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Texas A&M students visit RICS HQ in London – and leave, inspired….!!

Texas A&M University - logo

Now in its fifth year of annual significance to RICS, a group of learned Construction Science under-graduates – all studying at Texas A&M University ‘TAMU’ – arrived safely in London from College Station, TX - under the stewardship of Mr Steve Rodgers, Faculty Director.

From L-R: Alan Muse FRICS, Belinda King, Steve Rodgers, Bola Abisogun OBE FRICS, Craig Ross MRICS

Information is power and it is no secret that industry knowledge is a critical component of maintaining one’s competitive advantage. The success of the growing, global membership at RICS, is premised upon ‘industry’ data that is both rich in knowledge and relevant to the recipient. RICS is also acutely aware of the need for its members - at all levels - to be and remain [via stringent CPD criterion] - informed by way of ‘knowledge capture’ which in turn allows many professionals to perform their daily tasks, delivering ‘knowledge transfer’ to the wider, fee-paying populace.

TAMU students - all seated in Lecture Hall

The 2019 visit was the second invitation from Belinda King at RICS, to DCS Founder and Chair, Bola Abisogun OBE FRICS to participate and present to Steve and his group from TAMU. Specific instructions from Steve, was to focus, on this occasion, on the ‘difference(s) in terminology’, which was delivered by Bola from a financial perspective and with a bias towards his own discipline of Quantity Surveying. Given that the evolving and emerging ‘Cost Management’ profession, across North America, is of growing interest to the Senior Management Team at RICS, the reality is that the US market [for professional Cost Management services] is uniquely positioned to reap the benefits of the 'progressive history' of the PQS profession, now in excess of 150 years young.

Agenda for 5th Feb 2019, RICS HQ

Following, earlier presentations from Alan Muse FRICS, Global Built Environment Standard Director at RICS and Craig Ross MRICS, Associate Director of the Built Environment, who discussed ICMS see [here] and IFSS see [here], respectively, Bola delivered a 'comparable perspective', having amassed experiences of working in both international markets. As a seasoned practitioner, Bola remains pretty confident that the increasing interest from the TAMU cohort, with reference to the course being delivered at Georgia Tech [i.e. Advanced Construction Cost Management; established in 2015, now in its second year] has undoubtedly, instigated a journey of discovery into what Construction Cost Management could really achieve and what will ultimately, translate into an esteemed profession across North America.

At the time of writing, the USA is the only established real estate market that hasn’t yet grasped the relevance of the traditional PQS role and that, is not necessarily a bad thing. The world has moved on, and Cost Management practitioners (in the US) have ‘no baggage’. In the Clients best interests, they are also, largely receptive, to the business case for pro-actively managing ‘design’ change' and the intrinsic relationship between design change and construction cost(s)'.

Professional Cost Managers, across the globe, that currently deploy the use of ICMS, will begin to further interrogate their own project data and by default, facilitate a much wider conversation around the intelligence, viability and accuracy of ‘life-cycle costs’ for the projects stakeholder(s). This is where greater ROI exists.

Group Shot - RICS and TAMU [Lecture Hall]

BIM was also briefly discussed by Bola, to which a keen interest was observed from TAMU representatives. The focus of the ensuing discussion was the prominence and cultural shift(s), that have or haven’t happened towards the adoption of BIM in the UK. It was also heartening to note the applicability of ‘thought-leadership’ amongst the TAMU co-hort and their increasing awareness of the importance of technical compliance versus technical competence.

Group Shot - RICS and TAMU [RICS Roof Terrace]

Overall, the conversation was thoroughly engaging and immensely productive. These are exciting times for the global PQS / Cost Management profession generally, and the US market in particular. By taking the current processes and innovating them (i.e. simply removing inefficient and redundant tasks), the projects financial success(es) can only lead to a better, more measurable outcome for everyone involved, throughout the value chain.

We at DCS will continue to support RICS and Steve in their myriad endeavours and reciprocally, we look forward to taking a group of aspiring Surveyors [from the UK] over to TAMU, in the not too distant future.

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