Contracts and procurement are at the core of the work quantity surveyors and project managers do. With Contract practice and Procurement and tendering being two of the three core competencies that are common across both RICS pathways, an issue of Construction Journal focusing on both of these topics was long overdue.
The types of contracts available for construction projects have evolved significantly over the years in response to the changing needs of the end user, and the changing processes in the industry. Roland Finch provides us with a timeline of how they have evolved, from the first ever construction contract released in 1902 to the present day. Roland's article also notes that a significant number of construction contracts still go unsigned, the legal risks of which are addressed by Shy Jackson's article later in the issue.
A group of quantity surveyors consider various project scenarios and debate which contract they would choose in each case and why. The resulting article is a collection of different approaches and choices, highlighting the importance of the role that quantity surveyors play in contract decisions.
Once a contract has been chosen, there are often amendments to be made. In a subsequent article, several industry professionals, including contract bodies, lawyers, lecturers and a project manager offer their views on when it is appropriate to amend contracts – and when it is not.
Oliver Sugden goes on to discuss the importance of communication in contract administration and management, while Steven Thompson provides an overview of the updated RICS Forms of Consultant's Appointment and explains how these modifications benefit the industry.
From a global perspective Nelson Ogunshakin advises on the key considerations and challenges when working on contracts outside your own jurisdiction – and how working in an international environment can also affect the project's procurement processes.
Elsewhere, Steven Thompson details the results of a collaborative project between RICS, RIBA and the CIOB focused on quality in construction projects, and Alex Lubbock updates us on the work the IPA, and other bodies, are doing to successfully integrate innovative digital processes into construction techniques for UK infrastructure.
Alex notes that the key to an effective digital transformation is sourcing an appropriately skilled workforce. In terms of recruitment for the future, though, industry leaders need to think about more than just skills. In his article celebrating Black History Month, Bola Abisogun imploring the industry to diversify its workforce and reap the benefits.
To those of you hoping to achieve chartered status with RICS following the final APC interviews in November, we wish you the best of luck. Check out David Cohen's article offering top tips for your interview preparation and refer back to previous issues of Construction Journal for some competency-specific advice.
In other RICS news, COBRA, the RICS research conference dedicated to construction, building and infrastructure, will be taking place at the American Real Estate Society (ARES) in Florida, USA between 14 and 18 April 2020. The COBRA track at ARES 2020 will consist of sessions dedicated to six main themes: project delivery, construction business, professional advancement in construction, policy and regulation, construction technology, and digitalisation. Industry professionals, academic researchers, and PhD students are all invited to submit abstracts for the conference by 8pm on 1 October 2019 by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finally, elections are coming up for the RICS Governing Council's 15 geographic market seats and it's crucial that you have your say. Vote from 17 October – 21 November 2019.
As always, enjoy the issue, and please feel free to send us any feedback – we want to hear from you!
Steph edits the Construction Journal and conservation-related material for the Built Environment Journal. What she enjoys most is the skills exchange involved in editing the journals – combining the technical knowledge of the authors with her understanding of writing, language and the publishing process. Her previous experience includes work on newspapers, magazines and medical journals.