Construction measurement

By the book

22 August 2016

Ellie Scott summarises the Black Book and its relationship with the ICMS

The Black Book is a suite of guidance notes defining good technical standards for quantity surveying and construction professionals. It is a vital tool for younger professionals doing their APCs, and a useful guide to best practice for more experienced members.

The suite provides certainty and consistency in quantity surveying, with clear guidance so surveyors can perform their duties professionally and eliminate ambiguities. It also helps ensure clients receive objective, consistent advice, allowing for services to be benchmarked.

All guidance notes follow the same structure and are divided into three levels:

  1. general principles – level 1: knowing
  2. practical application – level 2: doing
  3. practical considerations – level 3: doing/advising.

Written by experienced professionals, each guidance note is rigorously reviewed by an expert panel to ensure the advice is balanced, objective and of high quality.

Members and the public can comment on the guidance prior to publication. To register your interest, please visit iConsult. The Black Book is available on the RICS website.

How will ICMS fit with the Black Book guidance?

The International Construction Measurement Standards (ICMS) aim to harmonise high-level construction cost definitions across buildings and infrastructure, and at project and national reporting levels. They have been prepared by a coalition of non-profit global professional bodies, including RICS. Publication is expected next spring. When the ICMS take effect, RICS will regulate them on a worldwide basis.

Accordingly, all ICMS coalition bodies will be required to amend and adapt their existing national and international guidance to incorporate these standards. RICS will need to revise the Black Book and the New Rules of Measurement, both of which are currently UK-only guidance. These will be incorporated into a regulated professional statement, which will support and augment ICMS on a global basis. The precise form and content of this professional statement is still to be developed and will depend on the agreed ICMS framework.

Ellie Scott is Senior Product Manager, RICS Standards Publishing

Further information

  • For more information, please contact Alan Muse, RICS Global Director of Built Environment Professional Groups
  • This feature is taken from the RICS Land journal (June/July 2016)