What are the Functions of a Consultant Quantity Surveyor?
Author: Bill Wynn
One of the professions that Project Resource specialises in supplying to employers are Quantity Surveyors. We always have jobs for Quantity Surveyors and Senior Quantity Surveyors. Quantity Surveyors can work in contract Quantity Surveyor jobs or permanent Quantity Surveyor jobs. Quantity Surveying is a high demand, low supply profession in the UK, meaning it's a great career to get into if you want to be in demand, receive good pay and have lots of job options.
So what are the functions of a consultant quantity surveyor?
- Traditionally referred to as a Contractors Quantity Surveyor (QS), Professional Quantity Surveyor (PQS) or Private Practice Quantity Surveyor (PQS) they are broadly concerned with contracts, measurement and costs on construction projects. The methods employed, however, cover a range of activities which may include cost planning, value engineering, value management, feasibility studies, cost benefit analysis, life-cycle costing, tendering, valuation, change control, dispute resolution, claims management, project management and cost estimation.
- The QS's traditional independent role on the team comprising of client, architect, engineer, PQS and contractor has given them a reputation and appreciation for fairness. This, combined with their expertise in the drafting and interpretation of contract documents, enables them to settle issues, value the works fairly and regularly, project final costs, avoid disputes and ensure the effective progress of a project.
- QS’s control construction costs by accurate measurement of the work required on a regular basis, the application of expert knowledge of costs and prices of work, labour, materials and plant required, an understanding of the implications of design decisions at an early stage to ensure that good value is obtained for the money to be expended.
- The technique of measuring quantities from drawings, sketches and specifications prepared by designers, principally architects and engineers, in order to prepare tender/ contract documents, is known in the industry as taking off. The quantities of work taken off are typically used to prepare bills of quantities (BoQ), which are usually prepared in accordance with a published Standard Method of Measurement (SMM) as agreed on by the QS profession and representatives of the construction industry. This activity is usually completed before the commencement of work on site on a traditional (BoQ) project, the Contractor will then price this document in a competitive tender and be paid according to a measure undertaken on site and applied to each specific work item.
- The benchmark for quality for a Private Practice Surveyor is the RICS's Chartered Membership MRICS & FRICS. The RICS also has the entry-level non Chartered Membership AssocRICS. AssocRICS acts as a qualification in its own right, however, it also offers a progressive route to Chartered RICS membership for able and willing candidates.
- A number of surveyors who work with Contractors will not hold formal qualifications or RICS membership as in the past project based training was more widely undertaken and considered sufficient, this is slowly changing. Many of these surveyors will hold Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) membership instead.
- QS’s are prevalent in many industries (not just construction) as they are procurement and contract specialists with the ability to adapt techniques to suit the form of contract or work being undertaken.
For those currently looking for a job as a QS, there could not be a better time. The sector is growing, and there are plenty of opportunities available. Check out our top QS jobs, or call our teams around the UK to talk over your job search or job vacancy requirements.