Surveying around the world: ASEAN

In the first part of this series about surveying around the world, we visit the ASEAN (The Association of Southeast Asian Nations) region. The region covers countries such as Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand. View the full list of countries covered by ASEAN.

We spoke to RICS Kuala Lumpur skylineManaging Director for ASEAN Bill Jones about the different surveying terms in the region.

Unlike other regions around the world, due to the colonial heritage in ASEAN, surveying terms don’t greatly differ from the UK. However, if you’re considering working abroad, it is worth knowing about the following six differences:

  • Quantity Surveyor: This role is very important in the ASEAN region. However, Firms will sometimes advertise for a ‘cost estimator’ or ‘contracts manager’ to distinguish them from a qualified Quantity Surveyor, and the former roles will come with a lower salary.
  • Other job titles that differ include Vice President – used for people who sit just below Board or Director level. Instead of an Operations Coordinator or Support, the expression used is Operations Executive.
  • Surveyors are surveyors in the region. However, ‘Cadastral Surveying’, a term inherited from the colonial days, is used in parallel with ‘Land Surveying’. A cadastral survey is a comprehensive register of property boundaries.
  • Valuers can also be called Appraisers. The words ‘real estate’ are often attached to distinguish from other types of valuation.
  • The term ‘real estate’ is used more often than ‘property’ or ‘land’.
  • The term ‘dilapidations’ is not used. They are instead referred to as ‘renovations’ or ‘defects’.

Bill is responsible for actively promoting RICS standards and qualifications adoption across ASEAN, and growing membership in the region. He also develops relationships with employers, governments and the end-users of surveying services.

Are there surveying terms or job titles that mean something different in your region? Let us know.

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