The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, the London-based property professional organisation, has notched up another overseas success, this time in Vietnam. The institution has signed an agreement with the Vietnamese government to raise standards in the country's construction and property sectors to international levels. This follows five years of similar work by the institution in China where growing numbers of surveyors and other property professionals study for qualifications awarded by the organisation. The body has gradually spread its tentacles around the world to become the leading international authority on professional standards in the building industry. With 125,000 members globally, the institution regulates the work of property professionals in 120 countries. 'Increasingly RICS qualifications are recognised by governments throughout the world as the 'Gold Standard' in property professionalism,' said Louis Armstrong, the institution's chief executive. 'Governments seeking to attract investment and seeking to run properly functioning market economies are turning to us and our members for advice.' Vietnamese finance ministry officials sought help from the institution ahead of their country's accession to the World Trade Organisation on December 28 this year. Under the agreement, Vietnamese valuers will receive training to meet the organisation's 'Red Book' valuation standards particularly in property asset valuation. After identifying the gap between current Vietnamese standards in valuation and levels accepted internationally, the British organisation will start training 40 senior Vietnamese valuers in their home country in the first quarter of next year, as the first step in a wider education programme. Once training in asset valuation is under way, the institution and the Vietnamese government want to extend education to other disciplines, such as project management and quantity surveying.