Business Irish

Sunday 26 March 2017

Auctioneers manage coup with surveyor tie-up move

SHANE ROSS

WHO wants to be a chartered surveyor? Auctioneers do.

A nice title, awarded by Royal Charter, no less.

Well, Ireland's auctioneers have pulled a coup.

The Irish Auctioneers and Valuers Institute wants to "marry up" -- what Ronald Reagan says said he did when he married the toffee-nosed Nancy.

So it proposed marriage to the upmarket Society of Chartered Surveyors. The Chartered Surveyors are willing to be wooed, but they were rightly sniffy about the lack of suitable qualifications from the auctioneers.

An auctioneer still needs no qualifications for a licence, just a few bob and a garda clearance. Some of those without any literacy or numeracy tests slipped into the noble Auctioneers Institute many years ago. In recent times, the institute has required exams.

But the unqualified old guard in the auctioneer's body are riding high. If the marriage goes through they can call themselves Chartered Surveyors. Once again they will escape the exam hurdle and gain a reputable title.

Seven hundred auctioneers from the institute will flood the ranks of Chartered Surveyors automatically. Watch out. They will dump the discredited "auctioneer" designation and call themselves the more upmarket "Chartered Surveyor".

Funnily enough, there was no matching desire from today's Chartered Surveyors to call themselves "auctioneers".

The two sides have cobbled up a paper outlining a way of "bridging the gap" between the qualifications of auctioneers and chartered surveyors. They include a "bridging mechanism" open to "senior professional" auctioneers. They will be put through an entire full-hour interview.

It revealed that members of the Auctioneers Institute with at least 10 years' experience are very likely to be in this category.

Reassuringly, the document states that the questions asked and the submissions "should not be difficult for an experienced professional".

Happy days are here again for Ireland's auctioneers.

Both bodies will vote on June 2. Auctioneers would be mad to vote 'No'. Chartered Surveyors would be bonkers to vote 'Yes'.

Sunday Independent

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