ICMS user guide now accessible for immediate use

Alan Muse FRICS

Director of Built Environment Professional Groups (RICS)

Our professionals now have access to a new technical resource to help them work with and use the recently launched International Construction Measurement Standards (ICMS).


ICMS Explained: A user guide for the International Construction Measurement Standards is a new, practical resource that equips RICS quantity surveyors and cost consultants to deliver cost estimates and financial reports in line with ICMS. They will benefit from using this globally-recognised cost management standard in their day-to-day work and passing on this benefit to their clients by offering better cost benchmarking and comparisons between projects.

In essence, the new user guide supports the financial management of construction projects that can be applied across any market in the world.

Collecting, collating and analysing data is a key deliverable of all construction projects. Until now various organisations and firms have been able to collect, collate and analyse their own data but have not been able to efficiently compare the data because no common framework to do so existed. ICMS changes that by providing a unified framework to compare data across organisations, projects and markets.

Read and download ICMS Explained

About ICMS Explained

ICMS Explained: A user guide for International Construction Measurement Standards is a technical document that sets out the purpose, context and philosophy of ICMS. It unpacks the structure and cost classifications to give practitioners a step-by-step guide to delivering projects using ICMS.

Practitioners will find the guide valuable as a reference document to address questions of the terminology used and how ICMS rules could apply to a specific project situation. The user guide also sets out how ICMS is used in practice by drawing on and illustrating real examples of where it is already in use.

Supporting the demand for global construction and infrastructure

While the ICMS Explained publication is a technical document, it has real-life implications and applications for governments, industry, investors, multilateral funders of infrastructure projects, the users and clients of construction services, consultants and contractors involved in any and all aspects of construction. 

ICMS and the need to more accurately compare construction costs comes in the context of massive demands in infrastructure and construction project funding across the world. The public and the private sectors are grappling with how to fund much-needed infrastructure and construction projects in various sectors such as transport, telecommunication and the energy sectors to name a few examples.

And with an estimated average US$3 trillion on needed to be spent annually up to 2030 to fund global infrastructure projects, ICMS will support this mammoth task by providing a more harmonised approach to cost prediction. It will also enable better budget estimations on infrastructure projects, especially those of a cross border nature.

Market demand for ICMS

ICMS was developed by the ICMS Coalition and is the product of a collective effort by a group of international professional bodies. Clients and governments are already demanding cost estimates and financial reports are to be produced in line with ICMS. Multi-disciplinary service firms are starting to use the standard as a basis for cost estimating and financial reporting on major projects in the airport and rail sector.

As an RICS professional, you are now able to work with ICMS through the ICMS Explained user guide and benefit from this first of its kind, globally-recognized standard set to revolutionize how construction projects are managed and reported.

Read and download ICMS Explained

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ICMS Explained

Equipping quantity surveyors & cost consultants to deliver cost estimates & financial reports in line with ICMS

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