HOW THE INSTITUTE OF APPRAISERS AND COST ENGINEERS WORK

The Institute of Appraisers and Cost Engineers is the division of NSE that is concerned with the specializations of Appraisal (Valuation), Cost Engineering and Engineering Economy.
The objective of the Institute in the Appraisal field is to promote the exchange of  ideas and experiences among its members, and cultivate the profession appraising particularly the appraisal fields in which professional engineering knowledge, experience and judgment are required.
In the field of cost engineering the basic objective is to promote/ advance the sciences and art of Cost Management and Cost Engineering.
Promotion / advancement of the science and art of engineering economy and engineering economic analysis are the objective of our activities in the Engineering Economy specialization.

Some definitions will bring our minds closer on the nature of the skills our members possess. Engineering Appraisal (Valuation) is the art of estimating the value of specific properties where professional engineering knowledge and judgment are essential. The properties covered under this type of valuation are mines, factories, building, machinery, industrial plant, engineering constructions of all kinds and public utilities

Cost Engineering is that are of engineering practice where engineering judgment and experience are utilized in the application of scientific principles and techniques to the problems of  Cost Estimation, Cost Control, Profitability Analysis, Project Management, planning and Scheduling.
Engineering Economy is the monetary (financial) side of the decision that engineers make or recommend as they work to position a firm to be profitable in a highly competitive market place. Inherent to these decisions are trade offs among different types of costs and the performance (response time, safety, weight, reliability, etc) provided by the proposed design or problem solution. The mission of engineering economy is to balance these trade offs in the most economical manner.

Our focus at this Press Briefing is on Cost engineering which has some how been in the news since 1st August 2003 when the Minister of Works called for the establishment of a Quantity Surveying Department in the Ministry.
World wide promotion and advancement of quantity surveying is done under cost engineering precisely through the International Cost Engineering Council ICEC. In answering the question “What are Cost Engineering, Quantity Surveying, and Project Management?” an ICEC White Paper (1996, Rev. 2002) had these to say inter alia:

“Cost Engineering and Quantity Surveying have similar and highly overlapping functions. Quantity Surveying relates more to building design and construction, while cost engineering relates more to engineering projects and processes…. Project Management overlaps both Quantity Surveying and Cost Engineering in the project cost management area to some degree but most Project Management functions are quite different form those of Cost Engineering and Quantity Surveying.
Although ICEC talks of similar and highly overlapping functions, in listing the functions of CE and QS the Council issues the caveat- “these are typical function of the CE or QS but not all practitioners in the field perform all of these functions”.

QSs in Nigeria and incidentally HMW Sen. A. Ogunlewe, on the other hand believe a QSs is omniscient in cost matters and the only professional transport to honesty, accountability and due process. From this hallucination of moral high ground and not form appropriate professional training, skills and experience, QSs make their claim of custody of “y” are going all clients will also be relieved of responsibility on the cost of their projects.

BUT WHO REALLY CONTROLS COST?
In his book, Construction Cost Engineering Handbook, Anghel Patrascu, a certified Cost Engineer offers the answer. He writes that the answer to this question is the same as to “Who needs cost control?” “Every body, of course,”, he says, further affirming that costs are controlled by all the members of the organization: the designers, process engineers, buyers, craftsmen, construction people and all the engineering and even non-engineering staff. He explains that cost control is an everyday activity and it should be everybody’s concern and business. Patrascu’s words:
“Neither the Cost Engineer nor the cost-engineering department actually controls costs, eve though they are officially designated as being responsible for the cost control function. The cost engineer’s job may be compared to that of the navigator of an airplane. He knows the route to be followed (the project), the flying time (the project duration), and the amount of fuel in the tank (funds available). From previous flights and from the reports and briefings he should be well aware of expected constraints during the fight. He will constantly monitor the location and direction of aircraft and what is ahead.

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