can trust that the surveyor is qualified and will identify any potential issues with reasonable condition of the property.

Moreover, both RPSA and RICS surveyors offer a range of home surveys that can detect potential problems with a property, allowing you to make informed decisions during the property purchase process.

By understanding the differences between RPSA surveyors and RICS surveyors, you can choose the right surveyor for your needs and ensure that your property investment is well-informed and secure.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which is better RICS or RPSA?

Based on these facts, it is clear that RICS and RPSA have different strengths that can both benefit the surveying industry. Therefore, both should be taken into consideration for best results.

Is RPSA same as RICS?

No, RPSA and RICS are not the same. RPSA members specialise in residential property assessments, while RICS members can provide services in a wide variety of areas, including agriculture, quantity surveying and land and resources.

Ultimately, each organisation provides different services to the public, so it is important to understand the distinction between them.

What are the 3 types of house survey?

Having a thorough knowledge of the property you are considering to purchase is vital. In order to achieve this, there are three levels of survey available: the Full Building Survey (also known as Level 3 or ‘Full Structural’ building survey only), the HomeBuyer Survey (Level 2) and the Condition Survey (Level 1).

These surveys provide you with invaluable information that can help you your own research and make an informed decision.

Do all surveyors have to be RICS?

In summary, not all surveyors must be RICS chartered; however, having RICS registration demonstrates a certain level of professional standards and knowledge, which may make it more attractive for employers.

This can be beneficial for those looking to work in the surveying industry, as employers may be more likely to hire someone with RICS registration.

How do I choose the right type of survey for my property?

When selecting the right survey type for your property, ensure you have considered the necessary details such as its size, age, and type, and seek professional help from a qualified surveyor to guide you in making the best choice.

This is important to ensure that you are making the right decision for market value of your property and that you are not overlooking any important factors. A qualified surveyor can provide you with the expertise detailed information and advice you need to make the best choice.


In conclusion, both RPSA and RICS surveyors play a crucial role in providing property buyers with the information they need to make informed decisions.

By understanding the differences between these organisations and their respective survey offerings, you can choose the right surveyor and survey type for your property.

With the guidance of a qualified surveyor, you can be confident that your property investment is well-informed and secure, ensuring peace of mind throughout the property buying process.

Get In Touch With Our Team

We Aim To Reply To All Enquiries With-in 24-Hours