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

Name: Richard Coventry

Age: 31

Location: Liverpool

Employer: Peel Ports Group

Role: Principal Surveyor for Peel Ports Group

My father is involved in property development, so my interest in the built environment formed at an early age. Given this ingrained interest in the industry, I secured a place at De Montfort University in Leicester and started a degree in Business Property Management. Enrolling on a vocational degree was a priority as it would equip me with the right skills to increases my chances of employment after graduation.

Having completed my degree, I took my first job in Manchester, where I secured an Asset Management role for a large commercial Landlord.  Whilst there I also completed my RICS Assessment of Professional Competence qualification – the successful completion of which saw me become a chartered surveyor. After one year in Manchester, I moved to Liverpool to help grow the regional business, where I was later offered an opportunity with Peel Ports Group.

As a Principal Surveyor, my role is to manage local freehold and leasehold property assets, together with cost mitigation for Ports across the UK and Ireland.

The role itself is diverse and sees me drawing on multiple skills and knowledge not traditionally associated with surveying.  For instance, the impact of our customers wider commercial requirements, particularly as regards shipping and logistics, need to be considered when developing heads of terms and drafting lease contracts. 

An ongoing project I’m proud to be involved with is the Liverpool2 Deep Water Container Terminal, which as a UK central Gateway will significantly increase vessel handling capabilities and container capacity within the Port of Liverpool, in turn will accelerate economic recovery in the region, boosting the local shipping industry and wider property industry.

Based on the experience I’ve had so far, I would certainly encourage people to join the surveying industry. For me, gaining early experience across multiple sectors of the industry was key to my success. With that in mind, I would say take on as much work experience as you can and learn as much as you can whilst on placement.