What is Quantity surveyor work?

A registered quantity surveyor is responsible for estimating and monitoring construction costs for all classes of building and types of construction.

Quantity surveyors read and interpret construction documentation (architectural and engineering plans, drawings and specifications). They also apply knowledge of construction methods and materials to estimate and monitor costs, from concept design to completion.

  • In the pre-construction or design phase, quantity surveyors may prepare cost plans for concept design, design development and construction tender documentation. They also help prepare tender documentation (Bills of Quantities, or schedules of rates) and help evaluate and select builders.
  • During the construction phase, quantity surveyors monitor expenditure against budgeted categories, and assess and report on how project costs are affected. They may provide monthly cashflow forecasts and approve monthly progress payments.
  • At the completion of a construction project, quantity surveyors may produce tax depreciation schedules and replacement cost estimations for insurance purposes. If necessary, they may also support mediation and arbitration processes.

What do registered practitioners need to know and do?

A registered quantity surveyor must have capacity to undertake the following activities in a competent manner and to a professional standard:

  • administer relevant parts of construction contracts, including construction phase cost management
  • analyse and advise on relevant environmental considerations
  • analyse and benchmark construction costs based on historical project costs
  • apply life cycle costing techniques to the costing and management of construction project costs
  • assess and monitor construction costs
  • assess the value of construction variations
  • develop construction budgets
  • perform calculations relating to cost‒benefit analysis, rise and fall amounts, overdraft requirements and statistical analysis
  • prepare construction cost estimates based on quantities and rates
  • prepare depreciation schedules
  • prepare estimates at all stages of the design process
  • prepare project expenditures schedules
  • prepare tender documentation, including bills of quantities, and evaluate responses to construction project tenders
  • read and interpret plans and specifications appropriate to developing cost estimates and monitoring construction expenditures
  • review and provide advice on content of construction contracts.

What knowledge do you need to demonstrate?

If you have successfully completed one of the following qualifications you will satisfy the knowledge required for registration in the category of Quantity surveyor.

The relevant qualifications provided by Victorian institutions include, but are not limited to:

  • Bachelor of Applied Science (Construction Management) from RMIT University
  • Bachelor of Construction Management (Honours) from Deakin University
  • Bachelor of Construction Management and Economics from Holmesglen Institute.

What experience do you need to demonstrate?

You must have at least two years of supervised practical experience in the key functions of a quantity surveyor.

You must provide:

  • a list of all projects in which you have been involved in quantity surveyor work. The list must summarise your experience gained under the supervision of a registered quantity surveyor or a member of the Australian Institute of Quantity Surveyors
  • a portfolio of evidence for at least three building projects of different purpose for which you undertook quantity surveying work under the supervision of a registered quantity surveyor or a member of the Australian Institute of Quantity Surveyors.

The three buildings of different purpose must be from this list:

  • aged care facilities
  • commercial office buildings
  • educational facilities
  • health care buildings or hospitals
  • hotels and hospitality
  • industrial
  • residential – multi-unit developments
  • retail.