Monday, 20 July 2009

CHAPTER 2: HISTORY OF THE ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF QUANTITY SURVEYOR

CHAPTER 2: HISTORY OF THE ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF QUANTITY SURVEYOR


2.1 INTRODUCTION

Before consider what the changing role of Quantity Surveyor is in the future, it is worthwhile to review the background of the Quantity Surveying profession and the roles and responsibilities of Quantity Surveyor. In this chapter, the background of the Quantity Surveyor and the HKIS will be introduced first. And then, the traditional roles and evolved roles of the Quantity Surveyor will be discussed one by one. After that, responsibilities of Quantity Surveyor have some explains. What skills and knowledge are the Quantity Surveyor should be included in the past will be discussed in this chapter. Quantity Surveyor is one of important roles in the construction industry. Thus, the effects of Quantity Surveyor will be mentioned in this chapter also. Lastly, it is a summary of the history of the roles and responsibilities of the Quantity Surveyor.


2.2 BACKGROUND TO THE QUANTITY SURVEYOR

Firstly, it has been stated that: “Quantity surveyors are the profession developed during the 19th century from the earlier "Measurer," a specialist tradesman (often a guild member), who prepared standardized schedules for a building project in which all of the construction materials, labour activities and the like were quantified, and against which competing builders could submit priced tenders. Because the tenders were each based on the same schedule of information, they would be easily compared to find the most suitable candidate.” QSBC (2009).

“…A quantity surveyor is professionally trained, qualified and experienced in dealing with these problems on behalf of the employer. He is essentially a cost expert whose prime task is to ensure that the project is kept within the agreed budget and that the employer obtains value for money” (Seelay, 1997, p.40).

“Quantity Surveyors are the financial managers of the construction team who add value by managing the functions of cost, time and quality. They have been trained as construction cost consultants who have expert knowledge of costs, values, labour and material prices, finance, contractual arrangements and legal matters in the construction filed. In general, they provide services of cost management and control in building and engineering projects of any scale” (Chung, 2000, p.10). HKIS (1999) also recognized the Quantity Surveyor concerned the building contractual arrangements and cost control. They can provide private developers, government departments, contractors, mining and petro-chemical companies and insurance companies some services to suit the various demands.

QSBC (2009) also stated that: “A Quantity Surveyor (QS) is a professional person working within the construction industry. The role of the QS is to manage and control costs within construction projects and may involve the use of a range of management procedures and technical tools to achieve this goal.”

The above are some of roles of the Quantity Surveyor. And then, the definition of the role of the Quantity Surveyor should be known. Refer to RICS (1983a, p.1) which stated that “In the 1971 report, the role of the Quantity Surveyor was defined as “ensuring that the resources of the construction industry are utilized to the best advantage of society by providing, inter alia, the financial management for projects and a cost consultancy service to the client and designer during the whole construction process. This distinctive competence of the Quantity Surveyor is a skill in measurement and valuation in the field of construction in order that such work can be described and the cost and price can be forecast analysed, planned, controlled and accounted for”.”


2.3 HISTORY OF HKIS

According to seeley, 1997 (in Chung, 2000, pp.3-4) “…The development of the surveying profession in Hong Kong goes back to 1843 with the arrival of the first Surveyor General. A Hong Kong Branch of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyor was established in 1992. In 1984, Hong Kong Institute of Surveyors was formed to act as an independent organization but it still maintained close links with the RICS throughout”. HKIS (2009) remarked the HKIS as the leading professional organization in surveying, real estate and construction in Hong Kong over the past 25 years.

The history of HKIS can be founded in HKIS (2004, p.9) which recorded that “It was in April 1984 that HKIS was founded...It was by 1990 that the HKIS qualifications were fully recognized by the Hong Kong Government and HKIS ranks at par with other recognized professional bodies in local affairs…”.


2.4 TRADITIONAL ROLES OF QUANTITY SURVEYOR

Ashworth and Hogg (2007) stated that the traditional role of Quantity Surveyor is still practiced on small to medium sized projects. It can be described as a measure and value system. Quantity Surveyor should prepared using a single price method of estimating, produce bills of quantities for tendering, measure the progress payments base on the work and prepare final account on the basis of the tender documentation. The following listed the traditional role of Quantity Surveyor:
 Single rate approximate estimates
 Cost planning
 Procurement advice
 Measurement and quantification
 Document preparation, especially bills of quantities
 Cost control during construction
 Interim valuations and payments
 Financial statements
 Final account preparation and agreement
 Settlement of contractual claims

“The traditional role of the quantity surveyor…has since been considerably expanded to include such functions as resources control, accountancy, legal judgment, and all within the fields of contracting, engineering, project management, etc.” (Newton, 1985, p.18).

“As a tradition, estimating, preparation of tender documents, tender analysis, contract documentation, valuation and variation, and all quantity surveying related works of infrastructure projects are always handled by civil engineers notwithstanding that majority of these works are actually handled by quantity surveyors under the supervision of civil engineers. In the building works, the traditional role of handling these works by architects had been changed to become the role of quantity surveyors, and the Government and Private Forms of Building Contract were changed to recognize such QS role. However, in the infrastructure works, such QS role is still with the civil engineers as stated in the Government Form of Civil Engineering Works” (HKIS, 2008).


2.5 EVOLVED ROLES OF QUANTITY SURVEYOR

RICS (1983a) also pointed out that the Quantity Surveyor’s expertise had been further developed after 1971. For the construction project, they are involved in the field of manpower planning, resources control and in assessing the effects of time. The filed of contracting, civil and industrial engineering construction, mechanical and electrical engineering services, and project management and control also relate to the Quantity Surveyor. That means the role of the Quantity Surveyor is extended in 1980s. The Quantity Surveyor involve complex resource procurement and management processes, besides deal with complex construction contracts; provides the basis for a disciplined and well managed approach to projects.

In 1980s, Quantity Surveyor’s roles from the historically dealt with work through prime cost and provisional sums to advice procurement method which becomes a new potential role of Quantity Surveyors because of the increasing array of options that were available. Other evolved roles have included project and construction management and facilities management. It is because the inherent adversarial nature of the construction industry which are involved in contractual disputes and ligation. More engineering services orientated increased emphasis on the services such as measurement, costs and value is other reason of this change (Ashworth and Hogg, 2007).

Quantity Surveyors should more direct and more related to client. This management role is most effective when linked to authority, responsibility and risk taking. Clients need early and accurate cost advice, more often than not well in advance of site acquisition and of a commitment to build (RICS, 1991).

Seeley (1997) pointed out the Quantity Surveyor not only regarded building contract and often as project manager on civil and heavy engineering contracts to control the project from inception to completion and coordinate with other parties to take over the works. Quantity Surveyor is an important member of the design team in both the public and private sectors to advising employers and architects on the probable costs of alternative designs.

RICS (1983a) believed that Quantity Surveyor after gained the knowledge and experience in construction economics, management and resource control, he will evolve his role. These roles are policy making, numerate skills, strategic planning, contracting, work in construction management, multi-disciplinary working, diversity in procurement, life cycle costing and building procurement adviser.

Newton (1985) raised Quantity Surveyor use the expert system of computer technology can make him become identity, independence and in first. That means the role of Quantity Surveyor can be established early in the design or construction process.

As a consultant Chartered Quantity Surveyor, he should improve the quality of service and the matching of the known resources to suit for the requirement of clients. There are some services should be provided to clients during pre-contract stage and post-contract stage. In the pre-contract stage, Quantity Surveyor should preparing bills of quantities and examining tenders received and reporting thereon, cost planning, air conditioning, heating, ventilating and electrical services, negotiating tenders and pricing bills of quantities. In the post-contract, Quantity Surveyor should taking particulars and reporting valuation for interim certificate for payments on account to the contractor, preparing periodic assessments of anticipated final cost and reporting thereon, measuring and making up bills of variations including pricing and agreeing totals with contractor and adjusting fluctuations in the cost of labour and materials if required by the contract, air conditioning, heating, ventilating and electrical services, valuations for interim certificates, preparing accounts of variation upon contracts and cost monitoring services such as providing approximate estimates of final cost at the following frequency (RICS, 1983b).

Some evolved roles stated in Ashworth and Hogg (2007) are listed as following:
 Investment appraisal
 Advice on cost limits and budgets
 Whole life costing
 Value management
 Risk analysis
 Insolvency services
 Cost engineering services
 Subcontract administration
 Environmental services measurement and costing
 Technical auditing
 Planning and supervision
 Valuation for insurance purposes
 Project management
 Facilities management
 Administering maintenance programmes
 Advice on contractual disputes
 Planning supervisor
 Employers’ agent


2.6 RESPONSIBILITIES OF QUANTITY SURVEYOR

In the past, the responsibilities of Quantity Surveyors are mentioned in RICS (1980) which listed some responsibilities of Quantity Surveyors as following:
 Budget estimating;
 Cost planning;
 Advice on tendering procedures and contract arrangements;
 Preparing tendering documents for main contract and specialist sub-contractor;
 Examining tenders received and reporting thereon or negotiating tenders;
 Pricing with a selected contractor and/or sub-contractors;
 Preparing recommendations for interim payments on account to the contractor;
 Preparing periodic assessments of anticipated final cost and reporting thereon;
 Measuring work and adjusting variations in accordance with the terms of the contract;
 Preparing final account, pricing same and agreeing totals with the contractor;
 Providing a reasonable number of copies of bills of quantities and other documents.

Bennett (1986, p.31) said that “The quantity surveyor’s responsibility is to ensure that the budget is complete and that no necessary costs are omitted or duplicated….Beyond this, the quantity surveyor should advise the client to make separate provision for all other costs including consultant’s fees, land costs, finance costs, fluctuations where appropriate and an overall project contingency. The quantity surveyor’s further major responsibility is to ensure that the cost control and accounting procedures adopted by the construction manager are satisfactory. This is a normal responsibility for final accounts and raises no new issues for quantity surveyors apart from the unusually large number of separate works contract accounts to be dealt with.”

Chartered Quantity Surveyor will provide a construction management service because of market-orientated. Some of them are towards realizing this potential (Bennett, 1986).

RICS (1991) reported that something is changing of the world in 1990s such as markets, construction industry, client needs and the profession. For the changes in markets, the trend of different sectors will have different workloads and the challenges are arising for the European Union. For the changes in the construction industry, the nature of contracting will be changing. Some competition may come from non-construction professionals. For the changes in client needs, they want get the long-terms view about the initial design and construction phase. For the changes in the profession, employment patterns, the impact of fee competition, the ways in which the quantity surveyor is appointed and the changes in their role and practice. Thus, management to time, cost and quality should be emphasized by Quantity Surveying. Bills of Quantities were still important. The areas of early cost advice, cost control and market forecasting are new services for client’s business. The profession’s unique skill-base which combines procurement and cost management would be practiced by Quantity Surveyors. Quantity Surveyors are employed in consultancies only in the past. More and more Quantity Surveyors will be employed by clients, developers and contractor.

HKIS and RICS (1994) recognized Quantity Surveyor should providing advice on tendering procedures and contractual arrangements, preparing bills of quantities and examining tenders received and reporting thereon in pre-contract stage. Also, Quantity Surveyor should do pre-contract Estimating, cost study services, pricing Bill of Quantities and post-contract cost management services such as valuations for certificates and calculating fluctuations in the cost of construction.

Preliminary cost advice and cost planning, Preparation of contract documentation, tender invitation and scrutiny, negotiations with contractors, valuation of work in progress, pricing of variations, settlement of claims, cost control of project, preparation of final account and measurement for and preparation of bills of quantities are included in the principal activities of the quantity surveyor (Seeley, 1997).

RICS (1999) pointed out some services of Quantity Surveyor should be provided during different stage of the project. In the pre-contract stage, Quantity Surveyor should prepare and develop preliminary cost plan, advise on cost of design team’s proposals, monitor cost implications during detailed design stage, maintain and develop cost plan. For the tender stage, Quantity Surveyor should advise on the contractual documentation to clients. Moreover, Quantity Surveyor also needs to prepare recommendations for interim payments, post-contract cost control and final account. Furthermore, Quantity Surveyor should provide and price bills of quantities, prepare cost analysis, advise on financial implications, advise on use of areas and provide measurement of areas, provide advice on contractual matters.


2.7 SKILLS AND KNOWLEDGE OF QUANTITY SURVEYOR IN THE PAST

Here, some skills and knowledge of Quantity Surveyor would be introduced. RICS (1983a, pp.1-2) listed a lot of skills and knowledge of a Quantity Surveyor should have as following:
• Planning, estimating and controlling costs, evaluating alternative designs, undertaking feasibility studies,
• Measuring and describing construction work,
• Analyzing complex projects into manageable work packages,
• Producing contract documents, especially bills of quantities,
• Advising on appropriate methods of procurement; selecting, organizing and evaluating tender bids and contractual arrangements,
• Valuing work in progress, and exercising cost control during construction, undertaking the valuing of variations and potential variations,
• Preparing valuations for insurance purposes and advising on insurance claims,
• Sub-contract administration,
• Settlement of final accounts,
• Advice and settlement of contractual disputes and claims,
• Use of computer technology and developing computer aided design techniques,
• Advising on taxation, grant and financial matters and forecasting expenditure flows,
• Advising on cost-limits and preparing budgets,
• Advising on cash flow forecasting,
• Advising on life-cycle costs,
• Cost-analysis,
• Cost benefit analysis,
• Scheduling resources,
• Planning and programming design and construction work, use of network analysis techniques, project and construction management,
• Preparing and administering maintenance programmes.

Besides the above skills and knowledge, Quantity Surveyor in 1980s should expand their skills and knowledge such as construction economics, design and construction management technology, resource control, mathematical modeling, policy decisions, strategic planning, risk analysis, network analysis, other programming techniques, and to suit for the changing of working environment and economics (RICS 1983a).

Newton (1985) observed the expert system of computer technology can be one of powerful skills of Quantity Surveyor for them to adapt the future.

Construction management techniques includes good understanding of design and construction technology, management of time and cost, value engineering, quality management and site safety. Management of cost is one of the important to clients, and Quantity Surveyor can advice in establishing budgets and cost control. Thus, Quantity Surveyor can develop construction management to increase the competitive power (Bennett, 1986).

Brandon (1990) pointed out some techniques of Quantity Surveyor should have as following:
 Development and appraisal--the front end decision to invest
 Value management--optimisation of the benefit/cost relationship
 Estimating and bidding methods--cost prediction and reliability
 Risk analysis--coping with risk and uncertainty
 Life cycle costing--the longer term view of the cost of the asset
 Expert systems--qualitative reasoning to support expert decision making
 Computer aided design--relating the design database to the QS function
 Integrated databases--designing the database for efficient and reliable information retrieval
 Procurement systems--assessing the contractual relationship/ arrangement between parties

RICS (1991) believed that Quantity Surveyors would need to be more innovative, more pro-active and more mobile to adapt the changing client requirements.

Technique of cost planning, knowledge of contractual methods and tendering should be implemented by Quantity Surveyor (Seeley, 1997).

Ashworth and Hogg (2007) pointed out that design cost planning, whole life costing, value management, risk analysis and management became tools to add value for the client. It is because these tools were effective to increase importance and emphasis to meet the client’s objectives.


2.8 EFFEET OF QUANTITY SURVEYORS IN CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY

Quantity Surveyor acts an important role in the construction industry. They have many effects to the construction industry as following introduction.

The Quantity Surveyor makes the construction industry become more successful by using their skills, knowledge and expertise (RICS, 1983a). Independent cost advice on the project should provided to clients by Quantity Surveyor (RICS, 1983b).

Bennett (1986, p.31) said that “The quantity surveyor’s responsibility is to ensure that the budget is complete and that no necessary costs are omitted or duplicated….Beyond this, the quantity surveyor should advise the client to make separate provision for all other costs including consultant’s fees, land costs, finance costs, fluctuations where appropriate and an overall project contingency. The quantity surveyor’s further major responsibility is to ensure that the cost control and accounting procedures adopted by the construction manager are satisfactory. This is a normal responsibility for final accounts and raises no new issues for quantity surveyors apart from the unusually large number of separate works contract accounts to be dealt with.”

RICS (1992b) noted that Quantity Surveyor could setting a realistic cost budget, advise on cost implications of design and standards of construction and/or of alternative solutions and advise on the method of contractor procurement best suited to the project.

Quantity surveyor is essentially a cost expert to ensure the project is kept within the agreed budget and the employer obtains value for money. The Quantity Surveyor can keep the total expenditure within the employer’s budget and remains compatible with the cost plan by frequently estimate of cost. Independent Quantity Surveyor could prepare an accurate bill of quantities because he would measure and value any variations that might occur during the progress of the works. Realistic budget and financial could be prepared by the Quantity Surveyor. The Quantity Surveyor can make everyone work in construction more efficient. It is benefits for the Quantity Surveyors when they negotiate a contract because they can learn more about the practical organization and management of contracts. And then produce bill of quantities more quickly. Environmental issues would be informed by surveyors to their clients to ensure that it is considered in the decision making process (Seelay, 1997).

Seelay (1997, pp.415-416) also pointed out that “…he can, for instance, be involved in the placing of subcontract orders for both nominated and domestic subcontractors. It is essential that the contractor’s quantity surveyor ensures that the correct contractual conditions and financial details are embodied in the orders and subcontract arrangements…surveyor is required to report to management, usually monthly, on the overall financial state of the contract, giving comparisons of actual cost with the corresponding internal value for the various cost codes and subtrades…providing contracts personnel with the opportunity to consider remedial action…preventing a recurrence of similar problems on future contracts…contractor’s quantity surveyor can advise contracts staff on significant aspects of the contract conditions, in their dealings with the architect…contractor’s surveyor …advising design staff on the most economical form of construction and cost planning and monitoring the development as a whole”.

RICS (1999) noted that Quantity Surveyor could set a realistic budget and advice the procurement method best suited to the requirements of the Client.

Ashworth and Hogg (2007) believed that Quantity Surveyor use his knowledge of cost planning can avoid tenders being received that were over budget. Quantity Surveyor would look after the financial interests of the contractor. Under the terms of the contract, Quantity Surveyor could submitted claims for extra payments in civil engineering project and building project to help contractor to earn more profit.


2.9 CHAPTER SUMMARY

According the above discussion, Quantity Surveyor has a skill in measurement and valuation in the field of construction in order that such work can be described and the cost and price can be forecast analysed, planned, controlled and accounted for. Most of their traditional roles are related to the cost, and most of their evolved roles are related to management and the cost. That means the roles of Quantity Surveyor would not leave the link to the cost and it would develop to the direction of management.

RICS (1983a, pp.8-12) believes that Quantity Surveyor after gained the knowledge and experience in construction economics, management and resource control, he will evolve his role. These roles are policy making, numerate skills, strategic planning, contracting, work in construction management, multi-disciplinary working, diversity in procurement, life cycle costing and building procurement adviser.

Encourage Quantity Surveyors use more new technology can get more benefit and experience. Additional and more specialist courses should be provide a education and training to people who want to become a professional Quantity Surveyor. Make more occupy in different company to Quantity Surveyor for their practice. Individual Quantity Surveyors, profession, the institution, in education and training, all parties should know their role to develop the field of Quantity Surveyor (RICS, 1983a).

(RICS, 1983a) summarized the changing scene in client requirement, economic and political. There is decline in new building and engineering work and an increase in repair, maintenance, energy conservation and rehabilitation work. Changing technology will affect the construction industry’s ability to design, erect and internally re-plan buildings more efficiently and economically. In the private sector, returns are low, Clients are becoming more critical and demanding in terms of both time-scale and cost for money and the profession must react accordingly. More Quantity Surveyors are being employed in resource and manpower planning, construction and project management and allied areas. Quantity Surveyor act as project and construction managers to perform wider management and co-ordination functions. They are employed by contractors, sub-contractors, building owners, property developers and others with a major input in management, resource planning and manpower control.

Quantity Surveyor should develop their skills and knowledge because it is one of the methods of selecting a Quantity Surveyor by clients (RICS 1992b; RICS1999).

Thus, the Quantity Surveyor should develop their skills and knowledge to get more experience in different fields and increase their power to keep the competitive.

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