“With the founding of a new professional institution, two questions need to be answered. Why do we need another professional body and would there be any advantages in joining?
It is a common trait of human nature for like-minded people with a common goal to join together in an organised manner. Politics, religion and sports clubs are good examples. It has been common for those engaged in certain professions to join together with a stipulated aim. In the construction industry various professional bodies have been established such as the RIBA for Architects, ICE for Civil Engineers, and RICS for surveyors of one form or another. Project management which is a fairly recent stand-alone profession attracted professionals who, in 1995, formed the Project Management Institute (PMI). The most recent professional body to emerge relating to construction activities is Quantity Surveyors International, established in 2003.
During times of recession, contractors and subcontractors have often submitted very low prices and attempted to return a profit by submitting contract claims, where they consider it can be justified, due to client delays and changes. The system was ad-hoc and the claims, usually prepared by in-house quantity surveyors or contracts management staff, were often of poor quality and ineffective. In the early 1970s however, professional firms who offered a service of preparing and negotiating claims on behalf of contractors and subcontractors emerged. Employers quickly appreciated the service that they provided and often engaged claims practitioners themselves. A professional approach was introduced which proved to be more effective. Those who successfully prepare claims and respond to claims have a well established knowledge of construction methods, having been trained as quantity surveyors, architects, engineers, or construction managers. They are also knowledgeable in contract interpretation and contract law; many have dual legal and construction qualifications.
There is now an urgent need to standardise the methods used by claims practitioners and to publicise their services. With this objective in mind, the Institute of Construction Claims Practitioners has been created.
For those who join the ICCP there will be immediate recognition of their knowledge and skills. This is essential when seeking commissions to prepare and negotiate claims, to respond to claims, or for those seeking positions of employment as claims practitioners.
The ICCP provides wide publicity of the advantages of employing claims practitioners, which assists claims practitioners in gaining commissions. In an ever-changing world the need to keep up to date is ever pressing. The ICCP assists members in achieving this objective and I am delighted to be associated with it.”