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Self-regulation of Land Sector Professionals - Institution of Surveyors of Kenya (ISK)


The land and property sector have been infiltrated by unqualified persons, creating a bad image for the professionals, and loss of property and money by unsuspecting members of the public through dubious and illegal land property deals.

The regulatory boards – Land Surveyors Board (LSB), Valuers Registration Board (VRB) and Estate Agents Registration Board (EARB) under the Ministry of Lands and Physical Planning, have not been able to regulate the sector and the professionals they license. ISK through its disciplinary mechanism, has been trying to address the existing gaps, but due to inadequate legal mandate, it has not been able to do so effectively.

ISK’s position has been that the government has failed in exercising their mandate to regulate the professions as demonstrated by:

  • The inability to ensure that all practicing professionals are licensed, thereby leaving unsuspecting members of the public to engage land professionals who are not suitably qualified. For instance, it is estimated that Estate Agency has over 40,000 persons who engage in the practice illegally and EARB has been unable to address this challenge;
  • The failure to enforce disciplinary action on the professionals under the stated practice guidelines e.g. there is no evidence that any rogue professionals have been deregistered by the three boards i.e. LSB, VRB and EARB over the last 5 years.

ISK with support from the Business Advocacy Fund has advocated for both self-regulation and government regulation of the sector. ISK has undertaken the following projects:

  • In 2012: ISK Statute Bill to provide for self-regulation of the four ISK chapters;
  • In 2013: Land Administration and Management Surveyors (LAMS) Bill to lobby for self-regulation of the LAMS chapter;
  • In 2014: the enactment of the ISK Statute;
  • In 2014: review of the Surveyors Act and incorporate other disciplines in the law;
  • In 2016: review of the Valuers Act and enhance the role of the Valuer’s Registration Board, and provide for co-regulation of the sector;
  • In 2016: review the Estate Agents Act and enhance the role of the Estate Agents Registration Board and provide for co-regulation of the sector.

ISK was successful in reviewing and developing draft Bills ready to be introduced to Parliament. The ISK Statute was presented to the 11th Parliament as a private members Bill. However, the parliament’s term lapsed before the ISK Statute could be introduced for discussion.

In 2018, ISK presented the various Bills to the National Assembly Committee for Lands seeking to obtain their buy-in on the proposed Bills. However, the Committee requested ISK to re-think their proposals and introduce one Bill with provisions to enhance existing self-regulation measures.

ISK Council held a consultative meeting to explore the possibility of achieving absolute self-regulation by ISK. The ISK council agreed to conduct research demonstrate and justify self-regulation for the Land Sector professionals. The recommendation from the research would inform review of the ISK Statute Bill, before its presentation to the Departmental Committee of Lands in the National Assembly for adoption and re-introduction to the house for debate.

ISK seeks to borrow from both local and global best practice, further exploring the examples of self-regulation of accountants in Kenya, surveyors in the UK and land surveyors in Alberta, Canada among others.

ISK seeks BAF support to conduct an in-depth research on self-regulation of Land Sector Professionals globally to inform the review and update of the ISK Statute, to provide for complete self-regulation of land sector professions.


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