The Role Of The
Sheffield Hallam University
15th January 2018
A quantity surveyor can be seen on both the design team and
the contractors set up, this means that the role of a QS can be divided into
two; private quantity surveyor and a contractor’s quantity surveyor. The report will contain description of each
type and a conclusion of which strand of QS I would like to work within.
Methods of obtaining information for this report will be from internet sources
such as E-books and reports online and background knowledge gained from
Overview of the role
of a Private Quantity Surveyors (PQS)
Role and function of
a private quantity surveyor.
Quantity surveyors are experts in the field of cost
consulting. Both variants of QS are very similar, and roles differ slightly. A
QS who performs work on behalf of a client organisation or employer is known as
a ‘professional Quantity Surveyor’, or ‘PQS’. This type of QS is from the
initial start of a project and advises on costs from the first design to
Their role includes advising on procurement, giving cost
plans and liaising with contractors QS on variations of costs whilst all being
underpinned by the monitoring of costs throughout. As seen in Willis’s Practice
and Procedure for the Quantity Surveyor book it says ‘Their responsibilities
include advising clients on the cost and value implication of design decisions
and controlling on construction costs'(1). They are ultimately involved in the process to
cost manage the project for the client and negotiate deals with the
contractor’s quantity surveyor.
companies which employ quantity surveyors.
Some examples of largest
consultant companies are Davis Langdon, EC Harris and Turner & Townsend. https://www.constructionnews.co.uk/data/cninsight100-diverse-trend-for-quantity-surveyor-consultant-firms/8619425.article
These dominate the
market due to globalisation, like Davis Langdon’s current project involves
works in America. http://www.aecom.com/ .Technology has enabled firms to
communicate quicker and efficiently meaning that PQS’s can be situated in
offices allowing for a more of nine to five employment which be both a positive
and negative depending on how much of a routine a person likes.
From reading the T report from 2016
company has been able to maintain and secure new clients due to many reasons.
The first being investment in technology, for example BIM (building information
modelling), this has helped improve the productivity of work T can
provide increasing their client’s efficiencies on the build. It has been noted
on the report that the company has 97 countries in 41 countries, this improves
their client’s relationship due to being more flexible for the services of
clients around the world.
In respects to the profession of private quantity surveying,
the practice has competing qualitative evaluation, whilst offering a
competitive fee thus allowing for clients in a fluctuating economic climate to
still retain decent quality of service. As well as this T engage more
with their clients to differentiate their service to make it more relevant to
the issues they are facing, allowing for more internal growth as a business.
Overview of the role
of a Contractors Quantity Surveyors (CQS)
What is contractor
In the health and safety executive it states (http://www.hse.gov.uk/construction/cdm/2015/contractors.htm)
‘A contractor is anyone who directly employs or engages
construction workers or manages construction work.’ They are appointed by a client (http://www.hse.gov.uk/construction/cdm/2015/principal-contractors.htm) and their role is to plan and manage construction work on
site. (https://www.citb.co.uk/documents/cdm%20regs/2015/cdm-2015-contractors-interactive.pdf). They work in conjunction with a quantity surveyor to keep
construction running smoothly whilst cash flow is on target.
Role and function of
a Contractors quantity surveyor
Similar to the PQS role, contractors QS differs as they
‘unashamedly more commercially minded’ quoted from Willis’s book (1) meaning
they are there to make money for the contractor. Essentially the role of a CQS
is to ensure that the project stays within the budget and to maximise profit
for their employer
Both CQS and PQS do similar works such as measurement and
costing up the project, but specifically the CQS concentrates on the
performance by the contractor (and sub-contractors). They both work in
conjunction for the preparation of interim documents and final accounts,
however there may be confliction between the two QS’s if there is a dispute in
the bills of quantity if it is overbudget for the proposed work.
Dependant on the type of project, a CQS may have to take on
work outside the periphery of its job specification if the job is smaller and
less specialists are involved. The reverse of this is where projects are big
which means there can be specific CQS’s related to sub-contractors who are
involved later on in a project when additional expertise is needed, for example
plumbing and electrical work
Unlike PQS’s where they tend to remain in an office
environment, CQS’s are based on site in the core of the project meaning day to
day work differs as the project elapses, for example they manage contractors
and their sub-contractors which the PQS doesn’t have to do. This can be seen as
a positive as this gives a PQS a larger scale of autonomy and freedom of work,
however it can be seen as a drawback due to having to travel to the site every
A positive of working on site allows the CQS to develop their
knowledge as they are involved with a variety of people, whereas traditionally
a CQS won’t be mixing with different people on site.
However, a downfall of working on site is that
contractors expect CQS’s to work similar hours to what they do (usually earlier
starts), causing a longer working week than a PQS