Professional guidance

Black Book

The 'Black Book' is a suite of guidance notes that define good technical standards for quantity surveying and construction professionals. These standards are essential development tools for younger professionals working through their APC and useful guides to best practice for more experienced professionals.

Certainty and consistency

Clear standards against which professionals can perform their duties eliminate ambiguity and promote best practice; they also help to ensure clients receive objective advice, delivered in a professional manner and with a consistent approach, and allow the benchmarking of services when employing professionals.

Further standards are added to the 'Black Book' as times goes on. Once completed, it will provide a legacy of technical information for RICS members.

Please be aware that a number of these guidance notes contain material and guidance which are rendered out of date by the recent publication of various documents, such as CDM 2015, JCT 2016 and the RIBA Plan of Work 2013, and as a result of evolving construction contract case law, such that revisions are necessary to the existing text. Please proceed with caution when referring to and citing these guidance notes and take professional advice as necessary if in doubt. The revised editions of these guidance notes will be published as soon as possible.

Purchase RICS QS and Construction Standards (Black Book) from the RICS Shop

Please be aware that guidance notes below contain some material which is in the process of being updated for revisions to the CDM Regulations, RIBA Plan of Work, and updates to the JCT, NEC and FIDIC suites. 

Professionals are made aware of these impending revisions in order that they first check the most up to date position before electing to act in accordance with these guidance documents.

Reveal these guidance notes
  • E-tendering, 2nd edition, 2010
  • Acceleration, 1st edition, 2011
  • Cash Flow Forecasting, 1st edition, 2011
  • Cost Analysis and Benchmarking, 1st edition, 2011
  • Construction Security and Performance Documents, 1st edition, 2013
  • Termination of Contract, Corporate Recovery and Insolvency, 1st edition, 2013
  • Capital Allowances and Land Remediation Relief, 1st edition, 2013
  • Defects and Rectification, 1st edition, 2013
  • Extensions of Time, 1st edition, 2013
  • Interim Valuations and Payment, 1st edition, 2013
  • Electronic Data Management, 1st edition, 2009
  • Construction Sectors and Roles for Chartered Quantity Surveyors, 1st edition, 2013


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