Professional development: balancing globalism, sustainability and tradition

Eccles, Timothy (2002) Professional development: balancing globalism, sustainability and tradition. In: ICEC 2002: Environmental and Economic Sustainability - 3rd World congress on cost engineering, project management and quantity surveying incorporating the 6th Pacific association of Quantity Surveyors Congress (PAQS); 14 - 18 Apr 2002, Melbourne, Australia. (Unpublished)


This paper will endeavour to examine the contradictions currently facing the construction professions globally and explore avenues for the development of the profession - in the spheres of education, professional practice and socio-politics. In the 1950s and 1960s, the United Kingdom proudly declared that it had provided the ideal type professional model to the world, particularly within the field of engineering, building and surveying based upon an archetype of their British Victorian heritage. This took the form of a codified body of knowledge, a division of specialisms amongst institutions, code of ethics and behaviour and modes of doing business. However, even within the UK, this traditional model has struggled in the face of internal government deregulation and external market and social forces. Within the international domain, the pressures upon professional institutes are even greater and reactions by institutions vary across disciplines. The paper will outline varied reactions within the UK towards pressures of globalisation and the need to recognise alternative modes of thinking demanded by sustainable pressures - so-called 'joined up thinking'. Some examples will include: • The move by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors towards a looser faculty structure, whilst also absorbing smaller institutes • Attempts by the Chartered Institute of Building to rename themselves as Chartered Constructors • Dissension about the use and meaning of the term 'architect' and the consequent inter-professional feuding • Successful negotiations between accountants and surveyors to recognise the expertise of the latter by the former within the creation of published accounting information It will then conclude by contrasting this with the international situation and by presenting some general comments about the future of the professions within construction.

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