Goodbye Quantity Surveying

Monitoring and Control project activities

The other evening I met an old friend of mine newly arrived from the UK. He is a quantity surveyor who used to work for a large building contractor in the south of England. He is looking for a job in Brisbane and asked me to explain to him what a contract administrator does as the job does not exist back where he hails from.

So I gave him all the details of what a contract administrator does for their $140K per annum. I then went on to talk about the role of the project control manager. This role is widely understood in engineering in Australia and is prevalent on construction/engineering projects in the Middle East. The term is gaining widespread use in Australia especially in the mining/resources sector with salaries pushing $200K. That sort of salary equates to £130K sterling which is far more than a quantity surveyor would dream of earning.

How do you define project controls. A simple definition is “The skills in the project control disciplines provide the “eyes and ears” of good project management.”


Project Controls encompass the people, processes and tools used to plan, manage and mitigate cost and schedule issues and any risk events that may impact a project. Project Controls are a necessity for the business to get paid for what we do, deliver projects on time and on/under budget. The key duties are:

  • Planning, Scheduling & Project Reporting
  • Earned Value Analysis & Management
  • Cost Engineering & Estimating
  • Change Management & Controls
  • Risk and Delay Claims
  • subcontracts and supply Management

My friend is now applying for a job as a project controls manager and never wants to be known as a Quantity Surveyor ever again, especially here in Australia because most people do not understand what that means.

Published by

Gerry Keating

Construction Professional

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