Assessing the expected current and future competencies of quantity surveyors in the Malaysian built environment

Jeffrey Boon Hui Yap*, Martin Skitmore, Yi Wen Lim, Siaw Chuing Loo, Jason Gray

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)
573 Downloads (Pure)


Purpose: Quantity surveying is a profession that blends engineering, construction and economics. To be competent is to have the ability to apply the set of related knowledge, skills and abilities to perform a task effectively. This paper examines the competency requirements for quantity surveyors (QSs) in the face of changing and increasing client needs.

Design/methodology/approach: Based on a detailed meta-analysis of the literature, 12 basic/core and 16 evolving competencies are identified. Primary data were gathered through a field survey involving practicing QSs from client, consultant and contractor organisations, and university students undertaking QS programmes in Malaysia. The data obtained were analysed using both descriptive and inferential statistical tools. 

Findings: The significance of the basic/core and evolving competencies are presented. Overall, the most important contemporary skills are cost planning, valuation of works, measurement/quantification and contract documentation. The evolved roles require expertise in communication and negotiation, ethics and professional conduct and value management. The analysis of variance (ANOVA) indicates there are misaligned expectations of the proficiency levels needed to provide contemporary and future services between practitioners in client/consultant organisations, contractors and new generation students. 

Originality/value: The findings provide guidance on the education, training and practice of quantity surveying to deal with emerging challenges in the dynamic built environments in Malaysia and beyond.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2415-2436
Number of pages22
JournalEngineering, Construction and Architectural Management
Issue number6
Early online date3 Jun 2021
Publication statusPublished - 24 Jun 2022


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