History and Competency Areas of Quantity Surveyors: Quantity surveyors are called by so many names all over the world such as cost engineers, building economists, cost managers, construction accountants, etc and different authors have adopted these different names in different studies (RICS, 1991;Seeley, 1997; Seeley and Winfield, 1999; AACE, 2000; Kelly and Male, 2006) and in Nigeria such as (Ajanlekoko, 2004; NIQS, 2004; Ogunsemi, 2004; Babalola, 2006; Odeyinka, 2006; Ogunsemi, 2006; Oke, 2006).
It is to be noted that the most common name for this professional in Nigeria is “quantity surveyors”. Quantity surveyor according to Wikipedia (2008) is “a professional trained, qualified, and experienced in handling construction cost, construction management and construction communication on behalf of the client”. Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (2004) defined a quantity surveyor as the expert professionally trained and experienced in dealing with construction cost, construction management and construction communication.
This he exhibit in various types of projects including building construction, civil and structural engineering, mechanical building and engineering services, petrochemicals, mineral extraction, cost and production engineering, environmental economics, planning and urban development, landscaping, interior design and all other relevant areas.
Competent quantity surveyors must have a range of skills, knowledge and understanding which can be applied in a range of contexts and organisations (Hassall, Dunlop and Lewis, 1996). Yet pressing issues which confront the quantity surveying profession today include increasing the relevance and level of awareness of the profession’s services in the built environment and increasing the range of business opportunities for continued
History of Quantity Surveying in Nigeria
Quantity surveying according to Odeyinka (2006) was pioneered by Britain. The Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (NIQS) was founded in 1969 by a group of Nigerians who trained and practiced in the United Kingdom (NIQS, 2004). Upon returning to Nigeria, these people sensed an urgent need to develop the profession of quantity surveying in Nigeria by establishing a parallel body to the Royal Institution of Chartered surveyors of United Kingdom
The regulated and other professions (Miscellaneous Provision) Act 1978 recognised quantity surveying profession as one of the scheduled professions in Nigeria while the decree No 31 of 1986 gave legal backing and recognition to quantity surveying profession and also set up the Quantity Surveyors Registration Board of Nigeria (QSRBN) to regulate the profession (NIQS, 2004)
Competency Areas for Quantity Surveyors
Stewart and Hamlin (1992) define competency as something which a person who works in a given occupational area should be able to do. Holmes and Joyce (1993) view competency as a description of an action, behaviour or outcome which a person should be able to demonstrate, or the ability to transfer skills and knowledge to new situations within the occupational area Male (1999) emphasizes that the distinctive competencies of the quantity surveyor are associated with measurement and calculation which provides the basis for the proper cost management of forecasting, analysing, planning, controlling and accounting.
However, the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (1991), Nkado (2000); Ogunsemi (2004); Akosile (2006); Idowu and Odusami (2006); Oyediran (2006) and Awodele, Journal of Building Performance ISSN: 2180-2106 Volume 1 Issue 1 2010
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia
The Institution of Surveyors Malaysia Page 66 Akosile, Ogunsemi and Owoeye (2007) identified and classified areas of competencies required of quantity surveyors into three categories and they are basic, core and optional. The RICS (1998) set out the requirements and competencies for the assessment of professional competence by listing the competencies required of quantity surveyors in three categories: basic competencies, core competencies and optional competencies, as shown in Table 1.
The basic competencies are widespread to all construction professions under the RICS structure and they are: personal and interpersonal skills; business skills; data management; information technology; professional practices; law; measurement; and mapping. The core competencies are exclusively vital to the profession of quantity surveying and this entails construction contract practice, construction technology and environmental services, economics of construction and procurement and financial management.
The optional competencies reveal areas of specialty or future career diversification and these include arbitration and other dispute resolution procedures, development appraisal, facilities management, insolvency, insurance, project management, property investment funding, research methodology and techniques, taxation allowance and grants and valuation.