The professional principles regulate the behaviour of HypZert certified valuers in their relations with clients, interested parties, employees, candidates, suppliers, associations and the public. The professional principles for HypZert valuers are in line with the International Ethics Standards of the International Ethics Standards Coalition.
HypZert valuers undertake to follow these principles. They sign a separate agreement stating that they will submit to the certification body’s arbitration court in case of dispute.
The following principles of professional conduct are considered to be of equal importance. If two or more principles come into conflict during an assignment, the certified valuer should give priority to the principle that best serves the public interest in the context of the specific circumstances. Adherence to the Professional Principles serves to,
- provide clients with a reliable service
- maintain appropriate standards of ethical conduct in the practice of the profession,
- uphold the reputation of the profession of certified valuers.
Certified valuers can also be in permanent employment. Valuers working in valuation departments in credit and insurance companies must also follow the professional principles in their relations with internal clients (e.g. credit department of a bank).
Valuers in permanent employment must be free to act independently in carrying out their professional activities, in particular the process of valuation. The employer’s power to give disciplinary instructions is not, of course, affected by these professional principles. This is also true for principles specific to the industry, such as banker’s discretion, compliance etc.
HypZert valuers always act in accordance with the professional principles.
Valuers must behave and carry out their work in such a way that the image of certified valuers and of the certification body is not damaged.
There should be no disparagement of certified valuers as a profession.
HypZert valuers shall promote an environment that is inclusive and open to enable people with varied abilities and identities to enter and thrive in their workplaces and in their respective professions.
HypZert valuers shall regularly reflect on the standards and best practice for their discipline and shall take steps to ensure that their practice is consistent with evolving ethical principles and professional standards.
Respect: HypZert valuers shall treat others with consideration; shall avoid diminishing any person’s capacity for freedom, privacy and independence; and shall recognize the importance of both engaging with others without discrimination or prejudice and sustaining their wellbeing and personal safety.
HypZert valuers are in a steady financial situation.
HypZert valuers commit to compiling appraisals to the best of their knowledge and belief and in accordance with any relevant national and international statutory regulations, ordinances and instructions that apply in relation to the particular client.
Competence and professionalism
HypZert valuers may accept only instructions for which they have the necessary skills, expertise and experience.
In particular, jobs may be accepted only if the valuer is familiar with the country-specific regulations (particularly those of a legal and technical nature) and the regional real estate market.
HypZert valuers must participate in regular further training, shall encourage employees to maintain and advance their professional skills through continuing professional development, must submit realistic quotations in terms of service provided, deadlines and costs, respect for the intellectual property rights of others and use such material only if the source is stated.
Responsibility, Objectivity, Neutrality
HypZert valuers are basically responsible for their own work and may not accept any restriction of their independence in carrying out their professional activities.
HypZert valuers must respect their employees’ obligation to carry out their professional activities independently.
Valuations are carried out objectively and to the best of the valuer's knowledge and belief.
Valuation approaches and results of analyses are presented comprehensibly and objectively.
HypZert valuers shall act with honesty, decency and fairness. They shall base their appraisals on relevant, relieable and supportable evidence.
HypZert valuers comply with data protection requirements and banker’s discretion (under public law and criminal law and in-company).
All internal procedures, information and data of which valuers become aware while carrying out their professional activities shall be treated confidentially.
The data shall only be used for the commissioned appraisal.
Documentation relating to the appraisal must not be passed on to third parties unless the client has given its written consent, e.g. as a framework agreement.
Lists of clients may be published, if the client agrees to this in writing.
Compliance guidelines of the credit and insurance industries are to be followed.
Conflicts of interest
HypZert valuers must avoid conflicts of interest. When going to carry out the actual valuation of a given property, they and their first-degree relatives must meet all of the following conditions at the time of the valuation:
- they are not involved in the loan application, assessment, decision or administration;
- they are not guided or influenced by the borrower’s creditworthiness;
- they do not have an actual or potential conflict of interest regarding the property in question,
- the valuation process and the result of the valuation;
- they do not have any direct or indirect interest in the property;
- they are not related to either the buyer or the seller of the property. In the case of conflicts
- of interest, the client must immediately be provided with all relevant facts in writing.
In the case of conflicts of interest, the client must immediately be provided with all relevant facts in writing.
In this case, the instructions may be carried out only after the client has been provided with a detailed written description of the conflict of interests, and has, in spite of this fact, insisted on the instructions being carried out, and has confirmed this in writing.
If a conflict of interests occurs while an appraisal is being carried out, the client must be informed immediately in writing and the valuer must offer to abort the appraisal.
Pricing and fees
Fees for valuations shall be calculated in such a way that they are in accordance with the type and scope of the work carried out and shall be agreed with the client before commencement of work.
The valuer's fee or salary and the outcome of the valuation must not be linked in a way that leads to a conflict of interest.
No consideration may be paid above and beyond the agreed fee.
Offers of employment
HypZert valuers shall neither directly nor indirectly offer employment at their company or at other companies to employees of their clients.
For reasons of maintaining objectivity, it is expected of HypZert valuers and their employees that they will not negotiate employment with clients while working with them.
It is expected of clients that they will not offer employment to employees of the HypZert valuer while they are working together.
Appraisals for several clients
HypZert valuers may not work on one property for several clients at the same time unless this has been expressly agreed to in writing by all clients.
Fair competition and professional advertising
To maintain independence and for reasons of fair competition, no unpaid services may be rendered in advance, with the exception of compiling and submitting quotations.
HypZert valuers shall carry out advertising in a professional way and present their qualifications only with reference to their skills and experience.
Obligation to keep records and documents, complaints
HypZert valuers must keep a record of all appraisals they have been commissioned to carry out. This record must clearly show the following:
- Name of client
- Date commissioned
- Subject matter of appraisal
- Either the date the appraisal was compiled or the reason why the appraisal was not carried out
- If applicable any complaints about the work of the valuer or the appraisal services provided.
Valuers must retain the following documents during the period of validity of the certification agreement and for at least one year after it has come to an end: Regardless of this, the retention period shall end at the end of the sixth calendar year after the year in which the records or documents were made:
- the above record of client and commission
- a complete copy of the written appraisal
- other written documents which are relevant to the valuer’s professional work
For valuers in permanent employment, it is sufficient if the employer ensures the retention of these documents. Valuers who are not employed by the client a re only permitted to retain documents if the valuers ensure that they can access these documents for the whole of the retention period and that they can actually be made available to the valuer within a reasonable time – within ten working days at the most.
Valuers must keep a record of all complaints made against them within the scope of the certificate issued.
Obligation to report to and inform certification body
HypZert valuers must provide comprehensive information to the certification body. Information must be provided within four weeks of the certification body requesting it. The certification body must be informed of changes to a current investigation at the latest seven days after the change has been made.
Monitoring and penalties
The certification body shall ensure that the professional principles are complied with.
The certification body is only obliged to investigate claims of breach of these professional principles if the claimant can provide proof.
If the professional principles are breached, the certification body should react by giving the necessary directions and implementing step-by-step penalties.
Obligation to notify
Certified valuers must inform HypZert immediately of the following:
- Change of office address
- Change of residence
- If they become a self-employed valuer
- If they conclude an employment contract
- If they lose the certificate
- The submission of a statutory declaration pursuant to §§ 802c, 807 ZPO (Civil Procedure Ordinance) and the issuing of an arrest warrant to compel the making of a statutory declaration pursuant to § 802g ZPO
- If they apply for insolvency proceedings for their assets or the assets of a trading company of which they are managing director or shareholder, such proceedings are commenced or insolvency proceedings are rejected because of insufficient assets
- Commencement of criminal investigation proceedings or final conviction for a crime or offence.