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News & opinion

23 APR 2018

Supporting confidence in the construction sector

RICS held a policy roundtable with Welsh Government Cabinet Secretary for Finance Mark Drakeford on 22 April at the Welsh Labour Conference in Llandudno North Wales, to discuss how International Construction Measurement Standards (ICMS) could support the Construction sector in Wales.


The discussion began with an overview of RICS in its 150th year, before looking at the adoption of ICMS by other countries or regions principally Ontario in Canada.

Justin Sullivan for RICS emphasised to the Cabinet Secretary the standards were in essence a cost classification system, that would allow comparisons to be made across the globe between different projects giving a better understanding and confidence in cost forecasts. This, the group was told, carried great potential to help keep construction costs under control.

Approaches to roll out

The Cabinet Secretary asked about the potential approaches to implementation, and was informed that they could either be gradually phased in or enacted more quickly. David Crewe for RICS told the group that while not an exact science the standards brought improved areas of commonality. David also explained how the standards would benefit SMEs by allowing them to learn one common platform or approach for bidding across the board for contracts.

Alexander Aronsohn RICS Director for Technical Standards reinforced this point on helping SMEs by providing a more level playing field. The group also discussed how the future iteration of ICMS could assist this further by providing greater certainty on life cycle costs for buildings. Alexander explained how it was already being adopted in the EU and offered further deeper engagement between RICS and Welsh Government on ICMS which was accepted by the Cabinet Secretary.

Following the endorsement of IPMS by First Minister Carwyn Jones in 2017 excellent foundations have been laid for a strong and enduring partnership between RICS and key policy makers in Wales. The event then concluded with the Cabinet Secretary saying that he would be asking officials to meet with RICS.