It is important to note that the construction industry constitutes some stakeholders, such as design professional, clients, operational groups as well as construction professionals (Olanrewaju, 2016). The leading professionals in this industry from the initial contact with the client design and finally construction phases of the construction projects include engineers either civil or mechanical, quantity surveyors and architects. Ideally, quantity surveyor’s role is independent in the team comprising, engineers, architects and contractors, and client. Traditionally Quantity Surveying is focused on contracts and construction projects and quantity surveyors monitor construction cost through making an accurate measurement of the work needed(Wao, and Flood, 2016). Quantity surveying involves many processes which include but not limited to: cost management, procurements, contractual issues among others. It is essential to recognize that quantity surveyors play a crucial role in the contract administration: and all elements of the surveyor’s professional duty/role or work are linked directly or indirectly to construction works of all aspects. This paper will describe, explain and compare the positions of the client’s quantity surveyor and contractor’s quantity surveyor within the construction industry. Additionally, the paper will examine the possible future development with each job role.

Role of client quantity surveyor in the construction industry

Essentially, client quantity surveyor (QS) should always prioritize the interest of his or her client. Enough said, there are quite some roles of client quantity surveyor within the construction industry. One of the responsibilities is offering expert advice to the clients on contractual and financial issues. This involves the selection of the appropriate design team to complete the project. According to Towey,(2017), a competent design team is vital, or any given construction project and the quantity surveyor is a precious element to the design team. Secondly, any individual considering investing in a construction project does require the advice from the quantity surveyor in several stages of the project. No matter the size or the sophistication of a project, the client quantity surveyor does offer pieces of advice on cost management. With the construction industry, cost management is a process that encompasses cost planning, budgeting and controlling of a project to ensure that it is completed with a client’s approved budget. In this light, the client quantity surveyor checks the contract sum to ensure that the costs are within the client’s approved budgets as well as cost limits at the time of the construction process. Subsequently, the client quantity surveyor is vital when it comes to cost estimations of the construction project. Usually, the cost estimates are conducted in the initial project phase as to come up with a determination of the resource costs up to completion.

Thirdly, the quantity surveyor does feasibility of a construction project for the client; this involves advising the client on the potential site of construction as well as what the client can afford to construct. Typically, the client quantity surveyor presents elaborate information on the various components of the work periodically to allow payments for the jobs done out of date, this is popularly known as valuations. Through the bill of quantities created by the quantity surveyors, the client can be able to estimate the cost of the project from the measurements of the architect’s design. Moreover, the client quantity surveyor often deals with contractual as well as legal issues that might arise during the construction project. As for such, the client can be in a better position to understand the various legal matters that might occur during the construction process.

Role of contractor quantity surveyor

Just like the responsibilities and duties of a client QS, the functions of contractor quantity surveyors cannot be undermined; in fact, their tasks are vital as far as the completion of a construction project is concerned. A contractor’s quantity surveyor is accountable for the performance of the operations that reflects those of the owner’s quantity surveyor (QS). Most importantly, the contractor quantity surveyor performs work the would be otherwise be done by the contractor and contractors’ sub-contractor contrary to the construction work defined and measured in the construction contract agreement between the owner and the contractor. In this view, the roles of a contractor quantity surveyor go beyond the day to day running activities of the construction projects and usually will constitute components other than pricing and measures.

To begin: bearing in mind that the roles of a contractor QS is to ensure that the project is done within a stipulated budget and equally to maximize the profits for the owner: the responsibilities of a contractor QS does depend on whether the contractor QS is working for a contractor’s bid or pre-construction team or even both. If the contractor QS is working hand in hand with the construction team, then the CQS obtains an overview of the construction project and equally offers technical advice. The CQS is responsible for preparation and reviews of the sub-contract tenders. Secondly, the role of CQS does involve estimation of the resource cost: Olawumi, and Ayegun, (2016), noted that cost estimations are usually done in the construction project initial phase to develop an analysis of the resource cots concerning the project completion. Consequently, the CQS is essential when it comes to contract management; the Contractor quantity surveyor is responsible for the preparation of the various construction documents. Usually, the independent role of contractor QS in contract management is often enhanced by the neutral positions regarding the use of resources (especially on money matter). Besides, the contractor QS is responsible for the determination of cash flow forecasts and equally bringing together the various operations as well as maintenance manuals of the construction project.

Conclusion and recommendations

With regards to the prospects of the quantity surveying, the use of Building Information Modeling (BIM) is going to become relevant given the aspects involved in the construction project. Implementation of the BIM will have a significant impact on the traditional roles and responsibilities of client quantity surveyors and contractor quantity surveyors. The automatic creation of the bill of quantities will allow quantity surveyors to be involved in the initial phases of the construction project and equally make architects knowledgeable of the cost implications and control the project effectively. This will ensure the satisfaction of both the clients and contractors. One primary recommendation is that quantity surveyors should embrace the BIM technology in all aspects of the construction industry to enhance the effectiveness of the operations instead of employing the technology in architectural and structural designs only.



Olanrewaju, A., 2016. Measuring the service gaps in the roles of quantity surveyors in the emerging market. Benchmarking: An International Journal, 23(5), pp.1111-1131.

Olawumi, T.O. and Ayegun, O.A., 2016. Are Quantity Surveyors Competent to Value for Civil Engineering Works? Evaluating QSs’ Competencies and Militating Factors. Journal of Education and Practice, 7(16), pp.9-18.

Towey, D., 2017. Construction quantity surveying: a practical guide for the contractor’s QS. John Wiley & Sons.

Wao, J.O. and Flood, I., 2016. The role of quantity surveyors in the international construction arena. International Journal of Construction Management, 16(2), pp.126-137.

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