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News from the Executive Director
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Executive Directors' end of year message 

Dear members, 

May I start this “end of year” message by asking you a number of important questions to consider or  re-consider? Why is the ASAQS here and why do we exist? What is it that drives our board and association and why do we need your support by way of subscription fees? Why do you, a member of our association need the ASAQS? These are all obviously important questions and the answers to them can be found when we begin to understand the many things that the ASAQS does do and perform on behalf of our profession.

So what have we done for you (our member) and by virtue of this, our profession over the last 12 months? 

ADVOCACY ​

The ASAQS has a strong voice within the built environment and actively represents our profession on numerous important committees and government bodies. The ASAQS also advocates for the QS profession by replying to “calls for comment” on construction sector policies put out for public discussion and comment by various government agencies. We also advocate and represent our profession with the

·         CIDB (Construction Industry Development Board),

·         DPW (Department of Public Works)

·         CBE (Council for the Built Environment)

·         NHBRC (National Home Builders Registration Council)

·         CSCC (Construction Sector Charter Council)

We continuously lobby with government departments on behalf of our membership, writing to ministers and civil servants - albeit sometimes more successfully than other times. We continue to raise matters of concern with these various government agencies. Whilst we raise many red flags and lodge complaints, we also ensure that we are able to offer solutions to the self-same matters of concern that we raise.

The association plays an active role on the board and technical committee of the JBCC and PROCSA. We have ASAQS board members looking after the interests of the profession by serving on the GBC (Green Building Council), (ICEC) International Cost Engineering Council, RICS (Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors) and MBA (Master Builder Association). We represent the interests of the QS profession on the BEP grouping (Built Environment Professions Grouping) comprised of senior executives from the other professions within the construction sector. This forum allows the professions to wherever possible take a unified approach when seeking to comment on proposed policy and engage with various government agencies. 

We are fully aware of how important it is to actively promote QS’ing not only as a career choice for young students, but also promote the tangible value that a QS brings to a project. We are fully aware of the need to carry a strong message to all government departments to insist that the services of a QS are used in every project over a certain value. The ASAQS has actively sought the talents of a competent marketing manager who is able to advise the board on how best to market the profession, and in so doing market the abilities and involvement of quantity surveyors on every major project in the private or public sector. The committee conducted two rounds of interviews during the latter part of 2014,  but were ultimately unsuccessful in the recruitment of a marketing manager. However – the ASAQS is set on recruiting the right person for this job and will continue with sourcing and placing a suitable candidate in the new year. 

But marketing our profession definitely does NOT end there…

Each and every one of us need to market ourselves. As obvious as it sounds, you would not believe the amount of complaints that I receive regarding the below par services that are “charged for” by professional QS’s. Surely it is time for us as a profession to understand that the days of producing a BOQ and holding out our hands for payment are long gone? As professional quantity surveyors we need to realise that the way in which this profession has done business in the past is changing. As important as bills of quantity and estimates are, it should not define us as a profession. We need to be actively creating far more commercial opportunity for ourselves and more importantly value for our clients. As you all know, project management, feasibility studies and acting as principle agents are just a few of the additional services that every professional QS should be actively promoting to every client on every project.

Is it overly dramatic to say that the very reputation of our profession is at the heart of this matter?

TECHNICAL 

The ASAQS has recognised for a long time the need to deliver additional technical services for our profession. In January this year an EduTech director was employed to manage the entire EduTech portfolio. Mr Nellis Boshoff was appointed as the EduTech Director in to order manage this division of the ASAQS - with the aim being to provide all manner of technical support services to our members or the public. EduTech would also be responsible for accrediting supplier CPD as well as providing and delivering bespoke CPD courses to all chapters of the ASAQS nationwide. The CPD provided by EduTech is offered at a very fair cost. 

Furthermore, Edutech is able to assist the public and our members with bringing complaints to the SACQSP specifically in instances where the complainant wishes to remain anonymous. These complaints could be related to breaches in ethics, conduct or the QS Act. 

EduTech is also responsible for ensuring that all documentation that is currently used by the profession on a regular basis is updated and remains relevant.

Standard System 7thEdition

Finalised draft submitted by committee is currently being scrutinised – to be completed in the first quarter 2015

Model Preambles

Complete update and revision of this will begin in the first quarter of 2015

Cost of Green Building in Africa

This project is expected be concluded in the latter part of 2015















CSCC ( Construction Sector Charter Council)

A large amount of resources and energy has gone into representing the ASAQS on negotiations for a construction sector BBBEE scorecard. These negotiations are held by the CSCC  who is mandated by the DTI (Department of Trade and Industry) to engaging with all stakeholders within our sector with a view to agreeing on a progressive scorecard that promotes transformation within the construction sector. More information regarding where these negotiations are currently holding will be made available to all members within the next few days.

So in my view and in reply to my own opening question – “What does the ASAQS do?” I believe can be answered as follows :-  

We exist to serve the interests of our members and our profession, ensuring that our profession remains vibrant, dynamic, adaptable and responsive to an ever changing commercial environment. We exist to actively promote quantity surveying in all spheres of the construction sector and diligently represent the commercial interests of our profession.

All that the ASAQS does can only continue to be done through your generous and loyal support - and it is for this reason that I would like to thank you all individually as well as collectively on behalf of all of our members and firms.

May I take this opportunity to wish all of our members a very merry Christmas and a happy new year. May the new year bring only joy, happiness and abundant health to you and all your loved ones.

Sincerely,

Larry Feinberg
Executive Director – The Association of SA Quantity Surveyors 

2014/12/05