A professor on a visit to Japan years ago told the local industry: “Don’t give them visas.”

He was talking about QSs. Japan doesn’t use them; neither does most of Europe, the USA and Canada. Yet we apparently have 6,468 vacancies and the RICS is endeavouring to persuade the Home Office to change immigration rules so we can import more.

In 2001, Zara Lamont of the then Construction Best Practice Programme kicked up a storm in Building by suggesting QSs were undermining the Egan agenda.

Egan focused on delivering value for clients rather than lowest cost, which is the traditional domain of the QS.

Isn’t it time to rethink quantity surveying? Of course there are vital commercial, financial, management and accounting roles in the industry, but these can be offered up in the spirit of partnering, supply-chain management, integrated teams and trust. With the shift to new forms of procurement, do we still need so many traditional QSs?

Now, we do have a real shortage of good managers. Perhaps the Home Office ...

Michael A Brown, deputy chief executive, CIOB