AREF has a unique Code of Practice, widely recognised as the gold standard in corporate governance. 

Fund Member Compliance

It is a requirement for all Fund Members of AREF to confirm annually their compliance with the AREF Code of Practice.  The Funds' level of compliance with the Code is then recorded on a matrix each year (click here to view) and allows funds to display our Quality Mark.  With investors in real estate fund increasingly looking at governance, the matrix and Quality Mark makes it easier for investors and their advisers to discern funds' commitment to good governance.

Current Code of Practice 2021

Click here to view the Online version of the Code of Practice 2021

Click here for a printable PDF version of the Code of Practice 2021

Online Self Certification Process - 2021 Code *now open*

  • All answers/comments/evidence from your last self certification have been copied over.
  • Once the 2021 process has been completed, you will receive your 2021 Quality Mark and the new 2021 matrix page displaying the results will be published.
  • Please ENTER the platform by clicking the blue button below or this link: Self Certification Online Platform (members will need to be logged in, you can re-set your password here).
  • INSTRUCTIONS - Please read the Instructions and Notes for Users web page for full information, before entering the platform.
  • Deadline for the 2021 process is Thursday 30th September 2021.

Key Principles

The Code of Practice has three key principles that capture the spirit of the Code of Practice.  These are:


Managers of AREF member funds are expected to act in the best interests of all investors and provide transparent and timely information to them: 

  • Reporting should be timely and accurate and including relevant up to date information and analysis.
  • Managers should maintain an open dialogue with investors including communication over decision making processes, the use of independent third parties for valuations and secondary market transactions, the appropriate use of financial instruments including risk monitoring, and transparency over insurance and service charges.
  • Appropriate policies should be in place that address potential risk and conflicts and these should be disclosed to investors where they may affect the integrity of the fund.
  • The fund should demonstrate a proactive attitude towards improving ESG initiatives. In achieving best practice, annual reviews should be conducted and disseminated to investors.



Managers of AREF member funds have operational policies and procedures which ensure that they are accountable for their actions and demonstrate an alignment of interest between the manager and investors. This includes:

  • The setting of performance objectives, fund benchmarks and performance calculations, internal investment committees including management structure and accountability, clarity over calculation and timeliness of distributions, transparency in reporting of fees and expenses, adequate procedures for provision of unit pricing and dealing in subscriptions and redemptions, collection and reporting of fund flows and other relevant data.


Operational Integrity

Managers are expected to provide clear transparent and unambiguous documentation about the governance and structure of AREF member funds. This includes:

  • Fund structure, fund objectives and strategy, governance matters such as fund oversight by committee, details surrounding the appointment, obligations and termination of the manager, how and when the fund will end its life, liquidity provisions and investor protection policies such as confidentiality and disaster recovery.  
  • Managers should demonstrate integrity and ensure that investors will be treated fairly in all circumstances.



Review process

Each year approximiately 12 AREF Funds are selected at random for an audit.  This ensures managers are completing the Self Certification process correctly and are running the Fund within the spirit of the AREF Code of Practice.

The Reviewer/s carrying out the audit will be drawn from a panel of AREF Affiliate Members and will be appointed for a two-year term. All Reviewer/s agree to a confidentiality clause (click here to view). Funds will be selected for review for a maximum of once every three years.

AREF will retain oversight of the review process and communication with the selected Funds will be with AREF alone, except at the interview between the Reviewer and the Fund Member. We have created a guidance document with more information.


If you are an investor, have concerns about the compliance with the Code of an AREF member fund in which you invest, and have not been able to reach a satisfactory resolution with the manager, please email AREF on

Related pages:

Historic Self Certification Matrices

To confirm compliance with the Code of Practice, all AREF funds need to complete our self-certification process. Read more..

The AREF Quality Mark

AREF fund members must confirm their compliance with our Code of Practice in order to obtain our Quality Mark.

Self Certification Process - Notes for Users

We have now moved our annual Self Certification Process online. Click here to read about the Process and view Instructions.



Neither AREF or its group shall have any liability for any losses, including but not limited to damages, pure economic losses, fines, penalties, costs, claims, liabilities, loss of income, charges, demands, obligations,  information, opportunity, goodwill or reputation, and/or expenses of any kind (including professional advisors’ costs, legal costs and disbursements) of whatever nature howsoever caused, suffered or made against a defaulting member arising out of or in any way related to as a result of investigation into the member fund’s compliance to the code, and/or any action taken against the member fund (including but not limited to private or public letters of censure or suspension from membership) as a result thereof.