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Miss guided priorities?

Sean Tompkins, the outgoing CEO of the RICS has it on record that part of his remit was to increase the global presence of the RICS. Two outcomes of this bid for global expansion have been the International Property Measurement Standards (IPMS) and the International Cost Measurement Standards (ICMS) on the premise that it will enable greater transparency when comparing value and cost across continents. The cost of participating in these initiatives is unknown but certainly someone's air miles account must now look healthy.

The question is; just what use are these two documents? How many valuation surveyors for example are now using the dominant internal face? How many quantity surveyors have need of ICMS?

As somebody who has worked in Europe as a quantity surveyor, I know just how difficult it is to make meaningful and accurate inter-country cost comparison due to a whole host of factors such as; taxation, social security payments, degree of mechanisation, skill of the work force, etc.

Meanwhile, the Black Book, a really useful guide for quantity surveyors and APC candidates, remains out of date, and forgotten with many of the chapters being up to 10 years old.

The RICS web site states;

'Please be aware that a number of these guidance notes contain material and guidance which are rendered out of date by the publication of various contracts and other documents and as a result of evolving construction contract case law, such that revisions are necessary to the existing text. Please proceed with caution when referring to and citing these guidance notes and take professional advice as necessary if in doubt.'

Have we got our priorities right?

Duncan Cartlidge

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