Level of Detail
This is linked to the previous issue of guidance alongside standards. The level of detail in the Red Book has grown significantly over the years. The brief for the team responsible for the 5th Edition in 2003 was to start with a blank sheet of paper and only carry forward what was deemed essential. This was published as a single volume of just over 200 pages. Material intended for global application accounted for 80 pages and UK specific material the remainder. We have now reached the situation where we have separate global and UK publications which together contain 450 pages. 150 of these pages are due to including the whole of the IVS in the Global standards, but even after allowing for this, there has still been an increase of 50% in the RICS content over the past 20 years.
Over this period there has been no significant increase in the number of mandatory requirements. The fundamental principles remain unchanged. Most of the increase has been additional explanatory text to deal with questions that have arisen in relation to the appropriate interpretation in specific circumstances . However, adding more and more application guidance to address every situation a member may encounter inevitably begats more queries and more detailed explanations which have narrower and narrower relevance. The result is an overlong and complicated document in which the key principles start to become obscured.
What do you think?
Should RICS look to simplify and reduce the length of the Red Book? If so what should be left out or moved to standalone guidance for specific types of valuation?