What is a Quantity Surveyor?

The construction industry is a dangerous environment. A lack of judgment or detail can have catastrophic results, from the health of the workforce or members of public, to the financial implications of parties involved.  So it is understandable why professionals in the construction industry prefer to give in-depth answers to questions or over the top explanations of certain items.

However, this can be problematic;

  • People may find it difficult to understand what is being explained and will, therefore, be turned off of working within the construction industry.
  • Certain individuals believe that a certain role or document is too complicated and will not attempt it themselves.

At Metroun Commercial Services, we like to make things simple. 

Simple for contractors and small businesses looking to implement or improve their own commercial processes.  Simple for students using this website as an educational source. And simple enough for a layman to understand.

What is a Quantity Surveyor?

A Quantity Surveyor is a professional within the construction industry, concerned with procurement, cost & contracts. 

What are the roles of a Quantity Surveyor?

A Quantity Surveyor will;

  • Estimate/forecast the cost of labour, plant, and material required for a project
  • Prepare tender documents, contracts, budgets, bills of quantities and other documentation
  • Track changes to the design and/or method of working and adjust budget projections accordingly
  • Procure or agree on the services of contractors and/or subcontractors who work on the construction of the project
  • Measure and value the work completed on-site
  • Issue payments to subcontractors
  • Liaise with the client and other construction professionals, such as site managers, project managers and site engineers
  • Select and/or source construction materials

Quantity Surveyors can be office-based, site-based or both.

How do you become a Quantity Surveyor?

Although not true in all circumstances, the majority of QS’s fall into one of three categories;

  1. Obtain a Degree in Quantity Surveying and enter the industry as a Graduate QS
  2. Start an Apprenticeship within the construction industry as an Apprentice QS. Your employer will usually pay for you to do a degree whilst gaining experience on the job
  3. A Career Change; Whilst working for a construction company, you take an interest in the commercial department and look to become QS. If the company are flexible, they may offer you to undertake a Quantity Surveying degree. You will most likely be given the title Trainee QS.

All of these options have pros and cons, however.

Option 1 will ensure you get the degree quickly but you may be lacking in industry experience whilst also putting yourself in student debt.

Option 2 & 3 usually take a little longer but you obtain job-related experience and your employer pays the cost of your degree. You will, however, have to work full-time and do a degree at the same time. Your company will also usually put a clause in your contract stating that if you leave within a certain number of years, you will have to pay back all or some of the degree costs.

How do I become a chartered Quantity Surveyor?

The most common route for Quantity Surveyor to become chartered is by completing the training supplied by RICS

RICS – Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors

Other chartered organisations include, but are not limited to;

CICES – Chartered Institution of Civil Engineering Surveyors

CIOB – Chartered Institute of Building

CIHT – Chartered Institution of Highways & Transportation

ICOSTE – International Cost Engineering Council

Why is a Quantity Surveyor useful on a project/contract?

A Quantity Surveyors main role is to oversee the costs involved in a construction project — or,to put it simply, to ensure that their client gets the best value out of their investment

A Quantity Surveyor will;

  • Monitor actual cost and continually provide reports on the budget as well as advising on an alternative course of action if the forecast exceeds the budget
  • Prepare/agree: Contract Documents, Valuations, Change Instructions & Final Account,

For an employer or client a Quantity Surveyor will;

  • Produce Feasibility Reports, Budget Costings, Tender Documentation and manage the cost process from Invitations to Tender and receipt of Tenders right through to the Endof the Defects Period with all that this entails.

For a Contractor or Subcontractor a Quantity Surveyor will;

  • Prepare the Tender, Negotiate the Contract Sum and Form of Contract and manage the entire cost process from Valuations and Change Instructions right through to the Final Account.

Not appointing a Quantity Surveyor may appear low risk, but on the majority of projects the appointment of a Quantity Surveyor is not only wise but ultimately cost-effective.

Metroun can provide commercial services for employers, contractors, and small businesses in order to maximize the efficiency of any project.

Quick, reliable & effective results. A commercial hub to your business…

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