DiverseCity Surveyors support RICS’ aim to equip the humble QS with ‘skills for the future’
“As QS’s, how on earth do we stay relevant, in a perfect storm? _ via #PQS2030” _ Abisogun OBE
Last week on 12.07.22, I had the warm and unrivalled privilege of Chairing the first, #InPerson post-pandemic, RICS UK _ QS & Construction conference, convened [and recorded] at the global home of the Surveying profession. I shared the stage with another Rising Star from the Black community, Ayo Ajayi MRICS a longstanding supporter of DiverseCity Surveyors and #RisingStar in the cost management profession.
Credit: RICS [actual location RICS HQ, Parliament Sq.]
By way of a brief background, the Quantity Surveying profession [apparently] dates back to the Bible, in terms of Luke, chapter 14:28, which reads “For which of you, intending to build a tower, sits not down first and counts the cost to see whether he will have sufficient to finish it?” (Bowles & Le Roux, 1992: 4). Throughout the construction of the pyramids and temples of ancient Egypt the quantity surveyor was called the “measurer of royal works” (Bowles & Le Roux, 1992: 4). The term “quantity surveyor” was first recorded in 1859 (Kiran, 2009). Today, the quantity surveyor is known by many other names such as ‘construction cost consultant’, ‘building economist’, ‘construction accountant’ and ‘contractual and procurement specialist’ (Ashworth et al., 2013: 19). According to Buys (2004: 2), the first quantity surveying practise was established in England in 1785 by the firm of Henry Cooper and sons.
Credit: Nelson Mandela University
For those unaware, the QS remains the largest cohort of professional membership across the Surveying profession, yet it would appear that we are also facing the most compelling career challenge(s) to remaining both an active and integral part of the Client’s design / delivery team.
The age old conversation of the ‘demise of the QS’ has reared it’s ugly head (yet) again in 2022, but this time [at least for me] the panic appears to be resonating with many practitioners, across the globe.
In my opening remarks the following points [listed below] were addressed at a macro level:
· An emphasis that the QS profession has a great deal to offer as the construction industry grapples with current increasing costs and challenging viability for projects;
· The challenge of inflationary risk management, to be allocated fairly [to the party best equipped to maintain and manage it]; but citing the implications for procurement and supply chain management. We explored how construction contracts could and should be formulated?;
· As the ever important de-carbonisation agenda becomes ever more ‘critically’ important, the need for carbon assessment for [and management of] building projects needs to evolve into a management system akin to cost reporting and control so that the trade-offs between cost and carbon are systematically identified, predicted and managed; a role particularly aligned to the skills of the QS; and
· We explored the plethora of opportunity for the ‘traditional’ QS role to evolve from one of economic efficiency to one of economic resilience.
Why (?), because the emphasis on ‘data being the new Black Gold’ has meant that so many other professional disciplines are moving into ‘places and spaces’ that were previously the unique domain, occupied largely [not solely] by the humble QS. But, many would also agree, that it is time to disrupt ourselves!!
And now for an ensemble of photos [and customary selfies 🤓]........
And here are just some of the comments from attendees on the day; [thank you all, for your kind words!]
Credit: Tom Luke Young, Director MagiCAD
Credit: Peter Adair, Faithful & Gould
Statement on the Bichard Review and the historic achievement by RICS to facilitate proceedings with non-traditional talent.
Credit: RICS / Lord Micheal Bichard
One of the thirty-six  recommendations, recently, affirmed by Lord Michael Bichard, [via his report, fondly known as the ‘Bichard Review’] and duly accepted by RICS, was a greater push by and an “increased focus on Diversity and Inclusion across the profession and within RICS Governance”.
Naturally this chimes with the core of our / raison d'être or cultural being at DiverseCity Surveyors and specifically our work during the last two decades to diversify the Surveying profession. As such we are [and were pleased] to note the full and unequivocal acceptance of ALL recommendations, by the RICS. Working with the Exec Team and in particular, Sybil Taunton [Head of DEI at RICS], we remain optimistic of future successes and look forward to working with Sybil to ensure and sustain meaningful and measurable change, across the globe [not only in the UK].
That my own ally, Amanda Clack #PPRICS, stepped aside and referred my name to RICS ‘to fill her shoes’ which was then undertaken by not one, but two members of the DCS network, remains a fitting testament to what is hoped will become a mainstay of RICS Conference proceedings moving forward.
Full slide deck of my PPT presentation, can be found here [link below]
Full RICS Conference Brochure, can be found here [link below]