Private Practice Quantity Surveyor (PQS) / Consultant Quantity Surveyor… What do they actually do? (How can they help?)

You hear the phrase all of the time ‘Consultant Quantity Surveyor’, ‘PQS’ or ‘Commercial Consultant’, but what do these titles convert to by means of help and support within the construction industry?

It can vary from practice to practice and consultant to consultant depending upon their specialism, however, in this blog, we wanted to give you a ‘general view’ as to the areas of support you can expect from a professional all-round quantity surveying practice.

Pre-Construction (Design phase)
Prior to construction is the perfect time engage a good PQS as they will offer support in several capacities:

Cost Planning
A professional quantity surveyor will work through the construction project requirements and carry out cost planning, value engineering, feasibility studies, value management, life-cycle costing and cost value benefit analysis to enable the client to assess the project financially.

In turn, the QS will compile the relevant financial information needed for the project; including bills of quantities (BoQ), tender documentation, construction forecast and budgets.

Contract Engagement
With an in-depth knowledge of construction contracts (including NEC3, NEC4, JCT, FIDIC, ICE and bespoke contract terms) this is the next key stage of the construction process in which the support of a professional quantity surveyor is vital.

Compiling and reviewing contract documents and identifying key risks contained within construction contracts is a fundamental role of the quantity surveyor.

With an expertise in interpreting contract clauses, the QS will ensure the contract (and the risk allocation) balances the risk as the parties as intended.

NOTE: A detailed contract review by a professional quantity surveyor prior to execution is an absolute MUST for specialist contractors within the construction industry (if I had a pound for each time I heard the statement ‘I didn’t know the contract said…’. A contract review can save a contractor a significant sum across a construction project).

In addition to the contract review, the PQS can take the lead in negotiating out any risks or clauses which are not viable or acceptable.

Construction Phase
Throughout the construction phase, the professional quantity surveyor really is pivotal to the financial, commercial and contractual delivery. A professional PQS will:

– Monitor Budget / Forecast
– Prepare Applications / Valuations / Payment Certificates
– Assess and measure works delivered and variations
– Administer Programme Amendments
– Control costs
– Maintain ongoing Value Engineering
– Provide Project Management
– Manage Disputes
– Advice on Contractual Disputes

Completion & Defects Period
Ensuring completion is accurately captured is critical to the project in terms of damages, delays, warranties, insurance and the commencement of the defect’s liability period and a professional quantity surveyor will be fundamental in ensuring this is executed correctly.

For further help and support in any of the areas discussed within this blog contact us at or 0115 9336131.


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