The College of Fellows, the membership body to which NAEA and ARLA luminaries are elected in recognition of their achievements in the sector, is set to be disbanded.
Although the move is still officially in consultation, a letter from the College of Fellows’ chairman Ian Potter to members, seen by EYE, said Propertymark “appear to have made their minds up about the proposal”.
The letter said: “For those of you in attendance at the College AGM you will recall that Chris Hamer, chairman of the Propertymark board, outlined that future of the College was being considered by the board with a view to it being disbanded.
“Many of us are very concerned about the loss of this honour to be a part of the College so in accordance with the last AGM it was agreed that as your chairman, I would with Geoffrey Ashworth (a former College chairman), arrange to meet with Chris Hamer and Mark Hayward, chief executive of NAEA Propertymark.
“An initial brief meeting has been held with a further audio meeting recently.
“Those meetings were largely to understand the thinking behind the proposals and it is disappointing to report that they and the boards do appear to have made their minds up about the proposal.”
“You might not be surprised to learn that quite a few members of the College have expressed their considerable concern about the College being disbanded.”
Potter said in his letter that Propertymark was proposing to introduce a new grade of membership, currently called ‘Emeritus’, however he relayed concerns from some members that it was an “inappropriate term” because it “does not illustrate the level of honour bestowed upon them by the College”.
There may be some membership benefits to holding the ‘Emeritus’ title but they have not yet been approved by Propertymark’s board, he continued.
Potter appeared to hold out some hope that the College could continue in its current form with an increased level of participation from members and is asking them to undertake a survey to see what skills and interests members can offer to the Propertymark board.
When asked by EYE for further comment he said: “It would be inappropriate to comment whilst it is still a consultation.”
A Propertymark spokesperson said: “As Propertymark continues to adapt to reflect the needs of members, we are reviewing the current formation of the College of Fellows.
“Whilst this will only impact fewer than 100 of our 17,000 members we think it’s important to consider its role. We intend to update on progress later in the year.”