Unit Overview
Roles in Construction

Roles in the Construction Industry

Either create a new presentation or add to the existing one by putting the following in your own words and answering the questions.



The client is the person who owns and pays for the site, clients can range from private individuals, companies, the government and organisations such as the army or local council.

Who would be the client for a new public park in Fulham?

What sort of buildings would the government commission as a client?


The architect designs the site and is normally very involved in the construction of the site, making sure everything goes to plan. Larger buildings will have a team of architects to look at all the details such as heating and lighting that need to be considered in a construction project.

  1. What is RIBA?
  2. Name three architects and the buildings they’ve designed.


Electricians lay the cables for sockets and lights, they may also be involved with the fitting of heating, security systems such as burglar alarms and audio visual systems.


Carpenters deal with the wooden parts of a building, most large scale construction projects need less and less carpentry as it is normally built off site. On a house they will deal with things like staircases, roofing trusses, windows and doors.

  1. What is a prefabricated staircase?
  2. What is a roofing truss?


Before you can design something you must know what size the site is and what the conditions of the soil underground are. Once the site has been designed the surveyors will often be the people who make sure the building goes in the correct location.

  1. Why would a surveyor use a theodolite
  2. What is a site plan


The civil engineers make sure things are the correct strength, this is particularly important in larger buildings where there is more steel and larger open spaces.

  1. What is an RSJ?
  2. What is a lintel?

Planning Officer

The planning officer works for the local council, they make sure that the building is suitable for the area in terms of looks and use. A thatched cottage would not look good in the centre of london and whilst a factory provides much needed jobs for people , it should not be located next to a primary school.

  1. What is a thatched cottage?
  2. What is an AONB?
  3. What is an SSSI?
  4. What is the purpose of the greenbelt?

Local Council

The local council are who make sure that buildings are safe and look right, there ae two main departments that look after this, the Local Planning Authority and Building Control. The council will investigate any reports of unsafe or unsociable behaviour by a construction company.

  1. Give an example of unsociable behaviour on a construction site?
  2. Give an example of unsafe behaviour on a construction site?


A foreman runs a team of tradesmen or site operatives such as electricians or plumbers, they make sure everyone is working towards the deadline and that everyone is working safely. They will need to understand the site design and drawings so that they can give out orders to their team.

  1. What training do you think a foreman needs?
  2. What skills would a foreman need?

Project Manager

The project manager makes sure everything runs smoothly on a site, they have the overview of the site and will have to deal with day to day problems as they arise these might include bad weather, labour or material shortages.

  1. What is labour or man power
  2. Why might a site slow down in the winter?

Site Engineer

The site engineer will deal with engineering problems as they arise, the construction of a large project will rarely happen without any hold ups.

  1. Name two universities you can study engineering at?

Quantity Surveyor

The quantity surveyor (also known as the QS) will calculate the exact quantities of materials, and manpower needed to complete the construction project. Without this information you will not be able to give the client an accurate price for their project.

  1. Why must the QS work closely with the architect?
  2. Why is it important to know how long each job will take?

Project Planner

The project planner will make sure things happen on the right order, for example there is no point getting the roofing materials to site on day one as they won’t be needed for another 3 months.

  1. Why should you not set up a tower crane while you are digging the foundations?
  2. At what point do you need the scaffolding on site?


Labourers carry out the unskilled work, such as moving materials around the site, they normally work alongside the skilled operatives such as plumbers, electricians and carpenters.

  1. What is a skilled operative?
  2. How much does a site labourer earn in London?


Safety Officer

Every commercial construction site will have a safety officer, they must make sure that the site is following all the current laws and take action against any staff who do not follow the rules.

  1. What is the maximum amount of time you should be up a ladder at at one time?
  2. What is a five point PPE plan?
  3. What is asbestos and what should you do if you discover it on site?


The HSE are part of the government that set the rules for all areas of industry with regard to health and safety. The HSE set the rules regarding health and safety, they will also prosecute construction companies or individuals who break the rules.

  1. What is RIDDOR?
  2. When was the Health and Safety at Work Act formed.
  3. When were the HSE formed?