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Industry education and training

the future
November/December 2013
The Ryder campaign
Leading the debate on a new
Built Environment degree
PG. 12
Legacy for change
University Technology
Colleges align industry needs
PG. 8
Strong foundations
Setting professional standard
through lifelong learning
PG. 6
For further information, please visit:
or contact the College of Science and Technologys Enquiries Team:
T: 0161 295 4545
Study at the UKs premier
School of the Built Environment
The School of the Built Environment at the University of Salford is a nationally and internationally recognised
centre of excellence for Built Environment study. We offer a range of modern, management focused
undergraduate courses and postgraduate taught courses developed in partnership with professional
accrediting bodies and practitioner advisors, to meet the needs of a dynamic and innovative industry.
Undergraduate courses
Our Undergraduate courses are offered on a full time and a part time basis. The part time delivery is structured
to allow students to study on a block release pattern.
n BSc Architectural Design & Technology (Accredited by CIAT/CIOB)
n BSc Architecture new for 2014 (seeking accreditation)
n BSc Building Surveying (Accredited by RICS)
n HNC Construction
n BSc Construction Project Management (Accredited by RICS/CIOB)
n BSc Quantity Surveying (Accredited by RICS/CIOB/ICES/BQSM)
Postgraduate courses
Our Postgraduate courses are available now for January 2014 start, as well as entry in September 2014. Courses
are offered full time, part time or online distance learning as indicated below. We welcome applications from
students without formal qualications but with signicant relevant experience in industry.
n MSc BIM and Integrated Design (FT/PT/DL routes available)
n MSc/LLM Construction Law and Practice (DL only, September start accredited by RICS)
n MSc Construction Management (FT/PT/DL routes available accredited by RICS/CIOB/APM)
n MSc Project Management in Construction (FT/PT/DL routes available accredited by RICS/CIOB/APM)
n MSc Quantity Surveying (FT/PT/DL routes available accredited by RICS)
n MSc Quantity Surveying (M&E) (FT/PT/DL routes available accredited by RICS)
n MSc Real Estate and Property Management (FT/PT/DL routes available accredited by RICS)
We have Open Days running throughout the year, including online sessions for the distance learning delivery.
Please contact us if you would like to book a place or nd out more about the courses.
While every reasonable efort has been made to ensure the
accuracy of all content in the journal, RICS will have no
responsibility for any errors or omissions in the content. The
views expressed in the journal are not necessarily those of
RICS. RICS cannot accept any liability for any loss or damage
sufered by any person as a result of the content and the
opinions expressed in the journal, or by any person acting or
refraining to act as a result of the material included in the
journal. All rights in the journal, including full copyright or
publishing right, content and design, are owned by RICS,
except where otherwise described. Any dispute arising out of
the journal is subject to the law and jurisdiction of England
and Wales. Crown copyright material is reproduced under the
Open Government Licence v1.0 for public sector information:
NOV E MB E R/ DE CE MB E R 2 01 3 3
Editor: Robert Mallett
T +44 (0)20 7695 1533 E
The Construction Journal is the journal of the Project
Management and Quantity Surveying & Construction
Professional Groups
Advisory group:
Craig Abraham (Evolution5), Gerard Clohessy (EC Harris),
Christopher Green (Capita Symonds), Vytas Macenas
(Faithful+Gould), Anne McCann (West Quarter Consulting),
Andrew McSmythurs (Sweett Group), David Reynolds, Alan
Muse (RICS), Matthew Saunders (RICS)
Construction Journal is available on annual subscription. All
enquiries from non-RICS members for institutional or company
subscriptions should be directed to:
Proquest Online Institutional Access E
T +44 (0)1223 215512 for online subscriptions or
SWETS Print Institutional Access E
T +44 (0)1235 857500 for print subscriptions
To take out a personal subscription, members and non-members
should contact Licensing Manager Louise Weale
Chairmans column
Education and training are the
foundations of the built environment
profession, argues Anne McCann
Opening up options
Gary Strong looks at the many
education initiatives aimed for the
surveying profession
Legacy for change
A West Midland college is creating
a new era of training and education
for the construction sector, writes
Tom Macdonald
Get on board with BIM
Education in building information
modelling ofers a brave new world
of working for surveyors, argues
Matthew Saunders
School for skills
Roy Cavanagh shows how
vocational qualications are central
to the UK construction industry
Degree of collaboration
Robert Mallett assesses the higher
education debate generated
by the Ryder Architecture Built
Environment campaign
Back to the melting pot
Peter Buchan argues that a new
Built Environment BSc is essential
to the UK construction industry
View from the summit
Jeremy Blackburn updates RICS
members on last summers
Government Construction Summit
Managing risk
Emma Vigus provides guidance
on reducing the risk of sufering a
professional indemnity claim
Re-educating Liberia
Construction and site supervision
skills are helping a war-torn
West African country to rebuild
its schools infrastructure.
Darren Talbot explains
Justifying omissions
Ian Yule outlines the uses and
abuses of instructions to omit work
Fairly dismissed?
Helen Crossland sets out an
employers guide to dismissing
employees fairly
Overcoming the hurdles
Les Pickford looks at the challenges
of producing an estimate from the
data in the initial 3D model
Learning Curve
Pierpaolo Franco reviews the
growth of blended learning
Legal Helpline
Kevin Joyce returns to the issue
of the hierachy of documents
under the NEC3
Front cover:
Published by: The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors,
Parliament Square, London SW1P 3AD
T +44 (0)24 7686 8555 W
ISSN: ISSN 1752-8720 (Print) ISSN 1759-3360 (Online)
Editorial and production manager: Toni Gill
Sub-editor: Gill Rastall
Designer: Emma Storey
Creative director: Mark Parry
Advertising: Lucie Inns T +44 (0)20 7871 2906
Design by: Redactive Media Group Printed by: Page Bros
4 NOV E MB E R/ DE CE MB E R 2 01 3
Shaping knowledge needs
detailed articles in this issue.
The importance of fostering
greater collaboration between
academia and the built
environment profession, and
ensuring that graduates are
suitably prepared for entering
the profession are just some
of the topics debated (see
page 11).
The education overview
includes information on the
new University Technical
Colleges, and refers to RICS
dedicated Education and
Qualication Standards team
in the UK. RICS UK Education
and Standards Board
(UKESB) has two main areas
of responsibility, higher
education and routes to
membership, and comprises
members from both the
academic community and the
surveying profession. Its remit
includes developing policy for
UK threshold standards and
accreditation, training and
nal assessment submissions
requirements, approving
new university partnerships,
accredited courses and
monitoring threshold standards
for the membership qualications.
To date 51 universities/higher
education providers have
entered into partnership
agreements with RICS.
One of the dening
characteristics of bodies such
as RICS, is their ability to set
their own entry standards for
the professions. Over the
years RICS has played a role
in the development of
education and knowledge at
The distinction between
knowledge for the sake of
knowledge, and knowledge
for use is an ancient
conundrum that can be traced
back to the philosophers Plato
and Aristotle. This debate
continues today, and this
edition of the Construction
Journal explores the subject
of construction industry
education and training
I have recently returned
to university to read for a
professional doctorate. From
this experience it is clear to
me that signicant changes
are taking place in tertiary
education, including the
availability of a massive range
of online open courses, a
huge growth in the choice
of courses and ever greater
numbers of students aspiring
to undertake masters and
doctoral degrees.
RICS has hosted a roundtable
discussion on the future of
education and industry
training, to which members of
the Project Management
Professional Group (PMPG)
Board contributed. Key
aspects of this are subject to
Education and training are the foundations of the built environment profession and
debates over its future delivery are vital to maintaining standards, says Anne McCann
all levels throughout the
profession, through resources
such as the annual Student
Construction Journal (SCJ),
which is distributed to
the universities that ofer
RICS-accredited courses in
project management, quantity
surveying and construction.
Produced in collaboration with
RICS matrix, this service has
been appreciated and valued
by undergraduate students.
I believe that the UKESB
continues to reinforce and
enhance the perception of
RICS as a learned body.
The term education and
training carries associations
with students and textbooks,
and may seem to be of little
relevance to surveyors who
completed their degrees many
years ago. However,
knowledge creation within
the profession has been
developing at an ever
increasing pace, and will
clearly have an impact on all
surveyors regardless of their
levels of experience.
Continuing on the theme
of lifelong learning, the
Appointing a project manager
guidance note is now available
and provides practical
guidance to RICS members
and clients, while the new
Managing communications
information paper is designed
to encourage best practice.
The PMPG has
commissioned a Stakeholder
management guidance note
in collaboration with the
Association of Project
Anne McCann FRICS is
Chairman of the Project
Management Professional
Group Board
Management. This is being
produced by project
managers with signicant
practical expertise, in
conjunction with highly
qualied and expert members
of the academic community.
The development of routes
such as the experiential
learning cycle and the
theory of reection, is well
recognised and accepted by
academic commentators.
As part of this process, I
would encourage you to
communicate and liaise with
the Board on a regular basis
via the online PMPG
community resource, which
is an ideal place to discuss
professional and technical
topics. Alternatively, the RICS
LinkedIn Programme and
Project Group (
RICSPPMgroup) is available
for professionals to share
ideas and generate debate.
I believe that a key challenge
for all surveyors is ensuring
that their tacit knowledge is
transferred to others, who can
learn from their experience
and continue to provide a
service to the highest
professional and technical
standards. I hope that some
of the initiatives discussed
here will help to achieve
this, and will encourage you
all to participate. C
In brief...
Asset guide for small businesses

RICS has launched a guide to help small
businesses take better control of their
nances through managing their property
assets diferently.
The Small business property guide is
free for business owners, and covers all
aspects of the property process. It has
been endorsed by the Federation of
Small Businesses, the British Retail
Consortium and the Association of Town
and City Management.
The guide includes advice on nding
the right premises, business rates, tax
allowances on property, rent reviews
and valuations.
NOV E MB E R/ DE CE MB E R 2 01 3 5
RICS conferences
Legal issues in construction 2013
13 November, London
n issues
North West CPD Day
20 November 2013, Warrington
East CPD Day
28 November, Cambridge
London CPD Day
12 December
Dispute Resolution in
Construction 2014
28 January 2014
South East (Kent) CPD Day
30 January, Ashford
Scotland CPD Day
27 February, Perth
BIM Conference 2014
12 February, London
COBRA conference
papers published
More than 100 delegates from the
global construction research community
representing 19 countries gathered in
New Delhi in September for the annual
COBRA conference.
The key event for presenting and
discussing the latest industry research
was held in India for the rst time in its
19-year history, recognising the regions
growing importance to RICS, the global
economy and the worldwide academic
n The conference papers are available at
BCIS has developed new cost and price
indices for the infrastructure sector as
part of its work on the Infrastructure
Information Service (IIS).
Two new input cost indices for the
rail and the water and sewerage sectors
will be published alongside the BIS cost
index for the roads sector.
The indices measure changes in
costs of labour, materials and plant,
i.e. input cost to contractor. They are
based on cost models produced by BCIS
that represent typical expenditure proles
for the sectors. The cost of work in the
construction industry is dened in the
Standard Industrial Classication 2007,
and therefore excludes specialist
engineering works included in
infrastructure projects.
BCIS has also developed a modelled
index for infrastructure tender prices
based on the input cost indices and the
movement in market conditions.
The indices add to the output of
the IIS, which will also include:
b analysis of benchmarking studies
by sector
b forecasts of demand, prices and
cost trends
b civil engineering estimating database
b cost analyses for infrastructure
related buildings
b average prices for infrastructure
related buildings.
n For further information, contact
Joe Martin or
Robert Dent
Infrastructure cost and price indices
For further information
and reservations,
call 020 7695 1600 or visit
Energy efciency
standard recognised
The prestigious ISO 50001 standard
has been awarded to two UK RICS
ofces (London and Coventry) and
one in Europe (Brussels). The global
standard recognises both energy
efciency and good energy management
systems and is only given to
organisations that integrate energy
management into their environmental
work. Steps are being taken to gain the
standard for other main ofces globally.
n For further details, visit
6 NOV E MB E R/ DE CE MB E R 2 01 3
Gary Strong describes some of the initiatives
taking place across the country that aim to
raise awareness of the range of opportunities
on offer in the surveying profession
up options
Education is an important consideration
for RICS. It is the lifeblood for future
membership and essential for the
progression of existing members. A
professional body ignores it at its peril,
which is why we have a dedicated
Education and Qualication Standards
team for the UK and a Global team
supporting our various standards boards.
My own interest in surveying started at
the age of 14. I had always been
interested in history and historic buildings
in particular. But it proved to be an
inspirational maths teacher who
suggested that a small number of our
class study O-level surveying, that
eventually galvanised my interest in the
discipline. The surveying course appealed
very much because it enabled us to get
out of the classroom and onto the heath
close to our school, where we mapped
out the area and beyond. It was great fun
and we had some real laughs, and I still
passed the exam. From that point on I
knew I wanted to be a surveyor, and went
on to select the appropriate A-levels
particularly maths in order to progress
to a degree in building surveying at the
University of Reading. This eventually led
me to complete the Test of Professional
Competence (as it was then called) and I
become a chartered surveyor at the
young age of just 24.
So how do we inspire the young people of
today to follow a career in surveying? I
am a rm believer that proactively
demonstrating that surveying is a great
career choice in our schools and colleges,
can only encourage the next generation
to take it up. It needs great leadership.
That is why I am so delighted that RICS
matrics ( is now
leading a strategy to engage with
secondary schools, using inspirational
case studies and other material (see
members/about-rics-matrics) to open up
young students minds to the huge
opportunities that surveying can ofer.
Qualied surveyor status constitutes
a passport for international travel, and
there are more than 175 surveying
specialisms within RICS. Plainly, there is a
wide choice of career available to the
newly qualied graduate, many outside
the UK. In fact, it is estimated that around
27% of RICS members are based
overseas, in more than 130 countries, as
shown in the RICS of cial video for
schools (
University Technical Colleges
RICS has also been leading the way in
education and training by way of its
involvement in the University Technical
Colleges (UTCs), currently being
established around the UK for the
14-19 age group. Promoted by the
Baker-Dearing Trust, founded by Lord
Baker, the initiative has the support of
government and some Engineering UTCs
are already up and running. The number
has increased to 45, with 13 more recent
approvals and 15 destined to be
Construction UTCs. The rst Construction
UTC opens in Walsall in September 2014
(see page 8), and will enable young people
to study for vocationally based GCSEs
and A-levels. A vocational diploma option
is also available.
RICS' input into the curriculum will
enable students to understand that the
construction industry need not simply
lead to them becoming bricklayers and
plasterers. Rather, technology, such as
building information modelling, will enable
them to progress to a career in project
management, quantity surveying, building
control, land surveying, planning and
development and much more. For me it is
all about leadership, about showing
students the potentially wide range of
careers open to them in the built
environment industries. I am delighted to
have been able to participate in this
ground-breaking initiative.
RICS has also been heavily involved in
the industry wide Advisory Committee for
14-19 Construction and Built Environment
Education. Chaired by Roy Cavanagh MBE
of Seddon Construction, this committee
will address various issues in construction
and built environment education. It
includes representatives from the
Construction Industry Training Board
(CITB), colleges, universities, employers,
RICS and the Chartered Institute of
Building. We have had meetings with the
Department for Education (DfE), and
have contributed to recent developments
in relation to vocational education and
training, as well as associated
qualications policy. Reforms will take
place in two stages. By September 2013
awarding organisations had to submit
vocational qualications that meet interim
requirements. And by September 2016
qualications that meet the requirements
in full will be awarded. Beyond this, there
NOV E MB E R/ DE CE MB E R 2 01 3 7
Gary Strong FRICS is RICS Director of
Practice Standards and Technical Guidance
is also the proposed technical
baccalaureate, and employers interested
in contributing to the development of
guidance on core maths are invited to
contact the DfE through the CITB.
Youth development
In addition, RICS has contributed to
consultations on the development of
proposed core 14-19 standards for
construction and built environment (CBE)
education, which will build on work
carried out to support the diploma in
Construction and the Built Environment.
There is positive support for continuing
the three themes, for establishing credit
to apprenticeships and the endorsement
or kitemarking of standards.
Class of Your Own has developed an
inspirational new curriculum called Design,
Engineer, Construct, in order to encourage
the study of and careers in, construction and
engineering. Its own survey showed that
71% of young people thought a career in
construction simply meant being a builder
or a bricklayer so there is still some way
to go in getting the message through
City & Guilds is making an extended
project qualication available from
September 2014, and the principal
learning qualication in CBE became
available in September. Other training
pathways in development include:
b Level 2 BTEC is going forward for
b a couple of the UTCs are working
towards delivery of BTEC Firsts
b supporting apprenticeship and higher
apprenticeship frameworks remains a priority
b NVQs are being updated.
WJEC (IVQs) Level 1 and 2 Awards in
Construction and the Built Environment
ofer a learning experience that focuses
learning for 14-19 year olds through applied
learning. In other words, students can
acquire and apply knowledge, skills and
understanding through purposeful tasks
set in sector or subject contexts that
have many of the characteristics of real
work. These awards will be available from
September 2014, and each qualication
involves a total of 120 guided learning
hours. Three awards will be available:
b Designing the built environment
b Constructing the built environment
b Planning sustainable communities.
Each award reects the 14-19 core
standards as included in the principal
learning qualications at foundation and
higher levels.
The Chartered Surveyors Training Trust
(CSTT) is an independent charity that
supports young people who are nding it
dif cult to start their surveying career.
RICS works in partnership with CSTT via
an apprenticeship scheme that counts
towards AssocRICS membership. The
Advanced Apprenticeship in Surveying
helps them to obtain qualications such
as the Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Surveying,
Property and Maintenance BTEC, and the
Level 3 Diploma in Surveying. Once the
apprenticeship and two years work
experience are completed, candidates are
eligible for the AssocRICS Assessment.
So why is RICS interested in all of this?
Some of you will recall that RICS once
ran its own examinations in tandem with
RICS-accredited degree programmes.
With the increase in university fees it is
very likely that many universities will see a
decline in undergraduate entrants, and
indeed some have already witnessed a
steep fall in applications and admissions.
Degree-only entry into the profession at
chartered level may, therefore, not be
sustainable in the future, but this should
not be seen as detrimental to the
profession itself. I have seen many
ex-tradesmen go on to become brilliant
surveyors. When I rst trained in the early
1980s, there were many aspiring
surveyors working alongside me who
went on to complete the RICS exams and
became members of our Institution.
So there is no reason why future,
non-graduate entrants into the profession
should not prove equally as successful.
Future intake
Without lowering the standards of entry
to either AssocRICS or MRICS we need
to have an eye on the future. How will
young people attending the UTCs or
colleges, who do not attend university yet
aspire to a career in surveying, progress
to achieving chartered status? It is a
challenge we need to face up to, while
also being determined to protect the
gold standard and reputation of our
qualications globally. We need to be able
to recognise non-degree qualications
and further training that enables any
potential member to look at RICS, and
believe that they can one day achieve
chartered status. My hope is that we will
continue to inspire young people to look
at a career in surveying, just as I did all
those years ago. C
MFor details on the UTCs visit

North Asia
South Asia

North America
Latin America
It is estimated that around 27% of RICS members
are based overseas, in more than 130 countries


8 NOV E MB E R/ DE CE MB E R 2 01 3
A West Midland college is providing
an exemplar for a new era of training
and education for the construction
sector, writes Tom Macdonald
for change
The economic challenges of the past few years have irrevocably
changed the UKs industrial and sectoral landscapes. Two of
the biggest afected have been education and construction
both marred by high levels of unemployment and low levels
of training which have been compounded further by sluggish
economic growth.
The more positive economic outlook, which the UK
government and various economic agencies claim to be just
around the corner, has provided a measure of much-needed
respite. But we must now consider whether our approach
toward education and training gives us a sufciently capable
skills base to meet the future demands of a more advanced
construction sector. Will the next generation of construction
workers be armed with a work-ready mentality capable of
bolstering the industry?
To ensure that it does, a new approach that more closely
aligns construction with education is needed to ensure
that young learners have a rmer career foothold in the
construction sector.
This belief in the need for a new fundamental approach toward
education has led me to take up the role of Founding Principal at
the West Midlands Construction University Technical College
(WMCUTC). With the support of colleagues and a large number
of industry stakeholders, we are now building a legacy for
change that will transform the ways in which skills are
developed. Our vision is to create an industry-led institution that
sets an example for other UK sectors with its unique approach
to education and training.
With this in mind we have worked closely with industry
employers to design a vocademic curriculum, tailored to three
core routes of progression into a career in construction: higher
apprenticeships, university and employment. Delivering this new
approach toward training and qualications, which is closely
aligned to the demands of the industry, has required the
expertise of some of the countrys leading contractors 150 in
the Walsall area alone. In doing this, we believe we will be
providing young people with the right balance of practical skills
and academic rigour, in order to hit the ground running for a
career in the industry.
Through wider collaborations of this sort, the WMCUTC
has taken signicant steps toward considering both the
demand for skills and their supply. On the demand side we
have developed a curriculum founded on the idea of delivering
the qualied individuals needed to plug impending skills
gaps. According to the Construction Industry Training
Boards Construction Skills Network forecast, there will be
a need for as many as 115,000 construction workers over the
next four years, on projects ranging from the traditional
(bricklaying, roong, architecture) to the cutting edge (nuclear
build, the Thames Tideway, the Shard). Acting now will
A curriculum that enhances the employability of
our learners
All University Technical Colleges are required to focus on
two specialisms that will help young people to improve
their job prospects in the area where they live. To provide
the best t with the employment prole of the area, West
Midlands Construction UTC (WMCUTC) has selected
Construction and the use of IT in the built environment as
its key areas of focus, with the opportunity to learn
practical construction and IT skills alongside the core
academic subjects of English, maths and science.
Through a focus on employer-led technical learning and
business skills, alongside exceptional academic teaching
which will support the development of core skills and
GCSE attainment, our learners will leave WMCUTC as
highly employable, qualied young professionals with an
edge in the careers market. This is what sets learners
from technical schools apart from their peers.
All learners will work on construction-focused projects
In all years, students will study construction-focused
projects for 40% of their timetable (two days per week).
At Key Stage 4 (Y10 and Y11) this will lead to a Principal
Learning Qualication in Construction and the Built
Environment along with a Cambridge Technical ICT
qualication. At Key Stage 5 (Y12 and Y13) students will be
working towards the proposed Technical Baccalaureate
focused on Construction and ICT in the Built Environment.
They will therefore combine the achievement of
construction qualications with academic qualications.
Year 10: Gain construction qualications alongside
academic study
Pre-16 students study a core GCSE (or equivalent)
curriculum in addition to their construction and IT
technical studies. There will also be opportunities for
students to earn qualications in other subjects.
Years 12 and 13: Construction training combined with
As part of the Technical Baccalaureate, all students will
complete a core curriculum of literacy and mathematics in
addition to their construction and ICT studies. This will
lead to qualications in mathematics and the extended
project (both up to Level 3).
In addition to the Technical Baccalaureate, students will
select up to a maximum of three subjects from a wide
range of A-level options.
Alternative post 16 options
Some students may wish to follow a diferent post
16 pathway to that outlined above.
The UTC Construction curriculum
NOV E MB E R/ DE CE MB E R 2 01 3 9
Tom Macdonald is Founding Principal of the West
Midlands Construction University Technical College
ensure that the hi-tech skills for a modern industry are in
the pipeline.
The WMCUTC approach also has huge advantages when
looking at situation facing the supply side. As a catalyst for
social change, and as one of a growing number University
Technical Colleges (UTCs), learners will benet from a cheek
by jowl approach to learning. Support for this approach will
come from industry employers ofering mentoring, work
experience, site visits, as well as training in some of the softer
skills, such as management, team working and communication.
Furthermore, the rst cohort of leavers, and many more down
the years, will leave the WMCUTC with the most desirable
skillsets for the construction sector, thus giving them a passport
to work not only in the UK, but internationally.
With this pioneering approach to education we are challenging
the perception that construction is a sector composed of people
who do not quite make the grade, but is instead an industry in
which young people can achieve great things. Clearly, this
message is now beginning to resonate among parents and
young people living in the Walsall area, judging by the healthy
number of applications that have already been received for
places when the college opens its doors in September next year.
Strong interest is also being shown in the Meet the Principle
events taking place over the coming weeks and months.
By matching the needs of the UK construction industry with
the right qualications and training, we can help to transform the
lives of a huge number of the nations young people by delivering
gold standard training and qualications that meet the needs of
a hi-tech, world class industry. The WMCUTC should be seen as
an institution right at the forefront of this change, as a result of
closer ties between the education and construction sectors. C
More information
1 0 NOV E MB E R/ DE CE MB E R 2 01 3
Matthew Saunders is RICS
Associate Director for the
Built Environment
Former Prime Minister Tony
Blair once famously declared:
Ask me my three main
priorities for government and I
tell you education, education,
education. Im unlikely ever to
hold that of ce, but if you ask
me my three main priorities
for chartered surveyors in
construction then Ill tell you:
Level 2 and level 3 BIM, PAS
1192 parts 1, 2 and 3, NRM1, 2
and 3, data drops, COBie,
Uniclass 2, the BIM protocol,
are all terms that make up the
new language of building
information modelling for
surveyors. The complexity of
this new lexicon simply serves
to conrm that education is
needed across the industry
to make the step change to
an ef cient, BIM-enabled
construction sector.
Some surveyors are BIM
trailblazers, some are cautious
Get on board with BIM
Education in building information modelling
is the only way to harness the opportunity
presented by a brave new world of working for
surveyors, argues Matthew Saunders
supporters, others appear to
be in denial. Whichever camp
you sit in, one thing is clear:
for those who fail to align their
working practices, BIM will
prove to be more of a
hindrance than a help, and
they will fail to unlock the full
potential that this technology
ofers to all of us. This is
particularly true for quantity
surveyors (QSs), although our
project management peers
stand to lose or gain here too.
Of course, BIM can help to
visualise a nished project,
as well as identify clash
detection. But underpinning
the governments BIM
strategy is the greater
long-term vision of being able
to use existing building and
infrastructure data (from
building information models)
to better inform the design,
cost and delivery of newbuild
projects, as well as existing
asset management and
maintenance. The
masterplan is to benchmark
construction projects not just
in terms of capital cost, but
also in terms of carbon, time,
material, labour, method, and
potentially any parameter that
project teams enter into model.
Essentially, the government
is looking to create a vast
database of project
information from all of its
BIMs. However, as any QS
will tell you, data is far more
useful if it is captured in a
consistent manner, and this is
why QSs price buildings using
the standard form of cost
analysis. By having the cost
data captured in a standard,
structured manner, surveyors
can compare, benchmark and
analyse cost data ef ciently.
The same is true of BIM
data. By developing such
information in a structured,
consistent way, we unlock the
ability to measure, compare
and benchmark diferent
aspects of future projects. In
so doing we are subsequently
able to use this valuable data
to make better informed
decisions and drive improved
performance. This is the
essence of the governments
BIM strategy, and this is
where private business will
need to follow if it wants to
reap the benets of BIM.
For industry to reach this
utopian place of usable,
high-quality, consistent and
structured information, its
professionals need to learn
new skills and new standards.
The UK government is leading
the way in terms of developing
standards for a truly
BIM-enabled industry, but it
needs these to mature more
quickly, so that industry can
adopt them with condence.
Otherwise, we risk having
leading industry players
forging ahead along paths
that diverge from those of
other major players. The
inevitable outcome will be that
we nd ourselves with vast
amounts of inconsistent
digital information that cannot
be used ef ciently. The
inevitable and unwanted result
of this will be that the
industrys reputation for
inef ciency will prevail. In
short, an opportunity will be
lost. Structured training and
education is the only way to
do this, because consistency
will breed ef ciency, and this
is the key benet of BIM. C
Further +info
include T017
NOV E MB E R/ DE CE MB E R 2 01 3 1 1
By ensuring that
learners are
embarking on
relevant, high-quality
CBE qualications,
we are essentially
safeguarding the
future of the UK
construction industry

Roy Cavanagh MBE is Training and Education

Executive at Seddon Construction and
Chairman of the 14-19 Advisory Committee
qualications and
training have come
under considerable
scrutiny over the
past few years,
as the debate
continues to rage on whether they have a
place in our modern curriculum for 14 to
19-year-olds. Set against the backdrop of
the UK governments review of vocational
qualications, some still view this
educational route as second rate, compared
to the more academic paths ofered by
the GCSE and the Baccalaureate.
However, vocational qualications are
the lifeblood of many UK industries,
where a large proportion of the work
carried out requires practical hands-on
skills, as well as theoretical knowledge.
It is therefore vital that support for the
training of young people continues
through todays 14-19 curriculum.
The key to producing a motivated and
skilled workforce lies with adopting an
approach that continuously assesses
and improves their level of training, via
a collaboration between education
specialists, industry employers and
representatives from other professional
organisations such as RICS. By improving
the standards and range of vocational
qualications on ofer, we can ensure that
they meet the needs of employers, and,
most importantly, the needs of the people
undertaking them.
The UK construction industry certainly
needs a solid foundation of workers with
an aptitude for technical knowledge and
its practical application. With construction
methods and techniques evolving rapidly,
and in particular the steadily evolving
digital technologies such as building
information modelling, vocational
qualications and training are vital.
Adding an ever increasing skills gap to
the mix, and at a time when the worst of
the recession appears nally to be over,
it is imperative that we act now to
safeguard these qualications.
In order to do this, a number of key
construction industry players established
the 14-19 Advisory Committee in late
2012. Funded and supported by the
Construction Industry Training Board,
the committee has members drawn from
the construction industry, educational
awarding bodies, schools and college
leaders, employers, professional bodies
and trade associations. Its remit is to
oversee the development of gold
standard construction apprenticeships
and vocational qualications for 14 to
19-year-olds, in order to meet the needs
of a hi-tech, world-class industry.
Crucially, it aims to provide generations
of young people with outstanding career
prospects and major possibilities for
professional fulllment.
In addition, the committee has the
objective of becoming a key adviser
to government on the ways in which
construction qualications can be used to
their full potential in the 14-19 curriculum.
With this end in mind it has recently
launched a consultation on the set of
standards for construction and built
Environment (CBE) qualications.
This important focus on industry
standards is also extremely vital
within the context of the new
construction-based University Technical
Colleges (UTCs) and studio school
sectors. Employers are increasingly
seeking to employ young people with
work-ready skills. If the UTCs and studio
schools are to meet this demand, then
they need access to the relevant
qualications and materials. The 14-19
Advisory Committee has a key role to
play in ensuring that these are available,
which is why it has set up two specialist
sub-groups to focus on UTCs and
qualications and standards.
We believe that the construction
sectors 14-19 Advisory Committee
constitutes a role model for other
industry sectors on the best way of
delivering an efective skills pipelines. The
collaborative approach we have adopted
by involving the industrys professional
organisations, employers and members of
the education sector is having a signicant
impact on developing the right qualications
for the 14-19 year old age group.
By ensuring that learners are
embarking on relevant, high-quality
CBE qualications, we are essentially
safeguarding the future of the UK
construction industry. Fundamental to
this entire approach will be ensuring that
skills gaps are constantly reduced, both
now and in the future. C
Schools for skills
Vocational qualifications remain a vital part of the future education
strategy for the UK construction industry, argues Roy Cavanagh
1 2 NOV E MB E R/ DE CE MB E R 2 01 3
Ryder Architecture is leading a campaign to refocus built environment
training at UK universities. Robert Mallett looks at the key issues
Degree of
The UK university system, particularly in
England, has undergone seismic change
over the past two years. As a direct
consequence of 2008s nancial crisis,
the government introduced a radical new
system of student-nanced tuition fees
for English higher education institutions,
which has increased the nancial burden
on undergraduates, but made no
additional government funding available
to universities. Nevertheless, one
outcome of this albeit controversial fee
paying system is that the consumers
students, professional bodies, employers
now expect greater value for money
from higher education establishments,
even if the latter are struggling to meet
such expectations.
Ryder Architecture, along with senior
gures from the UK built environment
sector, have pinpointed a series of
specic weaknesses in the training of
undergraduates destined for careers in
architecture and the construction
industry (see page 14). During an
inaugural Ryder-hosted roundtable on the
future of the Built Environment degree
last year, proposed improvements to the
built environment teaching provision were
identied, which would benet not only
graduates and their future employers,
but potentially society as a whole. Most
notably, the meeting called for greater
student training for engagement with
industry, more advanced courses with
a greater multi-disciplinary emphasis,
multiple gateways into the construction
industry and, ultimately, a better quality
of undergraduate training.
There is no doubt that the campaign
has gained a good deal of attention and
momentum over the course of the past
year, as industry concerns over the
quality of training for its undergraduates
continue to rise. On 5 June, many of
these concerns, along with a number of
ideas on how they might be addressed
by the higher education sector, were the
focus of an RICS-hosted roundtable on
the future of industry training held at the
Building Centre in London.
Chaired by Ryder senior partner Peter
Buchan, and attended by representatives
of Gleeds, Arup, Laing ORourke,
University College London and other
organisations, the discussion immediately
focused on the pressing need to develop
a new partnership between industry,
professional organisations and academe.
As Buchan noted in his opening remarks,
a great many school leavers do not aspire
to a career in the built environment
industries, and neither do they appreciate
the wide number of specialisms that exist
in the surveying profession. As a result,
barriers continue to prevail that prevent
the creation of the type of construction
industry that is now needed, both in the
UK and globally.
Plainly, both the industry itself and
current university training for prospective
construction industry professionals, are
still not doing enough to attract greater
numbers of high-calibre undergraduates.
Neither, as a number of the
representatives present argued, were the
courses always preparing students to be
properly t for purpose by the time they
had left higher education. As Alan Muse,
RICS Director of Built Environment
Professional Groups noted, the average
contact time for an undergraduate
enrolled on a built environment degree
course totalled just 13 hours per week,
not ideal given the complex and highly
technological nature of sectors such as
construction. Although university funding
constraints are plainly a signicant factor,
UK university contact hours are, generally
speaking, lower than in many other countries.
Closer collaboration between
universities and industry could potentially
act as a sound mechanism for both
improving the quality of built environment
courses on ofer, as well as readying new
generations of students for a career in
the construction industry. Not only would
new recruits to the surveying profession
be better placed to work on complex

Robert Mallett
Robert Mallett
1 3
Robert Mallett is editor of Construction
specialism. Naturally, this would require
something of a systemic change from
a teaching culture that many within the
industry claim cannot easily provide
students with all of the professional skills
needed by modern industry. Such a
change would need to fully embrace the
concept of a more collaborative built
environment degree programme,
delivering what the construction sector
needed better trained, highly qualied
Aside from achieving a closer and
binding relationship between industry and
academe designed to improve the Built
Environment learning experience for UK
undergraduates, work placements were
also seen by many as a vital ingredient
of future study programmes. In outlining
his own time as a student, Matthew
Saunders, RICS Associate Director for
the Built Environment, placed
considerable emphasis on the high value
of hands on experience blended with
learning. The depressed economic
climate of the past ve years has seen a
great reduction in the number of such
placements, so greater emphasis on a
coordinated scheme as an integral
component of all undergraduate
programmes, would produce more aware
and practically minded professionals.
As Arups Becci Taylor concluded, the
objective of the new approach proposed
by the Ryder campaign was teaching
people how to think. However, one might
also add that increasing the individual
students range of experience while at
university would also be the natural
objective of such a project. The panel
agreed unanimously that this range
of experience should include an
over-arching framework of global
qualications with a focus on
technology, a solid understanding
of what being part of a
professional discipline involves
and a focus on disciplines. It
was important, added
Reynolds, to impress on
youngsters that surveying
qualications ofered a global
passport, and a good measure of
inuence abroad.
Transforming the content and focus
of existing UK Built Environment degrees,
will not be an easy or straightforward
matter. In the rst instance, it will require
detailed planning on the part of
universities, industry and professional
bodies such as RICS. Running a pilot
course would then reveal what, if any,
modications may be required to the
curriculum, modes of delivery etc.
Built into this process should be a
close evaluation of what type of
professional the course will be designed
to produce: a management-based,
industry professional or a more technical
professional, or both?
In his closing remarks, Buchan told the
meeting that discussions had begun with
University College London, and Muse
conrmed that RICS would support such
a venture which should include all 51
RICS partner universities. Of course,
the costs of nancing any new degree
programme will not be modest. But with
the UK government having placed such
great emphasis on national infrastructure
programmes, would it be too much to
expect that state funds be released to
produce the next generation of industry
professionals, better trained and
educated than ever before? In the
meantime, the built environment sector
could do much to raise awareness
about the benets a career in its
industries ofers to tomorrows
generation of professionals. C
infrastructure projects anywhere in the
world, but employers would be spared
considerable time and expense in
preparing them once out of higher
education, as is now too often the case.
As RICS Project Management Board
member David Reynolds emphasised,
the need for better trained professional
surveyors was now greater than ever.
Whether it be large companies such
as EC Harris, or the many small- and
medium-sized enterprises that make up
the surveying profession, there was a
clear need to operate on a global basis
and to be technologically procient as a
consequence. Given such pressures, only
a far closer relationship between the
academic environment and the various
built environment industries could
develop the high level of training required
for todays construction projects, whether
large or small.
So how do the various interested
parties in the debate plan to bring about
the massive culture change, as Buchan
termed it, needed to strengthen
professional competitiveness? In the
rst instance, greater involvement on the
part of industry in shaping the future
education and training process was
now regarded as an all but essential
prerequisite. Each of the representatives
present agreed that there currently
existed a disparity between what the built
environment industry needed by way of
new recruits, and what academia was
able to produce. Working together, the
two sectors could, Muse argued, lead
to more a more collaborative form of
undergraduate course delivery and,
subsequently, to greater levels of

Robert Mallett
Robert Mallett

Peter Buchanan is a senior partner

at Ryder Architecture
or centuries, buildings
from the most
simple to the most
sophisticated were
constructed through
a combination of the
master builder and
the skilled craftsmen organised through
guilds. Entry into a chosen craft was
through apprenticeship, and the families
of young hopefuls paid for the privilege of
such training. The system served the
industry well until engineering developed
into a design process rather than an
empirical basis of learning from each
building, and architecture into an
academic pursuit.
The Grand Tour exposed gentlemen of
worth to new civilisations and cultures.
Meanwhile, architecture became an art
rather than a craft, and 19th-century
polytechnics in Paris began to train
engineers. The process of separating
design from construction had begun.
As life became increasingly complex
during the 20th century, more and more
professions joined the construction mix
including all of those represented by
At Ryder Architecture our proposal, which
we are developing with industry partners
and academics, is for a new kind of
melting pot degree namely, a Bachelor
of the Built Environment. Many school
leavers have no comprehension of the
range of disciplines that currently
contribute to our built environment
discipline, which is hardly surprising given
the UKs complex professional structures.
Such a degree will make it rather more
comprehensible, raise its status, so
attracting even better students and more
importantly, allowing individuals to nd
the route into the industry and the area
of expertise that is right for them.
A better choice of modules will
allow for gradual specialism through
this rst degree. Where appropriate,
a Masters can be undertaken while
in employment that will lead to chartered
status in a chosen profession. This
process will naturally provide a range
of generalists and specialists, and
serve as a breeding ground for better
informed, more collaborative
professionals, as well as fostering new
hybrids. We could conceivably produce
the, environmental computer scientist
or economist to take us close to where
it all started, with the architect engineer.
Who knows ? C
Bring back the melting pot
Peter Buchan argues that a new Built Environment BSc is essential if the
UK construction industry is to attract and train the best quality professionals
1 4 NOV E MB E R/ DE CE MB E R 2 01 3
RICS. So, added to the major divide that
evolved between design and construction
were dozens of sub-segregations, which
has now created an industry of silo
operations with woeful levels of
understanding between them.
Of course we need specialists, but
we also need generalists and we
certainly need a common platform
of understanding that will promote
collaboration and, ultimately, seamless
interdisciplinary working. A new melting
pot of talents and skills is needed
to provide the new breed of professionals
the construction industry deserves if it is
to keep pace with advances in computer
and materials technology in global
marketplaces. The industry has not really
advanced since the middle of the 20th
century, and nor will it until we change the
ways we train our professionals. If we are
to attract the very best young talent into
the construction sector, then it needs to
be equal to the calibre of young
professional entering the aeronautical
engineering or computer science sectors.
Here in the UK, we produce great built
environment professionals. The countrys
education standards are well renowned,
and its graduates highly sought after.
However, the talking shop across
architecture education alone has gone
on for as long as I can remember, and I
nd it troubling that we still experience
difculties in promoting cross-disciplinary
design, let alone encouraging new breeds
of valuable hybrid professionals.
Of course we need
specialists, but we
also need generalists
and we certainly
need a common
platform of
understanding that
will promote
collaboration and,
ultimately, seamless
NOV E MB E R/ DE CE MB E R 2 01 3 1 5
Jeremy Blackburn assesses the outcomes of Junes Government
Construction Summit in setting the direction of policy and investment
View from the summit
Jeremy Blackburn is RICS UK
Director of External Aairs
he dif culty of a summit is that
it implies that the countrys
most senior political leaders will
be deciding matters of strategic
importance. Lord Deighton,
the governments Chief
Construction Adviser Peter
Hansford, business minister
Michael Fallon and MP Chloe
Smith are a strong line up in
their own right, but the
government construction
summit was not a forum for deciding it was, rather, to inform
the industry what has been done and how this should be
delivering economic growth.
Aside from the ministerial speeches, the most interesting
panel was undoubtedly the one around how a range of
government policies is driving growth through construction.
This helped to address the criticism from last year that ministers
and large contractors did a lot of talking about what was already
being done, but very little about what the future held and how
the sector could return to growth.
A group of government and industry experts including
Peter Schoeld, Director-General for Neighbourhoods at the
Department for Communities and Local Government, Hayley
Miller, Deputy Director (now Head) of Construction at the
Cabinet Of ce, and Stephen Dance, Director of Infrastructure
Delivery at Infrastructure UK, were at great pains to stress that
government was successfully overcoming the dif culties facing,
for instance, reform of the planning system, housebuilding and
infrastructure investment.
This was helpful to the industry in terms of helping to see how
these areas joined up at the centre of government. But what the
government really wanted out of the Summit was a means to
launch its new construction strategy. Construction 2025 is about
industry and government working closely together to deliver
growth and jobs through infrastructure development, at the
same time putting Britain at the forefront of global construction
over the coming years.
Construction 2025 aims to encourage technological
innovation across the construction industry. Its objectives are
also to lower project delivery costs by 33%, to deliver 50% of
projects more quickly, to lower emissions by 50% and, crucially,
to increase industry exports by 50% at a time when the global
construction market is growing rapidly. Fallon placed great
importance on the newly created Construction Leadership
Council, co-chaired by Business Secretary Vince Cable, and
Network Rail chief executive Sir David Higgins, providing
coherent leadership for the entire construction strategy.
RICS remains a key partner
in the governments existing
construction strategy, and
used the summit to outline
how member expertise is
crucial to transforming
projects from concept to
concrete, and how RICS
covers the whole life cycle
through land, property and
construction. Delegates were
given a copy of the RICS
Construction policy, which
calls for procurement reform,
opening up pipelines and
improving access to nance.
Construction is at the
heart of the economy, noted
Hansford, the mornings nal
keynote speaker. This echoed
Lord Deightons earlier
avowal that infrastructure
development was the UKs
economic priority. So we did
get a strategy for the future
of the construction industry,
even if this summit was hardly
the equivalent of Stalin,
Roosevelt and Churchill
meeting at Yalta. It remains to
be seen whether this fragile
recovery continues and helps
the sector invest and expand,
in order to meet ministers
ambitions for 2025.
With government basing a
major strand of its economic
growth strategy on
construction, it must continue
to reform and support the
industry if is not to be left
behind when the recovery
begins in earnest. Starting on
the long road to recovery, the
sector must position itself to
ride the potential wave of
condence and to underpin the
expansion and development of
business across the country.
The latest construction
market survey shows that
projects are starting up in
almost every part of the
country. During the second
quarter of 2013, a net balance
of 21% more surveyors
reported a rise in their
workloads, the most positive
reading in more than six years.
While projects are still,
generally speaking, thin on the
ground, this upturn may
suggest that the worst could
now be over for the sector.
Encouragingly, this more
positive mood is expected
to become more visible over
the coming 12 months, with
59% more respondents
predicting workloads
continuing to rise rather than
fall once more. However,
this modest improvement
comes after a long period
of contraction, and many
businesses in the sector are
still struggling to keep their
heads above water.
Securing nance for
development is still a major
challenge and, despite the
governments attempt to
revamp the planning system,
the feedback from the industry
suggests that this issue also
remains a major obstacle to
getting projects under way.
To attract investment, remain
globally competitive and
support the wider economic
growth of UK plc then a vision
for 2025 must have tangible
outputs over the next 12 to
18 months. C
1 6 NOV E MB E R/ DE CE MB E R 2 01 3
ith the spotlight on professional
indemnity insurance (PII) claims against
valuation surveyors, it is easy to forget
that all professional services rms are
susceptible to allegations of negligence.
An economic downturn leads to
increases in claims. Firms are forced to
take on instructions they would have
declined and parties are no longer as willing to incur losses in the
broader interests of the relationship. A PII policy is, therefore,
seen as a deeply lined pocket from which to re-coup losses. At
the same time, pressure on increasing revenue and margins often
reduces the time a business can dedicate to risk management,
meaning that it only receives attention after a claim. This may be
too late to prevent serious damage especially if a rm carries a
high excess, is underinsured or has a claim voided.
The root cause of many PII claims is generally one or a
combination of the following.
Failure to assess risk
Before starting a project or entering a new line of work
it is important to undertake a thorough risk review.
This should include:
b reviewing contractual documents: are they industry
standard forms of appointment and what uninsurable
exposures do they impose?
b are you being adequately paid for the work?
b are your employees and resources up to the job?
b do you and the client agree on what is being delivered?
b are roles and responsibilities clearly dened?
b are the timelines realistic?
b are you comfortable with the nancial standing, capabilities
and insurance arrangements of the other parties? According
to accountancy rm PricewaterhouseCoopers more than 600
construction rms failed in the rst quarter of 2013. When
working as part of a team, you may be subject to the law of joint
and several liability (Civil Liability Act 1961). This could leave you
picking up 100% of the clients loss, regardless of your own level
of negligence, for instance if other contractors become insolvent.
A Net Contribution Clause should, to a large degree, negate this
position. If this is not achievable, ensure all members of the team
have signed the same warranties and/or agreements as you.
b how do you plan to overcome challenges that have arisen on
similar projects?
b are your insurers comfortable with the project?
In some instances the risk review may lead to a decision to
decline the job. As the UK economy starts to recover, an
increasing number of surveying rms are turning down low fee
work. But where work proceeds, it will always be easier to
implement steps to mitigate risk at the outset rather than a year
into delivery.
Emma Vigus provides guidance on how to reduce
the risk of suffering a professional indemnity claim
Managing risk
Agree the service
It is vital that you and the client agree on the service you are
providing and any mid-term changes to the instruction. Each
element should be explicit in your terms of business, and you
should never start a project when only a letter of intent has been
issued, because this does not safeguard the contracting partys
rights. When fullling the role of designer, the nal design should
be signed of by the client, having rst been peer reviewed to
check calculations and suitability. While the responsibility is on
you to ensure your client understands your terms of business,
the clients expectations must also be reasonable. They cannot,
for example, expect you to perform to a standard beyond
reasonable skill and care.
Inspection or supervision?
An architect was sued by a client for allegedly failing to
supervise a contractor engaged in propping up a building during
redevelopment. The props used were not adequate to support
the loads and part of the building collapsed, resulting in a claim.
The architect argued that his duty was only periodically to
inspect the contractors work, and not to supervise it. However,
there were doubts as to the terms of the architects retainer,
and some evidence to suggest that he may have promised
more than a mere supervisory role. Insurers contributed
55,000 to a settlement of 150,000, resulting in a loss of
95,000 to the architect.
You should also take account the varying levels of client
knowledge regarding the construction and surveying process.
It is not, for example, reasonable to expect a private homeowner
to exhibit the same level of knowledge as a developer. There
are numerous examples of notications arising from building
surveys where the client (often a private homeowner) has
misunderstood the breadth of the survey expecting, for example,
a full inspection of the electrical supply.
It is accepted that specications change over the project
life cycle, but any changes to instructions should be clearly
documented, conrmed in writing with the client and fully
explained to all other members of the team. Accurate records of
communications with clients can be crucial to the successful
defence of a claim.
Poor management and supervision
of subcontractors
The ability of staf or project teams to deliver is often hampered
by poor management, lack of supervision of both employees
and subcontractors and poor communication.
For example, one architect acting as a project manager, was
held liable for failing to check calculations supplied by an
engineer for the loads to be imposed on the suspended oor
of a new factory.
While the court held that the architect was entitled to assume
the engineers competency, it decided that if the architect had
NOV E MB E R/ DE CE MB E R 2 01 3 1 7
Emma Vigus is a Director at Howden Windsor
checked the calculations before passing them to the contractor,
they would have seen they were obviously wrong and that the
oor would not be strong enough for its intended use.
The architects insurers contributed 78,000 to a nal
settlement of 234,000, with the remaining costs being covered
by the engineers insurers. In addition to the settlement, the legal
fees awarded to the architects insurers amounted to 69,000.
Lack of expertise
While it seems obvious to state that you should not undertake
work that you do not have the necessary experience to
complete. Lack of experience in either asset class or territory is
one of the most common causes of claims against valuation
surveyors. Every rm will be tempted to take on unfamiliar
project areas during a downturn. But always question whether it
is worth the risk, given the increased likelihood of a claim arising.
Fee disputes
A demand for payment can result in a counterclaim of negligence,
particularly during an economic downturn. While a nancial loss
Related competencies
include M005, T077
normally occurs before a PII claim can be brought, very few
projects complete without a suitably motivated client nding
something they are unhappy with. It is always worth checking
in advance whether a potential client has a history of issuing
counterclaims, or of being particularly difcult to deal with. When
a fee dispute does arise it is vital that you notify insurers at the
earliest opportunity, because any failure to notify in a timely
manner may lead to any subsequent claim being voided.
In one case. a rm of architects issued an invoice in respect
of design work relating to a building extension. Shortly after the
invoice was issued, the contractor responded with a payless
notice accompanied by a separate letter detailing a series of
perceived shortfalls in the architects work. These included a
failure to maintain consistency in materials specications
throughout the project, and a completion delay due to a late
design alteration. The letter itemised the costs associated with
correcting each perceived problem, and went on to state that
should the rectication costs exceed the remaining fees due, a
claim would be made against the insureds PII policy.
Dealing with a claim
Unfortunately, even the most risk averse rms can be the subject
of a claim, unsubstantiated or otherwise. All PII policies explain
the procedures to be followed. Failure to follow these
requirements may result in insurers declining to cover the claim
and associated costs. While the RICS policy wording ofers a
broad level of cover, situations do arise where insurers attempt
to avoid settlement. An understanding of the notication
procedures laid down in the policy wording are therefore vital.
Furthermore, all members of staf should have a basic
understanding of the fundamentals; namely, never admit liability,
and never ofer to settle and advise the appropriate person
immediately of anything that might lead to a claim.
As an example of the problem this can cause, one ofce of
the insured acted as the property manager for a client, while a
second acted for the tenant. A dispute arose from the conict
of interest, and insurers were duly notied. After two years the
insured advised their insurance broker that they had ofered
to settle the claim for 200,000, without their insurers prior
agreement. This represented a breach of the insureds
professional indemnity policy conditions. Despite the breach,
the insureds brokers succeeded in persuading insurers to settle
the claim in full.
A tension always exists between risk management and
business growth. But many aspects of good risk management,
such as risk due diligence, remaining in regular contact with
clients and keeping accurate records of communications, are
simply good business practice. For rms that remain
unconvinced, it is worth asking: how would I trade without PII
and how would I cover a claim that insurers refuse to settle? R

More information
It is accepted that specications
change over the project life cycle,
but any changes to instructions
should be clearly documented
and conrmed with the client

1 8 NOV E MB E R/ DE CE MB E R 2 01 3
fter years of civil war,
which resulted in the
destruction of almost
its entire physical and
social infrastructure,
the small West
African country of
Liberia has now been peaceful for 10
years. Last year, President Ellen Johnson
Sirleaf was voted in for a second term and
as part of her mandate has prioritised
education in the belief that increasing
learning opportunities remains the best
way to move a nation state forward.
Improving the nations education
infrastructure is a key component of
Liberias Poverty Reduction Strategy. A
generation of young people has had little
or no access to education during the
period of political and economic instability
that lasted for 23 years from 1980.
Construction and site supervision skills shortages are being filled so that the war torn
West African country can rebuild its schools infrastructure. Darren Talbot explains
Re-educating Liberia
The World Bank supported this
approach and allocated the countrys
Ministry of Education a Global
Partnership for Education programme
grant. The funding helped to launch a
pilot study that has seen 67 schools built
on 40 sites over a two-year period in
remote areas of Liberia. The eventual
aim is to use the outputs of this pilot
programme to deliver the 1,500 schools
that the country needs to provide basic
education to its population.
The project was led by AECOMs
UK schools team, and as the then
Head of Schools in Europe I was
seconded into AECOM Africa as
the director managing this pilot
programme to work with the Liberian
Ministry of Education. The other main
aims of the World Bank funded
programme were to:
b create standardised designs that the
Ministry could use for future schools and
that all charities and other NGOs would
be expected to build to in the future
b develop capacity within the ministry,
so that they were able to procure
schools from contractors in the future
b train local communities (through
the contractors) in construction and
I assembled a team consisting of a British
project manager and four construction
managers from AECOMs operations in
South Africa and Sierra Leone. Working
closely with local contractors and
architects from the World Bank, they
were responsible for delivering not only
the schools, but also training 20 site
supervisors, as well as the contractors
and staf at the Ministry of Education.
Image: Alamy
NOV E MB E R/ DE CE MB E R 2 01 3 1 9
Darren Talbot FRICS is a partner at
Ridge & Partners LLP
Capacity building
The legacy of this project is not, however,
intended to be the buildings, but rather
the capacity that we build within the
Ministry of Education, contractors and
our own locally employed staf to be able
to carry out the procurement and delivery
of the future schools programme.
Following the civil war many people
moved to Europe and the USA, and in
many cases never returned to Liberia.
This brain drain, combined with the
destruction of schools during the war,
left Liberia with very few qualied
construction professionals. Our biggest
challenge was identifying staf with
potential, and training them.
To that end, we developed a 10-week
training programmes for our own site
supervisors, to enable them to report
progress to our construction managers,
and to monitor the contractors, ensuring
that they were constructing the schools
to the agreed design and to an
acceptable standard.
We also worked closely with Ministry of
Education staf to develop their capacity.
This involved carrying out a skills audit/
gap analysis to identify what standard they
were operating. We were then able to
develop training programmes enabling
them to procure and manage future school
building programmes that would follow
on from the pilot programme.
The rst batch of schools is now
underway and the second batch,
currently at the planning and
procurement stage, will be delivered
over an eight-month period, starting at
the end of the 2013 rainy season.
Working in remote areas
There are many challenges to working in
post-conict and unfamiliar geographical
regions. With regard to the business and
administrative aspects we employed a
local representative, who arranged work
permits, vehicle importation, housing,
ofce space and other general issues.
The more complex issues that prevail in
this region include:
Logistics: There are very few tarmac
roads in Liberia, most roads being laterite,
which is common throughout Africa.
During the dry season they are generally
passable in 4x4 vehicles. However, if
they are constructed with too much clay
they become extremely slippery during
the rainy season, and it is not uncommon
to see large trucks in ditches after
sliding of the road surface due to the
camber. This obviously presents a
number of logistical challenges, as
it limits the size of vehicle that can
access the site. Our teams worked with
contractors at the beginning of the rainy
season to identify materials and transport
them to site before the roads became
impassable to heavy trafc, storing them
in appropriate facilities.

Extreme weather: Rainfall in Liberia is
largely restricted to the rainy season from
May to November. In the early and latter
stages there are heavy downpours,
lasting for a couple of hours or so but in
the peak of the rainy season up to 1m of
rain falls in a single day. Not surprisingly,
this disrupts any site work, and further
hampers logistics and resupply. R
Related competencies include
Country profile
Liberia lies at the extremities of West
Africa, bounded by Sierra Leone to the
north, Ivory Coast to the south, Guinea to
the east and the Atlantic Ocean to the
west. It is a small country, but has
signicant mineral deposits, including
diamonds, gold and iron ore. It is
approximately 43,000 square miles in
area and has fewer than four million
inhabitants. Mangrove swamps and at
plains dominate its coastal regions, while
tropical rainforest covers the uplands.
It has a six-month rainy season that
deposits approximately 5m rain each year.
Simple reinforced
concrete frames,
timber doors and
cement block walls
ensure that local
communities will have
the necessary skills to
maintain the buildings

School designs
Initially we considered making extensive
use of solar panels, solar pumps and
rainwater harvesting. However, we started
to question our views on sustainability,
asking whether this was best achieved by
importing solar panels from thousands of
miles away in China or Europe. Eventually
we developed a design that incorporated
local building methods, combined with
design principles maximising light and
ventilation in the classrooms. Simple
reinforced concrete frames, timber doors
and cement block walls ensure that local
communities will have the necessary
skills to maintain the buildings. Surface-
mounted services permit easy repair and
UNICEF standard ablutions ensure that
good water, sanitation and hygiene
principles are maintained.
2 0 NOV E MB E R/ DE CE MB E R 2 01 3
he economic downturn of the past few years
has generated plenty of stalled projects.
Typically these involve a developer
postponing or abandoning a construction
project, while awaiting an upturn in the
market or a renancing. But if the developer
cannot reach an agreement with the
contractor it may consequently face difculties.
The termination of any building contract constitutes a breach
of its terms, unless it contains a termination for convenience
clause allowing for a termination without reason. The contractor
will then be entitled to damages for the breach, which will
include lost prot on the balance of the work.
In the past, developers and other employers have made use of
the tactic of issuing instructions to omit work; the omitted work
being the outstanding contractual balance. Is this legitimate,
and if not, what limits are there on employers making use of the
power to omit?
The starting point is that the contractor is not only obliged but
also entitled to carry out contract work for an agreed price. If
there is a xed price contract and no variations clause, then the
employer is not entitled to omit work at all. This was established
in Tancred Arrol & Co v The Steel Company of Scotland Ltd, a
House of Lords case dating from 1890. But the principle was
reiterated more recently by the Court of Appeal in SWI Limited v
P&I Data Services Ltd [2007]. Of course, the employer always
has the option of waiving the right to have the work done,
provided it pays the contractor the full price.
The standard forms of building and engineering contracts all
contain variation clauses, allowing for additions and omissions.
Some limit the power to omit in nancial terms. In the IChemE
Red and Green Books, for example, and in the absence of
consent, the employer may not, without consent, add or omit
work to a cumulative value of over 25% of the contract sum. In
MF/1 the gure is 15%. Among other things, that type of clause
protects a contractor against a large omission.
An omissions clause will rarely allow an employer to omit
work in order to give it to another contractor. In such cases the
authority usually cited is Carr v J A Berriman Pty Ltd [1953],
decision of the High Court of Australia. Such an action, the court
concluded, would be a most unreasonable power, for which
very clear words would be required.
There has been a lack of case law in this area. One case in
which these issues were examined was Abbey Developments
Ltd v PP Brickwork Ltd (PPB) [2003]. PPB had been engaged by
Abbey as a labour-only subcontractor for brickwork and block
work installation at a housing development in Herne
Bay, Kent. The development consisted of 69 plots and the
developer was in efect also the main contractor. The
subcontract contained a right to vary the number of units
that PPB would be given to work on, without PPB being
entitled to make any claim. This was presumably because
the development was speculative.
Clause 2 was crucial:
The company reserve the right to reduce or increase the
quantity of the works or to suspend or accelerate the progress
of the works or to instruct works to be executed out of sequence,
to meet the particular requirements of the development, and
such alteration, if instructed, shall not vitiate the subcontract.
Over some months Abbey complained about PPBs poor
site management, lack of labour, health and safety breaches,
lack of progress and (some) defective works. Finally, it wrote
to PPB referring to slow progress, and stating that PPB
should complete the plots that it had started, after which the
contract would be terminated and the remaining plots given
to another subcontractor.
PPB went to adjudication. The adjudicator agreed with them
that the letter from Abbey had been a breach of contract.
Abbey then took the matter to the High Court, seeking a
declaration that it had exercised its power to omit work lawfully
in accordance with the contract.
Ian Yule outlines the uses and abuses of instructions to omit work
Justifying omissions
NOV E MB E R/ DE CE MB E R 2 01 3 2 1
The judge made some general observations as follows:
Provisions entitling an owner to varied work have . to be
construed carefully so as not to deprive the contractor of its
contractual right to the opportunity to complete the works and
realise such prot as may then be made. They are not in the same
category as exemption clauses. They have been common for
centuries and do not need to be construed narrowly. However
the cases do show that reasonably clear words are needed in
order to remove work from the contractor simply to have it done
by somebody else It remains to be decided (but it is very
doubtful) that work could be omitted simply because the owner
is dissatised with the performance of the contractor .
The judge then said this about variations clauses in relation to
In my judgment the purpose of a variations clause is to enable
the employer to alter the scope of the works to meet its
requirements. As a project proceeds it may become clear that
some change of mind is needed to attain the result now desired.
That might be a simple realisation that something is no longer
needed or it might be for some other reasons such as lack of
money, or a change in the requirements of the actual or
prospective occupier or user. The test must therefore be whether
the variations clause is or is not wide enough to permit the
change that was made. If, with the advantage of hindsight, it turns
out that the variation was not ordered for a purpose for which the
power to vary was intended then there will be a breach of
contract. So the motive or reason is irrelevant the test is
familiar and objective what purpose did the contract envisage?
The judge held that the variation clause did not justify the
omission by Abbey.
The Abbey Developments case therefore supports the
following in relation to clauses allowing the omission of work:
b such clauses are to be interpreted carefully
b they are not to be interpreted strictly against the party relying
on them
b clear words will be needed to allow the employer to omit
work in order to give it to someone else
b it is unlikely that work can be omitted simply because of
poor performance.
Checking motives
With reference to the extracts above, it seems that one must
examine the purpose of the omission. This may seem to sit a
little uneasily with the judges words that the employers motive
or reason is irrelevant. But it may be that the judge was simply
cautioning against a purely subjective approach. In other words,
courts will examine whether an employers purpose in issuing
the omission was justied by the clause, but that examination
will be an objective one.
A key question in cases of this nature is whether a genuine
purpose existed when the omission was made. That will involve
a consideration of all the factual background. The employers
evidence will have no greater weight than any other evidence.
So, that other guidance is there? Hudsons building and
engineering contracts (12th edition, ed Atkin Chambers) notes
that employers will not be entitled to use the power to omit to
give work to others, or indeed to do it themselves. But it also
adds that it would not be correct to apply this principle
automatically in every case, simply because ultimately the
employer intends the work to be done by others:
For example, where market considerations impel the Employer
to postpone part of the work for an indenite period, although
with the intention of carrying it out at some later date outside the
likely construction period, or in a case where the present contract
is straining the Contractors available resources to the limit, the
omission of work in such circumstances might be within the
contemplation of the contract, it is submitted, since the
invalidation of an exercise of the power to omit work is no doubt
based on the generalised prevention principle or implied terms of
reasonableness, co-operation and good faith (paragraph 5-035).
Hudson contemplates two instances where an omission might
be justied. It also suggests that limits on the power to omit
work may be based on breaches of the prevention principle (the
principle that the employer cannot insist on performance by the
contractor if the employer is itself the cause of the contractors
non-performance) or of implied terms. This latter suggestion is
perhaps more controversial, given the current reluctance of the
courts to imply terms into contracts except where essential.
It seems that the test for whether omission is permissible will be
objective and related to the clause, namely: is it wide enough to
allow the omission in question? A key question will be whether
the purpose of the omission, viewed objectively, was within the
scope of the clause. Evidence as to the relevant facts will be
important, but the actual intentions of the employer at the time
will be of only limited signicance.
Where the reasons are genuine nancial difculties or the
non-viability of the project, the omissions clause will usually
cover what has taken place. Thus the hypothetical developer
referred to at the start may be able to use such a clause,
provided it does so carefully. Use of the clause because of
dissatisfaction with the contractors performance, however,
or because of a desire to obtain a better price from another
contractor, could well be a breach of contract.
Employers may consider bolstering their omissions and
suspension clauses to allow for foreseeable problems, such as
those described above. One solution is to insert a termination
for convenience clause. Such clauses appear in the NEC3
contract, and the IChemE Red Book, for example. If such a
clause is proposed, contractors will often wish to negotiate a
further clause allowing them at least some lost prot on the
work that they would otherwise have done. R
Related competencies
include T017
Ian Yule is a Partner in the Construction
and Engineering Team, Weightmans LLP
Employers may consider
bolstering their omissions and
suspension clauses to allow
for foreseeable problems

2 2 NOV E MB E R/ DE CE MB E R 2 01 3
he days of swift justice,
when employers could
(without risk) sack an
employee on the spot or
by suggesting they look
for a job elsewhere, are
long gone. While there may be a
temptation in the heat of the moment to
deal with problem employees summarily
and with no fuss, all employers nowadays,
regardless of size, are required to follow
strict legal procedures when disciplining
and dismissing employees. Yet a huge
number of employment tribunal claims
continue to be brought each year owing
to employers mishandling or ignoring
these procedures.
This article sets out how to dismiss
employees lawfully in the event of
misconduct issues, and the costly
consequences to businesses of doing
things the more traditional way.
Any employee who has two or more years
service (or one year for those employed
prior to 6 April 2012) has the right to claim
unfair dismissal at an employment tribunal.
Unfair dismissal occurs when an employee
claims to have been dismissed without
good reason, or if the procedure adopted
in terminating them was unfair.
While some employers bypass the
procedures when dismissing an employee
Helen Crossland sets out an employers
guide to dismissing employees fairly
who would not have enough service
to be able to claim unfair dismissal,
regard should always be given to other
claims the employee might be able
to bring, including for discrimination,
where no minimum length of service is
required. In such cases it might then
be advisable to follow the procedures,
in order to demonstrate that the dismissal
was not for an unfair reason.
The disciplinary procedures do not
apply to contractors, who do not have
the right to claim unfair dismissal. The
termination of their employment will
instead be governed by any contractual
terms between them and the company
to which they provide services.
Reasons for dismissal
There are three main features to
dismissing an employee fairly.
First, there must be a potentially fair
reason for the dismissal, for which there
are ve reasons:
b misconduct/gross misconduct
b poor performance or ill health
b redundancy
b illegality
b other substantial reasons justifying
If the dismissal is not for one of these
reasons it will be unfair.
If the situation relates to the
employees misconduct, the employer
must then follow a fair procedure prior
to dismissing the employee or applying
another formal disciplinary sanction.
This will help to show that the sanction
administered is fair and lawful, and
will help to dispel any other potential
claims, including that the underlying
reason for the action taken was
Finally, and before communicating the
disciplinary sanction to the employee,
the employer should consider and be able
to answer yes to: Am I satised that I
am acting reasonably in taking the action
that I am?
The procedure
When disciplining or dismissing
employees for conduct issues, the
correct legal procedure to follow is the
ACAS Code of Practice. Employers can
have their own contractual disciplinary
procedures as long as these are not
less than the minimum standards set
out in the ACAS Code. It is advisable
in any event to take legal advice
before proceeding.
NOV E MB E R/ DE CE MB E R 2 01 3 2 3
Helen Crossland is a Partner at Hamlins LLP
In many cases, minor lapses in behaviour
can be addressed through informal
discussions or reprimands, but if the
matter is more serious, or if the informal
approach has failed, the following
process should be adopted:
1 write to the employee setting out
details of the allegations against them,
and invite them to a formal disciplinary
2 hold a formal disciplinary meeting at
which the employee is given the
opportunity to state their case before any
decisions are made.
3 write to the employee after the
disciplinary meeting with your decision,
advising them of any disciplinary sanction
you have chosen to apply and ofering the
right of appeal.
Employees must be advised in any letters
inviting them to a formal disciplinary or
appeal meeting of their right to be
accompanied at the meetings by a fellow
employee or a trade union representative,
regardless of whether your organisation
has a recognised trade union. Employers
should also carry out any necessary
investigations to establish the facts
before the formal disciplinary procedure
is commenced, providing details of any
evidence gathered to the employee.
What sanction?
Once the formal disciplinary meeting has
taken place the appropriate penalty can
be decided, which could be dismissal or a
lesser or no sanction. Employers should
pay regard to the gravity of the matter,
how other employees may have been
dealt with for the same or a similar
ofence, the employees disciplinary
record and any mitigating or special
circumstances. The range of sanctions
can include those detailed in Table 1. With
any of the sanctions listed, the employee
must be given the right of appeal.
What if you get it wrong?
Failing to follow the correct procedure
properly or at all has costly
Warning This could be an oral warning in
the case of minor infringements
or, if the infringement is more
serious, a written warning. In
either case the warning must
be in writing, confirming that it
will remain on file for a specified
period (i.e. six months)
Poor timekeeping, failure to follow
company rules, unacceptable
behaviour towards another employee
The warning should again be in
writing confirming how long it
will be kept on file
Where the employee has an existing
live warning(s), and carries out further
unacceptable behaviour, or where a
first act of misconduct is very serious
but falls short of dismissal
Dismissal Confirmed in writing with
reasons for the same
If an employees conduct has failed
to improve after being given a
warning(s), or if the first offence
constitutes gross misconduct.
Examples of gross misconduct
could include:
b Theft or dishonesty
b Discrimination, bullying or
harassment of another employee or
a customer
b Fighting, aggressive or threatening
b Wilful damage to company premises
or property
Related competencies include M0006/SP002
When disciplining or dismissing employees
for conduct issues, the correct legal procedure
to follow is the ACAS Code of Practice

b it can convert a potentially fair

dismissal into an unfair one
b if an employee goes on to bring
and succeeds with a claim for unfair
dismissal, any compensation they are
awarded can be increased by up to
25%; the maximum award for unfair
dismissal is currently 74,200 (or as is
soon to be introduced one years salary,
whichever is the lesser)
b any warning given to an employee
outside of a properly conducted
disciplinary process is likely to be
meaningless, if you wish later to rely
on the warning when dealing with
further ofences by the same employee.
Ultimately, it could prevent you from being
able to dismiss an employee fairly for a
later act of misconduct, in the event that
there is no legitimate warning already
in place.
Employees can also be nancially
penalised for failing to engage in the
disciplinary process, if they fail to mitigate
any losses stemming from their dismissal
or because of any fault that contributed
to their dismissal.
Any employer who has been faced
with a tribunal claim will appreciate
the cost and inconvenience that
defending such claims can incur. While
the necessary legal procedures can
be a drain on time and resources, and
may even appear pointless especially
where the case against the employee
is seemingly cut and dried, following
them and getting them right will vastly
improve the chances of being able to
defend subsequent claims. In fact,
sticking to procedures may lower the
prospects of claims being brought in
the rst place. So the next time there
is an urge to tell an employee their P45
is in the post, take heed because it
could cost you a lot more than you
bargained for. R
Table 1
Disciplinary sanctions
arlier this year, Severn Partnership conducted
a laser survey of the RICS Parliament Square
(PSQ) headquarters. This has been rendered
into a basic 3D CAD model and we now have
an Industry Foundation Classes [IFC]
standard output from it, says Paul Burrows, a
Solutions Architect with the RICS Building
Cost Information Service (BCIS).
Burrows describes the IFC standard as a container into which
all of the diferent applications being used by the various
disciplines collaborating on BIM can put their content, so that it
can be shared.
So, how will the model be used in estimating? In simple
terms, Burrows explains: If we can get the quantities from the
BIM model, then we can use the BCIS schedules of rates against
those quantities, and then produce an estimate.
He is working with cost-estimating software provider Nomitech,
which has incorporated standard BCIS schedules of rates into its
CostOS v4.6 application, to understand its software tools and their
capabilities. The next steps are to include information such as
BCIS ination indexes and location factors.
Nomitechs involvement builds on its previous work with
BCIS. The provider is working through the IFC output and
producing a list of questions. Half of these are about the BIM
model, such as whether quantities can be measured and
estimates produced, says Burrows. The rest are due to PSQ
being an old, complex building. Once the review is complete, it
is likely that the model will need rening.
Model issues
Because the model is not complete, it is difcult to draw up a
detailed estimate, says Nomitech Chief Executive Tolis
Chatzisymeon. But we can produce an estimate by making
assumptions, for example about the thickness of reinforced
concrete, and by using formulae to calculate the details of the
roof, which had been dened as a single object and so didnt
contain information for slopes, slates, and so on.
Nomitechs review has identied some queries to be resolved,
b insufcient clash detection
b walls (e.g. naming conventions do not match and basement
walls do not start over the slab on grade)
b slabs (e.g. incorrect slab-on-grade thickness and some
slabs are missing)
b windows (e.g. materials are not stated and not all
dimensions are tagged).
This is where a quantity surveyors expertise will ensure
that mistakes are corrected and assumptions valid, says
Chatzisymeon. Without human input there will be mistakes
because there are no perfect models.
BIM challenges
One of the RICS aims is to communicate the challenges of
implementing BIM, so that others can learn from the experience.
Burrows says there is a range of hurdles to overcome, including:
b Technical glossary: there is no standard nomenclature used
by diferent professions, and even between diferent surveying
disciplines. BCIS talks about an element as a functional cost
element of a building, but engineers, the IFC standard and the
new Uniclass standard all use slightly diferent denitions
b New v old: do not assume you can pre-assemble a detailed
BIM model from libraries of information, because many will not
properly represent the construction forms of older buildings. Most
PSQ windows, for example, are 19th-century windows, which are
ornate, specialist items not found in standard rates schedules
b Costing elements: elements well-dened boundaries may
not be easy to represent in a 3D model. An architect may, for
example, draw a wall as a single item from the foundations up to
the roof. But when quantity surveyors split it into cost elements,
they might put part of that wall in the substructure and part in the
internal or external walls
b Scanning an existing building: a laser scan will only record
visible surfaces. For anything within the structure, assumptions
will be needed. This covers not just embedded building services,
but also the structure itself. Knowing fabric details is useful
when making repairs, but these will not be in the BIM model until
somebody opens up that fabric and enters the data.
There are many benets for RICS and its members, but producing
quantities, specications or estimates from this type of BIM model
will not be a case of just clicking a button, Burrows cautions. An
expert will probably take a few days to produce a detailed estimate
for an insurance rebuild assessment. But for something less easy,
such as a refurbishment project, wed need a lot more time. C
the hurdles
Further +info
Related competencies include T013, T057, T074
The project team will be sharing its experiences
through the RICS technical journals and regular
updates on and LinkedIn
discussion groups
Web classes at
6 December 2013 What is BIM and how can quantity
surveyors and project management professionals
adopt BIM into their daily practices and procedures
31 January 2014 Implementation of BIM Execution
13 February 2014 BIM Series 3/3: Use of data
management systems for collaborative working
In the second of our series on how RICS is using building information
modelling (BIM) on its London head office, Les Pickford looks at the
challenges of producing an estimate from the data in the initial 3D model
Les Pickford is a freelance writer and editor
2 4 NOV E MB E R/ DE CE MB E R 2 01 3
And is there such a thing as a
perfect blend?
Economic benets
The economic downturn and slow return
to growth in the construction industry
has made it more important than ever to
maximise the value of training budgets.
As a result, companies are increasingly
turning to learning technologies to deliver
training directly to employees desktops,
and to extend the reach and accessibility
of training. This integration of learning
alongside day-to-day activities ensures
greater productivity in the workplace, and
reduces the costs and time implications
associated with traditional classroom courses.
Also, in todays challenging workplace,
reducing time to competence has
become a key issue in the quest to gain
commercial advantage, and the blending
of face-to-face and online techniques can
help people improve their performance
more quickly and ef ciently.
People learn diferently
Another factor driving the rise in blended
learning is that people learn diferently,
and the approach ofers greater exibility
and choice for learners.
Research shows there are clear
diferences between learning styles as a
whole, as well as between age groups.
By 2020 there will be ve diferent
generations in the workplace, each
with diferent aspirations and learning
preferences and needs. While it is
important not to stereotype learners, it is
fair to say that the younger generations
are more technologically savvy than ever,
and come with expectations of learning
anywhere, anytime and with personalised
content delivered on demand.
Blended learning improves choice both
in terms of the depth of learning and
techniques used. It gives learners greater
control by empowering them to select
the ideal mix for their personal needs and
role, resulting in greater engagement.
More than the sum of its parts
The increasing demand for the learning
and development function to deliver
greater value to organisations, has seen
many of the individual elements of
blended learning steadily increase in
popularity. This has led to a growing
recognition that online technologies, when
used alongside the wide range of existing
face-to-face methods, can outperform
traditional approaches in terms of knowledge
acquisition, building skills and, ultimately,
personal growth and productivity.
Also, organisations are recognising that
e-learning can be even more efective
when blended with face-to-face sessions.
A further benet of a blended approach
is that it usually helps to ensure that
NOV E MB E R/ DE CE MB E R 2 01 3 2 5
During the past ve years there has
been a rise in the popularity of blended
learning, and increasingly it is becoming
one of the preferred choices in the
workplace for professional training, and
to develop talent more efectively.
In the early days, blended learning
simply combined classroom training
with e-learning. However, todays
programmes bring together a whole
range of diferent face-to-face and
online learning tools such as web
classes, online forums and podcasts.
Collectively, these provide the right
blend of bite-sized learning for both
the learner and the organisational goals
the training is aiming to achieve.
According to the 2013 European
Learning Trends survey carried out by
RICS partner Cegos Group earlier this
year, 53% of employees in the UK who
receive training are using blended
learning techniques, and there is a
growing preference towards blended
learning across Europe.
The number of people using the RICS
blended learning programmes has
grown exponentially over the past three
years, to nearly 600 individuals across
50 countries worldwide.
So what is driving this stronger
appetite for blended learning today?
53% of employees in
the UK who receive
training are using
blended learning
techniques, and
there is a growing
preference towards
blended learning
across Europe

Pierpaolo Franco looks at how
blended learning can help organisations
improve performance, productivity
and engagement
Education and training
2 6 NOV E MB E R/ DE CE MB E R 2 01 3
learning and development is transferred
back into the workplace, essential for
delivering return on investment in todays
economic climate.
Is there a perfect blend?
The answer to the question is both yes
and no. Clearly, one size of blended
learning programme will not t all.
Blended learning is an art rather than an
exact science, with success hinging on
ensuring that each individual component
adds value. Each component should have
a clear business case. Why do you want
to do it? What issues or problems can it
help you to solve? Does it ofer an
opportunity to improve business
performance? Also, each element of a
blended programme needs to be viewed
in the context of the overall blend and
learning objectives.
In any blend, the learning should be
transformational for the individual as well
as the organisation. To achieve this, the
programme needs to be stimulating,
challenging, inspiring and motivating.
Today, the opportunity is there to
include technology-enabled learning and
to capitalise on the benets that this
ofers. However, organisations need to be
careful not to blend for the sake of it
technology should be the enabler rather
than the driver. Successful programmes
link learning to a training need, underpinned
by a clear learning strategy. C
Pierpaolo Franco is RICS Global
Director of Training Products
training courses
Improving infrastructure delivery
with BIM series
Online academy
Live web class
5 November
19 November
3 December
The RICS training solutions for the built
environment are designed with both the
learner and organisation in mind and
help to drive down the cost of training,
speed up learning and ultimately improve
individual and business performance.
Fundamentals in Construction
Project Management
This foundation-level course denes the
concepts and processes associated
with being a project manager within the
construction industry. It has been
designed to help develop economic,
legal, technical and management
knowledge and skills. You will learn how
to plan, organise and control construction
operations and gain knowledge across
all stages of the process from initial
feasibility studies through to design,
construction, maintenance,
refurbishment and demolition.
You will gain a deep understanding
of the global standards required within
the construction project management
industry, and at the end of the
six-month interactive blended
programme will be able efectively
to manage a project management
organisation and take a strategic view
for optimal performance.
The programme provides 300 hours
continuous professional development
and is composed of 24 weekly topic
modules taught via a range of
supportive and informative learning
methods including:
b audio/visual rresentations delivered
by a leading subject matter tutor online
b topic- related training materials
including structured case studies and
practical exercises that encourage
knowledge sharing with fellow delegates
via online forums and web classes
b topic-related reading material
hosted online and providing access to
the latest theory and practice
b online forums for tutors and
delegates to share information and
ask questions creating a collaborative
community based learning environment
b virtual classrooms sessions (web
classes) with a tutor every ve weeks
b online course text books providing
in-depth topic coverage
b end of week refresher assessment
to track progress and identify any areas
where further support is needed.
Five core subject areas are covered:
b project management fundamentals
b project monitoring and control
b procurement and nancial
b management of projects
b other issues in project management.
Becoming an APC supervisor
or counsellor
12 November, London
The course will cover every stage
of the APC process, understanding
competencies and how to assess
them, and what is required at the
Final Assessment.
Preparing for the Critical Analysis
25 November, Birmingham
This course will show you how to select
the right topic, what elements it should
contain, how to prepare it, and what the
assessors will be looking for.
Preparing for the Final
25 November, Birmingham
This course will cover all you need to
know about the Final Assessment, how
it runs and what is expected of you.
Carbon management in the
built environment
4 December, London,
The course will help attendees in
advising clients on developing carbon
management plans, set meaningful
targets and understand how to meet
the Carbon Reduction Commitment.
Related competencies
include M005
For more details, visit
For further information
More information
NOV E MB E R/ DE CE MB E R 2 01 3 2 7
Kevin Joyce is a Partner with law rm Pinsent Masons and
runs a free Legal Helpline Service for RICS members
Taken as a whole
Related competency
include T064
In a follow up article on the hierarchy of documents under the NEC3, Kevin Joyce
looks at how the Technology and Construction Court dealt with one seeming ambiguity
and provided for sectional completion of the works and delay
damages relating to each of the sections. RWE was the
employer, Bentley the contractor. On interpreting the contract as
a whole, the judge found there was no discrepancy on which the
priority of documents clause could bite.
Bentley's liability for delay damages turned on what was included
within Section 2 of the works (the penstock pipeline). How the
court interpreted the various contract documents would determine
whether the penstock pipeline had been completed on time.
The case involved a not uncommon situation: the parties were
negotiating, amending and re-drafting clauses of the contract up
to the nal moments before the contract was signed. This gave
rise to inconsistencies between the descriptions of sections,
requirements for completion and damages for late completion.
In establishing whether there was in fact an ambiguity or
inconsistency the court held the individual contract documents and
clauses must not be looked at in silos, but rather the entire contract
and all of the documents in it must be considered as a whole.
The judgment in this case is a reminder that in the event parties
disagree as to the interpretation of a clause due to an ambiguity
or inconsistency between the contract documents, the court will
consider the whole of the contract and only then, if there is a clear
and irreconcilable discrepancy, will it revert to any priority of
documents clause to resolve it. In the NEC contracts such a clause
is not included and so would need to be added by amendment. C
More information
The NECs lack of a standard hierarchy of documents clause, and
the approach to interpretation in its absence was considered in
the June/July 2013 edition of Construction Journal
What is the key message from the RWE Npower
Renewables Ltd v JN Bentley Ltd decision?
The NEC is silent on how to deal with the situation where
a clause in one contract document is ambiguous or
inconsistent with another. Similarly, there are no
provisions that deal with discrepancies between clauses within
the same contract document. These gaps can give rise to problems
and uncertainties, particularly, in the former case, given the
volume of documents commonly included in building contracts.
The RWE Npower Renewables Ltd v JN Bentley Ltd decision
shows that what at rst glance may seem an ambiguity or
inconsistency between contract provisions, may not in fact be so
when the contract and all its documents are read as a whole.
How does NEC deal with ambiguities?
Clause 17.1 of NEC3 provides that:
The Project Manager or the Contractor noties the other as soon
as either becomes aware of an ambiguity or inconsistency in or
between the documents which are part of this contract. The Project
Manager gives an instruction resolving the ambiguity or inconsistency.
The Project Manager then issues an instruction to resolve the
ambiguity or inconsistency, which instruction will not be a
Compensation Event (so the contractor is not entitled to
additional time or money) unless it changes the Works
Information. Accordingly, to this extent, inconsistencies between
contract documents are at the contractors risk.
Where the instruction to resolve the discrepancy results in a
change to the Works Information, the assessment of the
resulting Compensation Event is, as if the Prices, the Completion
Date and the Key Dates were for the interpretation most
favourable to the Party which did not provide the Works
Information (clause 63.8). In other words, the clause is
interpreted against the party which made the mistake.
Judicial rulings
Judicial decisions on the NEC suite of contracts are
comparatively rare. However, in RWE, Mr Justice Akenhead
considered a priority of documents clause that had been
included in the form of agreement. The question was whether
there was a discrepancy between the contract documents as
was asserted by RWE Npower and denied by Bentley.
The contract was for civil engineering work to be carried out
at the Black Rock Hydro Scheme in the Highlands of Scotland,
Related competency
include T064