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Quantity surveyors to lobby for legislation to govern profession

Published:Friday | February 5, 2016 | 2:00 AMAndre Poyser

When the next government is formed after the elections on February 25, the Jamaican Institute of Quantity Surveyors (JIQS) will demand the passage of an act that recognises its members as registered professionals.

The quantity surveyors contend that while other professionals within the construction industry are governed by specific laws, they have still not been recognised as a professional body worthy of an act. The surveyors say that they will be stepping up lobby efforts to have this rectified.

"That is something that we want to address because we consider that professionals recognised elsewhere need to be recognised here," Dean Burrows, immediate past president of the JIQS, said.

 

SAME RECOGNITION

 

More than 65 per cent of the corporate members of the JIQS are chartered surveyors who are recognised internationally by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), the world's leading professional body for qualifications and standards in land, property, and construction.

JIQS members want the same recognition locally that they are given as members of the RICS. The JIQS says its call for legislation governing quantity surveyors is related to the practice of persons offering quantity surveying services who are not qualified to do so.

The lack of restrictions on persons who can market themselves as quantity surveyors without the requisite qualification is, according to the JIQS, a danger to the unsuspecting public.

While JIQS self-regulates through a professional code of conduct and by offering a membership examination, the body has no authority to vet the credentials or ensure registration of persons who claim to be quantity surveyors.

The body has, for the past 20 years, been calling for legislation that enforces compulsory registration of quantity surveyors.

 

STATUS QUO

 

Quantity surveying, for the most part, operates in an unregulated environment. Burrows believes that this cannot remain as the status quo given the important role that quantity surveyors play in the construction industry.

"One of the things that the quantity surveyors have been saying is that we have been campaigning for an act to register us so that persons can't just call themselves quantity surveyors," he said.

Burrows was adamant that no effort would be speared in advancing the completion of a draft bill for quantity surveyors, which has been languishing in the office of the chief parliamentary counsel.

The JIQS has secured the support of other groups within the construction industry through a petition that is to be delivered to the minister of housing.

andre.poyser@gleanerjm.com