About Us

History of the J.I.Q.S

The roots of the Quantity Surveying profession go back at least to the Middle Ages in the United Kingdom and to a great extent, the profession today bears very little resemblance to its humble beginning.

The main thrust of professional Quantity Surveying in Jamaica was in 1949, with the construction of the first phase of the University College. The Quantity Surveyor on this project was the late B.G.W. Cawston who could be easily described as the ?Father of the profession in Jamaica?.

In those early days, almost all Quantity Surveyors in Jamaica were members of expatriate firms from the United Kingdom such as Widnell and Trollope, Hanscomb & Partners, and C.T.R Kelly and Partners.

As the construction industry in Jamaica expanded in the late 1950?s, so did the need for the Quantity Surveying profession. It was therefore timely when the Jamaican Institute of Quantity Surveyors (then the Jamaican Society of Quantity Surveyors) was founded in 1959 with all its founding members embracing the skills of Quantity Surveying.

One of the tasks of this new organization was the production of a standard method of measurement suitable to the needs of local building practices, as up to then the method used in England was being used locally. This was found to contain many provisions which were inconsistent with the requirements of the local building industry. In 1963, the first edition of our own Jamaican Standard Method of Measurement was published and was later revised in 1987.

In 1975, The Institute was instrumental in the introduction of the Diploma course in Quantity Surveying at the University of Technology (UTECH), then the College of Arts, Science and Technology (CAST). Today the Institute still maintains its support by organizing discussions and seminars for students and, from time to time, our members are involved in lecturing in the Building Department. In 1990, the Institute?s annual scholarship fund was established with its first recipient being the most outstanding student in the second year of the Quantity Surveying course.

Internationally, the Institute has been actively involved in the Commonwealth Association of Surveying and Land Economy (CASLE) whose main objective has been to encourage and support professional societies throughout the Commonwealth, and the provision of educational facilities to facilitate and develop professional needs with increasing emphasis on post qualification educational requirements. Members of the Institute have participated at several seminars and workshops sponsored by CASLE in the Caribbean and other parts of the Commonwealth.

Our Profile

The Jamaican Institute of Quantity Surveyors (JIQS) comprises forty-two (42) Fellows and Associates and thirty-six (36) probationary members. The highest authority of the organization is the General Council which at present consists of fourteen members. Standing Committees are established within the General Council each administrative year to execute the functions of the organization whose main concerns are:

  • Education and Qualification
  • Definition and control of professional conduct
  • The promotion and advancement of the profession; and
  • Active participation in the growth and development of the building industry

Direct membership examinations are held annually or as the need arises for graduates of the University of Technology (UTECH) and other academic institutions for persons wishing to become members of the Institute. Corporate members of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (R.I.C.S.) with at least two years working experience in Jamaica are exempted from these examinations. Today more than 65% of our corporate members are Chartered Surveyors who by virtue of their training are recognized not only locally, but also internationally.

The Institution also comprises members of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, many of whom have played key roles as Arbitrators in the settlement of disputes within the Building and Construction Industry. The major task facing the Institute at present is that of ensuring high standards in the profession and it is with this in mind that Continued Professional Development (C.P.D) is being encouraged among all our members.

The JIQS continues to press for registration to ensure that only suitably qualified persons are eligible to provide the services of a Quantity Surveyor. This will no doubt lead to the ultimate benefit and protection of the interest of the industry and clients as a whole.