A quantity surveyor (QS) is a professional working within the construction industry concerned with building costs.
The profession is one that provides a qualification gained following formal education, specific training and experience that provides a general set of skills that are then applied to a diverse variety of problems. Predominantly these relate to costs and contracts on construction projects.
There are around 75,000 professional QSs working in the UK.
2 Contractor's quantity surveyor
3 Career and Remuneration
4 Noted quantity surveyors
5 Pop culture
6 External links
The profession developed during the 19th century from the earlier "measurer", a specialist tradesman (often a guild member), who prepared standardised schedules for a building project in which all of the construction materials, labour activities and the like were quantified, and against which competing builders could submit priced tenders. Because all tenders were based on the same schedule of information, they could be easily compared so as to identify the best one. As a profession quantity surveying emerged around the 1820s with one of the earliest QSs being Sir Henry Arthur Hunt who was involved in work on the Houses of Parliament. After the fire in 1834 that destroyed the old Palace of Westminister Henry Hunt came up with an estimate cost of £724,984 (changes by Parliament put it up to £1.5m). 
The professional institution with which most English-speaking quantity surveyors are affiliated is the UK-based Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). In Australia, the Australian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (AIQS) has over 4300 members, both domestically and overseas and the New Zealand Institute of Quantity Surveyors (NZIQS) a further 1300. Others are the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) and Institution of Civil Engineering Surveyors (ICES). Those who are qualified members of the RICS are entitled to use the term "Chartered Quantity Surveyor" or simply "Chartered Surveyor".
The QS usually reports to Project Manager or Project Director and provides advice in the decision-making process throughout the management of a project from initial inception to final completion. The QS handles estimating and cost control, the tendering process and, after contract award, the commercial interface. QSs should be able to carry out estimating and measurement of construction works prior to tender, producing the bill of quantities; produce tender documentation and manage the tender process; clarify and evaluate tenders; and manage the resultant contract through monthly valuations, variations control, contract administration and assessment of claims.
Some QSs are trained in techniques of cost control. Those QSs who emphasise the cost discipline often use the term "Construction Cost Consultant". They ensure that projects are designed and constructed in such a manner as to secure value for money, cost certainty and programme dates.
Others emphasise contracts management. Trained to draft, interpret and administer complex contracts, those QSs who operate in the broader field of project management often adopt other titles such as "Contracts manager" or "Construction surveyor". A number of QSs work in procurement in the oil & gas industry, process and power industries, and civil engineering. Their preferred title, in countries where the QS profession is less known, is "Contracts engineer".
Some QSs specialise in project management and running multi-disciplinary projects, the QS background being a good foundation for understanding the complexities of modern large-scale projects.
As well as in professional quantity surveying practices, the QS finds employment in all parts of industry and government including primary and secondary industry, national and local government bodies and agencies, contractors and subcontractors, developers, and financial...
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