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Designated Professional Body scheme

The RICS Designated Professional Body (DPB) scheme was approved by HM Treasury. It enables us to regulate our members for general insurance mediation activities, on behalf of the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

Applications 

If you wish to be licensed through the DPB scheme then you will need to first complete the online Firms Registration, and then DPB Registration. Both registrations are on our Firms Portal.

Licensing

Once your application has been submitted, a caseworker will review your response to the questions. When the application has been approved an invoice will be issued for the application fee. When this has been paid a licence will be issued to you. You cannot rely on the licence until the fees have been paid.

If you wish to join the DPB Scheme and are currently directly authorised by the FCA then you should not begin the FCA cancellation process.

Instead, please complete the online DPB application, which we will consider and, if successful, provide you with an 'in principle' decision that a DPB licence may be granted. You should then begin the cancellation process with the FCA and report to us immediately once this has been fully completed.

Please note that the 'in principle' decision will be kept under review and a licence issued subject to continuing eligibility.

What does this mean for your firm?

If your firm engages in or is planning to undertake general insurance mediation work then this information is important to you. This is likely to be the case if, for example, your firm helps clients to complete insurance documentation or offers clients insurance advice or services.

If you do general insurance mediation work you must be authorised by us, the FCA or be an appointed representative, your firm may be eligible for our DPB scheme.

To be eligible, any general insurance activities that the firm carries out must be incidental to the provision of surveying services to individual clients. 

All regulate firms who hold clients' money pay a regulatory review fee on an annual basis.

You can view the DPB rules and guidance below.

Changes to DPB rules

There have been a number of small changes to the DPB rules that you may need to be aware of if your firm is part of the DPB scheme.

The changes were agreed with the FCA and reflected ongoing discussions with the FCA with regard to RICS' 2007 Rules of Conduct of business for firms and changes in Professional Indemnity Insurance (PII) requirements under the Insurance Mediation Directive (IMD).

The main changes are:

  • The revised DPB rules now fit with the Rules of Conduct of business for firms regulated by us. This is good news because it means that the DPB rules are as customised as is possible for how firms comply with our general Rules of Conduct.
  • Any firm regulated by us can make an application to join the DPB scheme - previously at least 50% of the principals of the firm had to be RICS members in order for the firm to qualify to use the DPB scheme.
  • From 1 March 2009 the IMD PII requirements increased to €1,120,200 for each and every claim and at least €1,680,300 in the annual aggregate. The requirement to hold the higher level of cover only applied when the policy was taken out, renewed, or extended on or after 1 March 2009. So firms were not expected to obtain top-up cover in preparation for 1 March 2009 in order to be compliant with the rules on that date.