Business of Consulting Engineering


Consulting Engineering Business  (Business Economics, Professional Practice and Management):

  • Consulting engineering industry overview
  • Structure of consulting engineering firms
  • ECSA, CESA, FIDIC, CIDB and the learned institutions
  • Codes of conduct
  • Introduction to economics, markets, and supply and demand
  • Communication, report writings negotiation, problem solving, conflict management relationship management, team work, liaison and coordination personal relations, networking, negotiating and report writing
  • Quality and risk management
  • Business integrity, morals and ethics.
  • Principles of sustainability

Finance (Introduction to accounting and financial planning)

Introduction to Accounting:

  • Basic accounting principles and practice
  • Accounting rules and definitions
  • The accounting process
  • Income statement: income, gross profit, net profit/loss.
  • Balance sheet: assets, liabilities and owners equity.
  • Cash vs profit, cash flow management, working capital management.
  • Key ratios: profitability, liquidity, efficiency, solvency.

Project Financial Administration

  • Estimating, bills of quantity, and budgeting
  • Principles of inflation and escalation
  • Principles of life cycle costing and amortization.
  • Principles of capital budgeting, present value, discounted future values.
  • Contract financial administration.

Managing Project Income and Costs

  • Fees: fixed (lump sum) vs time based vs percentage of cost of works.
  • Project income: percentage complete, work in progress, invoicing, VAT, accounts receivable, debtor days.
  • Project costing: timesheets, salary multiplier, expenses and reimbursable
  • Project profitability.
  • KPI’s (turnover per person, profit per person, utilisation rate.)


Introduction to South African Law:

  • Roman Dutch Law and the South African legal system
  • Law of delict, law of contract.
  • Legal structure of business enterprises, sole trader, partnership, private company, public listed company.
  • Procurement legislation.
  • BEE legislation.
  • Public vs private sector procurement and the CIDB Standard for Uniformity in Construction
  • Occupational Health and Safety Act and Regulations.

Procurement of Professional Services and the Professional Services Agreement:

  • Client/Consultant professional services agreement
  • Joint venture agreement
  • Sub-Consultancy agreement

Conditions of Contract for Construction

  • Forms of contract: GCC, JBCC, FIDIC, NEC
  • The role of ‘the Engineer’

Project Delivery (the process of managing an engineering project throughout the entire project cycle)

  • Introduction to the concept of project management
  • The project cycle
  • ECSA and PROCSA Guideline Scope of Services and the duties of the consulting engineer
  • ISO 9001 and Quality Management, project planning, control and resource management
  • Risk management and risk assessments
  • ISO 9001 and Quality Management
  • Project inception and registration
  • Liaison, communications, and meetings
  • Programming
  • Time Management
  • Client/consultant activities
  • External and site factors
  • Financial (cost estimating, control and reporting)
  • Health and safety
  • Design (drawings, calculations, specification, schedules and coordination)
  • Contractual and procurement
  • Contract administration
  • Completion and close-out
  • Operation and maintenance
  • Project review and client feedback procedures.
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