Last edited 21 Sep 2016

Quantity surveyor


[edit] Role

Quantity surveyors (sometimes referred to as cost consultants or commercial managers) provide expert advice on construction costs. They help to ensure that proposed projects are affordable and offer good value for money, helping the client and the design team assess and compare different options, and then track variations, ensuring that costs remain under control as the project progresses. Quantity surveyors can specialise in a specific aspect of construction costs, or in a particular type of construction.

Tasks will vary depending on the nature of the project, but they might include:

[edit] Qualification

To become a Chartered Quantity Surveyor a degree or professional qualification accredited by the Royal Institution for Chartered Surveyors (RICS) is generally required, or trainees can study part-time whilst working in a technician role. Chartered Quantity Surveyor's must pass an Assessment of Professional Competence (APC) and become a member of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors. See Routes to membership.

The RICS 'Black Book' provides a set of standards by which RICS members should operate.

The RICS provide a finder service to help find quantity surveyors appropriate for different types of work.

NB Whilst cost consultants on construction projects are generally quantity surveyors by profession, accountants and other professionals can also prove effective.

To see some of the modules studied as part of quantity surveying degree courses, see Commercial management and quantity surveying course essentials.

[edit] Cost planning

Cost plans evolve through the life of the project, developing in detail and accuracy as more information becomes available about the nature of the design, and then actual prices are provided by contractors and suppliers:

Initial cost appraisals (studies of options prepared during the feasibility study stage).

Other than initial cost appraisals, these all relate to the construction cost of a project (rather than wider project costs that the client might incur, which could include; fees, equipment costs, furniture, the cost of moving staff, contracts outside of the main works and so on). It is important therefore that the client makes clear what costs should be monitored by the quantity surveyor and what will remain within the control of the client organisation.

Quantity surveyors rely on services such as Building Cost Information Service to help them determine accurate costs, and increasingly project information is generated from Building Information Modelling (BIM).

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