APC competencies: works progress and quality management

A matter of time

9 March 2016

Ewan Craig, a speaker at the RICS annual ‘It’s Your APC’ conference, outlines the core competency of works progress and quality management

Works progress and quality management is one of the optional competencies of the Building surveying Assessment of Professional Competence (APC). It is allied to the core competency of contract administration, encompassing the monitoring of works under the various forms of contract and procedures used in the construction industry.

The levels

At level 1
Inspect and record progress and quality of building works.

At level 2
Report and advise on the adequacy of progress and quality of building works.

At level 3
Manage and co-ordinate progress and quality of building works as a contract administrator/supervising officer or equivalent.

You should be familiar with the works progress and quality management issues in your submission documents and be ready to address questions on them and aspects related to them.


Actual questions are based on the candidate’s experience, which should be at level 2 but could exceed this. Two examples are given below.

You found some defective work to the roof during the refurbishment of property X. Could you please explain your inspection and reporting of this for the works quality and progress?

This is aimed at level 2. It could, however, be extended to level 3 if you act as the contract administrator. The answer would explain pertinent issues to support your application of knowledge.

The contractor was about a third of the way through the works to refurbish the 4-storey building under a traditional contract using the JCT Standard Building Contract. The works included the replacement of the pitched roof covering in artificial slate. I monitored the works on a regular basis and works were generally progressing well.

On site, I noticed that the recently fixed roof battens were too small and did not comply with the contract documents. I also noticed a different type of artificial slate to the specification had been brought to site. A particular colour and style of slate had been specified, following agreement with the client and the planning authority. The contractor’s substitute slate was noticeably different.

I followed the contract and RICS guidance notes, making notes and taking photographs of the battens and slates for our records. I informed the contractor on site about the battens and slates; they confirmed that these were incorrect. I informed the contract administrator, who issued a contract administrator’s instruction to the contractor to rectify both matters.

The approach informed the contractor at the earliest opportunity so minimising any potential delay and the contractor confirmed the critical path was unaffected. The approach also demonstrated to the contractor and client that we were diligent in our role and that a record was created if required later.

You reported on the effect that a client change for additional work would have on project Y. Please explain how you arrived at the report and its effect on the project?

This is aimed at level 2. However it could be extended to level 3 if you act as the contract administrator. 

First, I gained further details. I then quantified the change in accordance with the provisions of the contract, JCT Standard Building Contract. I followed this and the guidance notes to assess the change.

The redecoration of an additional internal area, adjacent to the works, was similar in character to the existing contract rates. As the change was prior to the programmed redecoration and the additional area was relatively small, it could be accommodated.

I also considered the conditions, quantities and preliminaries, which would not be adversely affected. In liaison with the contractor, they agreed in writing that the additional redecoration was independent of other works and would not impact on the critical path.

I reported the increased financial implication using the contract rates and that progress would be unaffected.


Given the time constraints of the APC your answer should give a brief but whole response. The answers given above are not exhaustive; care should be taken to demonstrate your own skills, abilities and knowledge to the assessors.

Ewan Craig is an APC assessor and the Programme Leader for the BSc [Hons] in Building Surveying at the College of Estate Management

Further information