The Value Toolkit is about moving to a new way of working in the built environment

Steven Thompson
Steven Thompson 28-06-2022

Steven Thompson of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors says the publication of the Value Toolkit signals a shift to considering much, much more than cost.

The Value Toolkit is all about moving to a new way of working in the built environment. It entails a wider view of aspects other than cost. Historically, there’s been too much emphasis on ‘lowest cost wins’ and, simply put, that must change.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has been involved in such work since the Procuring for Value initiative some years ago and, more recently, on the development of the Value Toolkit. RICS was privileged to be involved in the produced capital part of the Toolkit, focusing particularly on cost – cost for build, life cycle cost, time, resilience and risk.

In my view, it’s all about raising awareness amongst our members of the benefits of looking at a project across a much wider perspective. It is important to expand the horizons of chartered surveyors who may, perhaps, historically have had too narrow a view of the world – certainly those in my discipline, advising clients on cost. Cost alone? No. It must be about a greater awareness of other factors as well.

Chartered surveyors work across the whole of the built and natural environment. I expect the Value Toolkit to bring a more holistic view of the way projects are procured and that this should be done with a much sharper focus on the public interest and, ultimately, for the good of the world.

RICS will be informing its members that the Value Toolkit exists and why. We will also highlight the commercial opportunities that are available for advising clients. But, ultimately, it’s not about process. For chartered surveyors it’s about changing hearts and minds; changing the culture of doing business and doing something because it’s the right thing to do rather than simply because we’re following a process.

I believe the RICS has a part to play in making sure that within five years the Toolkit has been universally adopted as the preferred method of procuring projects of whatever type – public or private sector.

What will success look like? The time will come when value-based decision making is simply the norm. That will be a tick. That will be a success story in its own right.