Valuers conflicts of interest and ethics

The Valuers Registration Board (VRB), New Zealand Institute of Valuers (NZIV) Professional Practice Committee, and Land Professional Mutual Society (LPMS) have recently been dealing with many complaints involving conflicts of interest and the proper management of these. It is essential that we deal with this to maintain the credibility of our profession.

Whilst most Valuers would be confident of identifying a conflict of interest, the task is more difficult when it may be a potential conflict, or the possibility of a conflict arising. Identifying a conflict of interest may seem common sense to Valuers, but the question still remains:

If a conflict of interest is easily identified, why are there still a number of complaints received about this?

In New Zealand, there are at least 20 Statutes that contain a reference to this issue. For Valuers, the term “conflicts of interest” is referred to under:

  • NZIV Code of Ethics,
  • The International Valuation Standards (IVS), and
  • The Property Institute of New Zealand (PINZ) Rules of Conduct.

The “ethics” of an individual is also important in identifying a potential conflict of interest. Ethics is the thought process that guides us “to do the right thing”. Studies have found that age and education can reflect the moral development of individuals. Interestingly (or commonly known), the older the respondent the higher the level of disapproval expressed for various scenarios. The longer the respondent has been practising, the less tolerant that person’s response is to examples of fraud, coercion, and influence dealing.

Valuers must adhere to high ethical and quality standards. This is based on the nature of the profession and the legal and ethical requirements which it imposes…

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