Training & events

Quantity Surveying & Construction Conference


The must-attend event for the quantity surveying and construction industry.

2017 conference has now taken place. Register your interest to be the first to hear once the dates and programme for 2018 event are finalised.

The RICS Quantity Surveying and Construction Conference returned in 2017 with a renewed focus on digitisation in the industry. The event brought together eminent figures from the sector, six months on from the stark warning to “modernise or die” issued in the Farmer Review. As work continues towards the realisation of Digital Built Britain, the opportunities presented by the ongoing process of transformative change to professional practice are clearly evident. Covering a broad range of topics, and featuring an array of highly respected speakers, this conference offered a combination of inspirational thought leadership and essential technical guidance.

Delegates heard:

  • Strategies for responding to digital disruption in the industry
  • An in-depth discussion about the evolving nature of the profession
  • A review of Mark Farmer’s report on the UK Construction Labour Model, six months on from its publication
  • Case studies on digitisation in the supply chain and BIM for construction clients, and an update on legal compliance when using digital, smart and intelligent contracts. 
show full programme

Programme for 2017

08:30 Registration and refreshments

09:30 Chair’s opening comments

Justin Sullivan, Founder and Managing Director, Adair Associates; Global & UK Chair, RICS QS and Construction Professional Group Boards

09:40 Opening keynote: Embracing new approaches to work to meet the challenge of digital disruption in the industry
Deloitte UK’s Media Metric report for 2016 showed an increase in combined revenues among the country’s top 100 media providers of £87bn (21%) over the past five years. This, in the face of significant disruption to the industry – a challenge posed by a multitude of new providers and platforms – is a notable achievement. The day’s opening keynote session will consider how innovative approaches adopted by leading figures in the sector have helped drive corporate performance forward in the face of this emergent competition. Further consideration will be given to how these strategies can be adapted and applied to inspire similar success for professionals in the built environment.

Ian Hunter, Director and Digital Consultant, Round Peg Consulting

10:10 Panel discussion: The changing role of the Quantity Surveyor in a digitally enabled industry
As digitisation in the construction industry continues apace, the fundamental responsibilities of the quantity surveyor are changing, with many increasingly subject to commoditisation and automation. The Digital Built Britain Strategic Plan (February 2015) predicted a decline in demand for QS’s on future projects, making clear the vital importance of creating an agile and adaptable profession. Join this discussion to assess how best to respond to shifting expectations.  

Chaired by:
Dan Hughes
, Director of Data Products, RICS
Panellists will include:
Martin Roberts
, Partner, Pinsent Masons and Author, Collaborative Construction: More Myth Than Reality?
Tony Burton
, Partner, Gardiner & Theobald and Deputy Chairman, Construction Industry Council
Rachael Walker
, Associate Director, Turner and Townsend and Winner – Quantity Surveyor of the Year 2016, Women in Construction Awards

10:10 Networking refreshment break

11:40 BIM for construction clients
The construction client stands to gain numerous benefits from the adoption of BIM: better engagement of stakeholders; lower prices and faster programmes; reduced management workloads and more efficient project handovers being just some of the potential advantages. Nonetheless, obstacles still exist that prevent clients becoming fully involved in BIM processes. This session will concentrate on how these challenges can be navigated, and consider the strongest arguments in support of BIM capable construction clients.

Richard Saxon CBE, Principal, Consultancy for the Built Environment

12:25 Legal panel: Digital, intelligent and smart contracting – key considerations
Though the benefits of digital and smart contracts are manifold, they also raise new issues of legal compliance for surveyors. This session will bring together a selection of highly respected names in UK construction law to discuss the advantages of smart contracting, along with key considerations and common pitfalls.

Richard Waterhouse
, Chief Executive, RIBA Enterprises and Chief Executive, NBS
Fiona Sinclair QC
, 4 New Square
Tom Owen, Barrister
, Keating Chambers
Su Sharma
, Legal Advisor, Skanska and Winner – Outstanding Woman in Construction Law, European Women in Construction and Engineering Awards 2016
Chris Fellowes
, Partner, Mayer Brown

13:15 Networking Lunch

14:15 Afternoon keynote: Embracing innovation to solve the construction capacity crisis
The Farmer Review, published with the Construction Leadership Council in October 2016, outlined the need for innovation in the industry in the starkest imaginable terms: “Modernise or Die.” The result of the EU referendum, with its potential impact on access to labour has further underlined the profession’s structural vulnerabilities. This session will assess whether historic underinvestment in tech and digital solutions explains shrinkage in the workforce and the resultant skills shortage, and how best these challenges can be addressed.   

Denise Chevin, Editor, Construction Manager Magazine

14:50 International Construction Measurement Standards (ICMS)
This session will cover the practical upshot for the construction industry of the introduction of ICMS in 2017, including the effect of the standard on NRM1 and 3. Furthermore, we will discuss the work of the international coalition on driving global adoption.

Alan Muse, Global Director of Built Environment Professional Groups, RICS

15:20 Networking refreshment break

RICS technical update: A summary

15:40 Black Book update
• Value Management and Value Engineering
• Employer’s Agent and Design and Build

Andrew Smith, Chair, RICS Black Book Working Group

16:00 BIM for Cost Managers – RICS guidance note

Sarah Davidson, Head of Research and Development, Gleeds

16:20 JCT 2016 – an update on the key changes

Steven Thompson, Associate Director of the Built Environment, RICS

16:40 Digitisation in the supply chain: A case study  
The balance between securing the early engagement of Tier 1 and 2 contractors while ensuring that pricing remains competitive can be difficult to negotiate. This session will explore the potential of digitisation in the supply chain to enable earlier engagement of suppliers and the creation of “safe spaces” for critical commercial data while driving down entry costs for Tier 2 suppliers.

Neil Thompson, Head of Digital Integrity, Balfour Beatty and CEO, dotBuiltEnvironment

17:20 Chair’s closing remarks


Price incl. VAT

TBC for RICS members

TBC for non-members


full day


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