Last edited 11 Apr 2019

Construction industry institutes

Institutes (or institutions) are organisational bodies created for a specific purpose, such as research, education, or to represent professionals. A chartered institute is an institution that has been granted a Royal Charter. A Royal Charter is an instrument of incorporation which confers independent ‘legal personality’, reflecting the prestigious high status of that organisation. The terms of each Charter differ according to the specific institute. For more information see: Chartered institute.

In the UK construction industry there are a very wide variety of institutes specialising in almost every aspect of the planning, design, construction and operation of built assets. These include the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB), the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and so on.

Very broadly, an institute varies from an association in that an institute may prescribe a way of doing things, for example by a code of conduct, or by accrediting qualifications, whereas an association is a looser group of organisations that have similar aims.

A list of institutes involved in the construction industry can be found at:

This list includes nearly 300 institutes and associations. It has been argued that this is not in the best interests of the industry as it makes it difficult to present a single voice, it leaves government unable to communicate with the industry and as a result it leaves the industry weaker than it could be.

In an attempt to tackle this problem, the Construction Industry Council (CIC) was established in 1988 to provide ‘…a single voice for professionals in all sectors of the built environment’. It is a forum for professional bodies, research organisations and specialist business associations which CIC suggests gives it a ‘collective membership’ of 500,000 professionals. For more information see: Construction Industry Council.

The Construction Leadership Council (CLC) was established in 2013 to oversee implementation of Construction 2025: industrial strategy for construction. It is an industry / government council jointly chaired by the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and an industry representative (generally from business and not from an instutute). For more information see: Construction Leadership Council.

The beginnings of a list of US construction industry institutes is available at:

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