The concept of a Community of Practice for practitioners involved in certification was introduced by the NSW Building Commissioner in January 2020 to provide a platform for discussion and recommendations on how to improve and modernise the services related to certification in construction against the backdrop of the ongoing reforms in the NSW Construction Industry, mainly including the Design and Building Practitioners Act 2020 (NSW) and the Residential Apartment Buildings (Compliance and Enforcement Powers) Act 2020 (NSW).

To facilitate this critical initiative, an organising committee was formed to execute a series of Roundtables on three intertwined themes, namely Current and future landscape of construction industry’s professional services (Theme 1), Careers in the New Landscape (Theme 2), and Micro learning required for the New Landscape/ changing or upgrading careers in construction (Theme 3). Initial committee members included the Centre for Smart Modern Construction (c4SMC) at Western Sydney University, the Australian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (AIQS), the Australian Institute of Project Management (AIPM), and The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

This report details the first Roundtable held on 11 June 2020, which was aimed at understanding the current landscape of professional services provided by the quantity surveying and project management practitioners in the NSW construction industry. With over 90 participants, the roundtable had representation from members of AIQS, RICS and AIPM and academics representing universities in NSW. The event was comprised of informative presentations, industry-academic consultations via group discussion, and a questionnaire survey.

Based on the discussions, it is recommended that:

  1. QS professionals should be engaged as the principal cost consultant on building projects at an early stage to enable development of Cost Plans for the purposes of defining scope, understanding of risk and mitigation of unnecessary costs.
  2. Formal recognition by governments of internationally recognised QS and PM competencies and experience should be in place to ensure consistent and quality consultancy on each project from inception to completion.