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What is a Quantity Surveyor?

The role of a Quantity Surveyor transcends mere accounting; it encompasses a multifaceted understanding of construction costs across various sectors including residential, commercial, industrial, and civil projects. These professionals serve as crucial members of collaborative design teams, employing sophisticated tools like 3D Building Image Modelling (BIM) and on-screen estimating software like Cubit or CostX to offer precise construction cost advice.

Their responsibilities extend beyond preparing budget estimates; they play a pivotal role in valuing ongoing construction works as projects progress. This involves a keen eye for detail and a comprehensive grasp of evolving project dynamics.

To ensure students are well-prepared for this demanding profession, teaching and assessment methods are diverse and immersive. Small group tutorials, enlightening field trips, hands-on project-based learning, and rigorous examinations collectively equip them with the necessary skills and knowledge.

A distinctive feature of the program is the opportunity for third-year students to embark on a semester-long work experience placement with reputable employers, carefully arranged by the University. This real-world exposure provides invaluable insights and practical experience, enriching their academic journey.

Upon graduation, students hold a Degree course that is not only recognized by the esteemed Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland but also grants direct entry to the national register of Quantity Surveyors. Additionally, accreditation from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors ensures global recognition of their qualifications.

Newly qualified Quantity Surveyors have the flexibility to choose from a plethora of career pathways. Many opt to join esteemed Private Practice Consultant Quantity Surveying firms  or alternatively, opportunities abound with reputable contractors where their skills are instrumental in delivering successful construction endeavors.

Thus over time a Quantity Surveyor (QS) is a seasoned professional within the construction industry, possessing specialized expertise in construction costs and contractual matters. In the United Kingdom, these professionals are recognized as Chartered Surveyors (Members and Fellows of RICS), while in Australia and various other nations, they hold the designation of Certified Quantity Surveyors, conferred by AIQS. Notably, in countries like Canada, South Africa, Kenya, and Mauritius, they are legally recognized as Professional Quantity Surveyors, a title safeguarded by law.

Tasked with the comprehensive management of contractual and financial aspects of construction projects, Quantity Surveyors play a pivotal role in ensuring projects adhere to their budgetary constraints. Their responsibilities extend to various facets, including assisting in project budgeting, aiding contractors in valuing construction work, facilitating bidding processes, and managing bill submissions to clients. Their expertise serves as a linchpin in maintaining project financial health and viability.


The responsibilities of a quantity surveyor encompass a diverse range of tasks, including:

  1. Conducting thorough financial feasibility studies to assess the viability of development projects.

  2. Undertaking cost estimation, planning, and management throughout the project lifecycle.

  3. Analyzing and interpreting the terms and conditions outlined in contracts.

  4. Identifying potential project risks and implementing proactive measures to mitigate them.

  5. Forecasting the costs associated with procuring various materials essential for project execution.

  6. Compiling comprehensive tender documents, contracts, budgets, and related documentation.

  7. Monitoring changes made during project execution and adjusting budgets accordingly.

  8. Managing the tender process, which includes preparing bills of quantities, contract conditions, and compiling tender documents.

  9. Providing expert guidance on contract management and offering contractual advice as needed.

  10. Conducting valuation assessments of construction work to ensure accuracy and fairness.

  11. Handling claims and disputes that may arise during project implementation.

  12. Performing lifecycle costing analysis to evaluate long-term financial implications.

  13. Conducting assessments for reinstatement costs for insurance purposes, ensuring adequate coverage and risk management.

 Professional Associations

  • RICS – The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors

  • AIQS – Australian Institute of Quantity Surveyors

  • IQSSL - Institute of Quantity Surveyors Sri Lanka

  • ASAQS – Association of South African Quantity Surveyors

  • BSIJ – Building Surveyors Institute of Japan

  • CICES - Chartered Institution of Civil Engineering Surveyors

  • CIQS – Canadian Institute of Quantity Surveyors

  • CCEA - China Cost Engineering Association

  • GHIS - Ghana Institute of Surveyors

  • HKIS – Hong Kong Institute of Surveyors

  • IIQS – Indian Institute of Quantity Surveyors

  • IQSI – Ikatan Quantity Surveyor Indonesia

  • IQSK – Institute of Quantity Surveyors of Kenya

  • JIQS – Jamaican Institute of Quantity Surveyors

  • NIQS – Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors

  • NZIQS – New Zealand Institute of Quantity Surveyors

  • PICQS – Philippine Institute of Certified Quantity Surveyors

  • RISM – The Royal Institution of Surveyors Malaysia

  • SISV – Singapore Institute of Surveyors and Valuers

  • SCSI – Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland

  • SACQSP – South African Council for Quantity Surveying Profession

  • QSI - Quantity Surveyor International

  • UNTEC - Union nationale des Économistes de la construction (France)

The outlook for Quantity Surveying is promising as construction projects evolve in complexity. With the ongoing advancement of digitalization, automation, and emphasis on sustainable practices, there is a heightened demand for adept quantity surveyors. In the future, these professionals will be integral in leveraging technology to manage costs efficiently, streamline resource allocation, and drive the financial prosperity of construction endeavors.

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