The Institution of Surveyors of Kenya was inaugurated by 44 founding members on 17th April 1969 and subsequently registered on 12th August 1969 as a body corporate under the Societies Act. The ISK logo was registered on 20th December 1969 as a “Coat of Arms” or “Grant of Arms” under the College of Arms Act. The logo contains the motto ‘kupima na kukadiria’ (to measure and estimate).
The earlier years were used to set the tone and the foundation of what the institution is today. Therefore, the Council members carried out nationwide sensitization meetings involving the public and the industry professionals. Members lobbied surveyors to join the institution which provided a platform to raise concerns and uplift the profession.
In 1988, ISK opened its first office at 5th-floor Uniafric House – room 514, Koinange Street where the unbundling of carton that contained ISK information was done. The carton was handed over from one official to another after every election as there was no office where such documents could be kept. Thereafter training seminars and other services/events aimed at horning the skills of the members were introduced.
From inception to mid-1980s qualification to join ISK was upon graduation with a Bachelor’s Degree in Arts/ Science and a presentation to be promoted to full membership. It was also then that the Valuers Ac Cap 533 and Estate Agents Act Cap 533 were enacted (1987).
In 1990 advocacy on ISK picked momentum such that no media house worth its name would pen a piece in either print or electronic media without consulting the Institution and so was the case with Government and its agencies when it came to developing policies that touched on land issues. Recognition of ISK was not only felt locally but also globally such that ten years later our professional relationship thawed to our advantage. It is also then that ISK Professional Exams were enhanced where upon success, one was promoted to full membership.
It is also then visitors of good stature came knocking for example the President of the International Federation of Surveyors (FIG), Mr. Earl James visited ISK and signed the visitor’s book at ISK Secretariat which had then been moved to 1st floor of Ismail Rahimtulla Building along Mfangano Street. ISK Chairman then Mr. Cyprian Kirera Riungu who was appointed and serving as the regional president of the Commonwealth Association of Surveying and Land Economy and also a member of Commission 9 and 2 of the International Federation of Surveyors (FIG) was the convener of commission 9.
In 2001 ISK held the International Conference on Spatial Information in partnership with the International Federation of Surveying (FIG), ISK and UN-Habitat for the first time in Africa.
ISK Council in partnership with all regulatory bodies adopted an aggressive national outreach strategy to Provincial Administrators and other key land stakeholders in all the 8 provinces of Kenya.
In 2004, ISK launched Coast Branch graced by then Minister for Local Government Hon. Karisa Maitha so as to popularizing its activities through strategic outreach and bringing services closer members as well as lobbying relevant government ministries, organized luncheons, dinners and public fora to help get the surveying professionals and creating awareness of national land policies.
ISK was engaged and extensively consulted in the drafting of the National Land Policy that culminated with the enactment of the Sessional Paper No. 3 of 2009 on National Land Policy for Kenya. ISK Lobbied for Valuers to recognition as the only experts mandated to value property in Kenya but this led to ISK suing Automobile Association of Kenya (AA) Kenya.
The Council also created a very active disciplinary committee that sought to safeguard ethics and integrity in practice to the extent of the Gazetting of disciplinary actions taken by the Committee.
In the 2010s ISK membership overhauled its Constitution to address various shortcomings including creating a Secretariat which never existed in the amended constitution. Under the chairmanship of Paul Wambua upon attending FIG Annual General Meeting in 2015, he created contact with Netherlands Kadaster which culminated into partnering into training in 2018 on fit for purpose on Registry and Mapping Agency that collects and registers administrative and spatial data on property and the rights involved.
Upon completion of the training, the ISK and Netherlands Kadaster International signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which still stands.
The Western ISK Branch which had been approved in the year 2013 was opened in 2016 during the tenure of Stephen Odongo Ambani to afford ISK Members operating in the western region closer services and also lobby organizations and regional Governments for recognition of ISK.