Cost Estimator/Quantity Surveyor Defined


Cost Estimator/Quantity Surveyor Defined – A Key Word Analysis of Current Job Descriptions as the Basis for Exam and Competency Assessment Scoring Models

Dr. Paul D. Giammalvo, CDT, CCE, MScPM, MRICS, GPM-m

Jakarta, Indonesia


This is the second of a four part PILOT RESEARCH designed to perform a “Key Word” analysis from current job postings as the basis to define what the market (employers) are looking for in terms COMPETENCIES for the following job positions:

  1. Planner/Schedulers- https://pmworldjournal.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/pmwj47-Jun2016-Giammalvo-project-planner-scheduler-defined-featured-paper.pdf
  2. Cost Estimators/Cost Managers- this paper
  3. Forensic Analysts/Claims Analysts- future papers
  4. Project Control/Cost Engineers/Systems Engineers/Business Analysts- future papers

Furthermore, in addition to just being able IDENTIFY those competencies, the author is proposing a comprehensive approach to measure, assess and VALIDATE these competencies by adopting a two-step competency assessment model very much analogous to obtaining one’s first driver’s license.

Lastly, the author is proposing an academically sound approach for professional societies, guilds and related organizations to adopt which INTEGRATES the competencies expected in the marketplace with those developing and delivering training to current and future employees, be they universities, trade schools or individual training providers.

To briefly summarize/recap what was covered in the first part of this paper, to establish PERFORMANCE CRITERIA against which to assess COMPETENCY, cutting edge  organizations such as the Green (Sustainable) Project Management Organization http://www.greenprojectmanagement.org  and the Guild of Project Controls http://www.planningplanet.com/guild , have adopted the Iowa State University’s  “A Taxonomy for Learning, Teaching, and Assessing: A Revision of Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives” http://www.celt.iastate.edu/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/RevisedBloomsHandout-1.pdf  as the basis for their multi-level, competency based credentialing programs as well as the basis for those providing training in support for those credentials.


This research was originally commissioned by the Guild of Project Controls as the basis upon which to define the “roles and responsibilities” for each of the Guild’s 4 track, 5 level certification process and then use this information to create both exams and peer reviewed competency assessments for each of each level and each track. The Guild has taken the approach that given there is no consistent method upon which to define the “roles and responsibilities” (also known as the “Exam Content Outline” (PMI http://www.pmi.org/~/media/PDF/Certifications/exam-outline/scheduling-professional-exam-outline.ashx ) or the “Global Alliance for Competency Assessment Framework” (GAPPS http://globalpmstandards.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/GAPPS_Project_Manager_v1.1150411_A4.pdf ) that by “looking to the marketplace” and using current “help wanted” advertisements, would provide a “real time” analysis of what employers are expecting potential employees to be “competent” at doing.

Figure 1- Guild of Project Controls Career Path (See Guild of Project Controls Career Path Progression http://www.planningplanet.com/guild/gpccar/develop-project-controls-career-path-development-plan )

Taking this approach, the KEY WORDS from the JOB ADVERTISEMENTS determine the TASKS or ELEMENTS which are required to be done to “prove” one is competent, while the Knowledge Dimensions and Blooms Cognitive Process Dimensions determine the LEVEL of the job and the Knowledge dimensions define what TYPE of knowledge is required.

The  Iowa State University’s  “A Taxonomy for Learning, Teaching, and Assessing: A Revision of Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives” model was chosen as the basis underlying the credentialing process for both exams and peer reviewed competency,  as it measures and validates not only the 4 different TYPES of KNOWLEDGE:


To read entire article (click here)



About the Author

Dr. Paul D. Giammalvo,

Jakarta, Indonesia




Dr. Paul D. Giammalvo, CDT, CCE (#1240), MScPM, MRICS, GPM-M is Senior Technical Advisor (Project Management) to PT Mitratata Citragraha. (PTMC), Jakarta, Indonesia. www.build-project-management-competency.com.

For 20+ years, he has been providing Project Management training and consulting throughout South and Eastern Asia, the Middle East and Europe.  He is also active in the Global Project Management Community, serving as an Advocate for and on behalf of the global practitioner. He does so by playing an active professional role in the Association for the Advancement of Cost Engineering International, (AACE); Construction Specifications Institute (CSI) and the Construction Management Association of America, (CMAA). He currently sits on the Board of Directors of the American Society for the Advancement of Project Management (asapm) http://www.asapm.org/ and is on the Certification Board of the Green Project Management Institute. http://www.greenprojectmanagement.org/ He is active as a regional leader in the International Guild of Project Controls. http://www.planningplanet.com/guild

He has spent 18 of the last 35 years working on large, highly technical international projects, including such prestigious projects as the Alyeska Pipeline and the Distant Early Warning Site (DEW Line) upgrades in Alaska.  Most recently, he worked as a Senior Project Cost and Scheduling Consultant for Caltex Minas Field in Sumatra and Project Manager for the Taman Rasuna Apartment Complex for Bakrie Brothers in Jakarta.  His current client list includes AT&T, Ericsson, Nokia, Lucent, General Motors, Siemens, Chevron, Conoco-Philips, BP, Dames and Moore, SNC Lavalin, Freeport McMoran, Petronas, Pertamina, UN Projects Office, World Bank Institute and many other multi-national companies and NGO organizations.

Dr. Giammalvo holds an undergraduate degree in Construction Management, his Master of Science in Project Management through the George Washington University and was awarded his PhD in Project and Program Management through the Institute Superieur De Gestion Industrielle (ISGI) and Ecole Superieure De Commerce De Lille (ESC-Lille- now SKEMA School of Management) under the supervision of Dr. Christophe Bredillet, CCE, IPMA A Level.  Paul can be contacted at [email protected].