Closing the gap? Building surveyors in Oceania
Purpose -The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has implemented a policy to expand its influence around the world. Quantity or construction surveyors had an established presence and history of working overseas, offering their services particularly in the Middle-and Far-East. Property surveyors found the transition to working in European Union (EU) countries relatively straightforward and numerous UK property consultancies have European, Asian, North American and Oceanic offices.
... Oceanic offices. Furthermore UK-based firms establishing partnerships with overseas real estate firms expanded significantly over the past decade. Building surveying (BS) is a different case. Small numbers work in commonwealth countries but it is limited and in many countries professional and academic qualifications are not recognised. This paper aims to consider the extent of the barriers and opportunities facing RICS chartered building surveyors (CBS) in Oceania (taken as Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and Fiji) and whether the gap is closing. Design/methodology/approach -A desktop study reviewed the political, economic and sociological issues that affect the employment opportunities and professional services CBS offer throughout the world. Six opportunities and ten barriers were put to the RICS Oceania Building Surveying Faculty to ascertain their perceptions of these barriers and opportunities. No previous study had identified barriers and opportunities in Oceania for the BS and this research adopted a census survey of RICS practitioners currently employed in the region and the results form the most comprehensive picture of the current position. Findings -Many respondents felt that stronger links and/or mergers with the different Oceania professional property and surveying bodies would open a large field of opportunities to the CBS. Some provided comments on future business opportunities, for example "leaky buildings", "dilapidations/'make good' work", and seemed to be in general agreement that, as businesses came to know the benefits of protecting themselves from rogue tenants (and landlords) by using the services of a CBS, then opportunities would continue to rise. The principal barrier is communicating those skills and the value they add. Research limitations/implications -The limitations that affected this research were time constraints and communicating with surveyors in Oceania, to whom the authors were not permitted direct access. The research methodology methods were, with hindsight, not ideal for the type and range of data that the researchers sought. Originality/value -The research will be of use to building surveyors and providers of building-surveying education in Oceania.