Quantity Surveying

Discover the kind of work a quantity surveyor undertakes and when you may need one.

Skyscraper construction

A quantity surveyor is an expert in the art of costing a building at all its stages. 

Chartered quantity surveyors are highly trained professionals offering expert advice on construction costs. They are essential for life cycle costing, cost planning, procurement and tendering, contract administration and commercial management. A Chartered Quantity Surveyor may be involved as a specialist in one area or generalise in several over the course of a project. They may also specialise in a particular areas such as residential or retail. Surveyors must pass an Assessment of Professional Competence (APC) to become a member of RICS and a chartered surveyor.

Working on the latest sports stadiums to iconic buildings from around the world, quantity surveyors must have strong financial, analytical, interpretative and teamwork skills. Clients rely on their judgment to ensure the smooth running of any project and provide value for money. Surveyors have been instrumental in driving forward the London Olympic project.

How do quantity surveyors work?

Before a construction project starts, a quantity surveyor will study drawings and specifications about a new building normally provided by architects or engineers. Increasingly, this involves Building Information Modelling (BIM). From this information, he/she will be able to calculate the quantities of materials for the build. They must also provide accurate labour and work costs. 

Quantity surveyors rely on a range of technical measurement tools to come to accurate costs. For example, Building Cost Information Service (BCIS) data to give early cost advice, to budget and benchmark projects and to prepare life cycle cost plans. They will also have a thorough understanding of Building Regulations in order to adhere to them and ensure that the project passes Building Control. During the build they keep a constant check on costs.


We provide a collection of guidance notes for our members known as the Black Book. This is a set of guidance notes which set out the standards by which RICS members are supposed to operate. 

Quantity surveyors can be essential in self build or renovation projects. Use our Find a Surveyor service to find an expert in construction and quantity surveying work near you.

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