Career Story: Ciaran McGing
Mar. 14 2019
Ciaran McGing is a principal building control surveyor within the Construction Consultancy division of Bureau Veritas. With experience across a wide range of projects, he offers building control support to clients from across the construction industry.
Here, Ciaran discusses his career to date, what it’s like to work for a global leader and gives advice for anyone looking to take a similar route into construction consultancy.
Can you give a brief description of your career path and how you came to your position at Bureau Veritas?
After completing my A-Levels I wanted to enter the workplace and gain hands on experience as opposed to attending university, so I started an apprenticeship as a trainee building surveyor within the building control department of Harrow Council.
I worked on a day release programme for five years in order to gain a qualification in building engineering and after six years I moved to HCD, which has since been acquired by Bureau Veritas.
Throughout my career, I have been fortunate enough to be given opportunities to progress from building control surveyor, to senior surveyor and now a principal surveyor - all supported with chartership from CIOB and CABE. Crucially, working as part of the team at Bureau Veritas gives me the opportunity to working within a global leading organisation which is undergoing a sustained period of growth.
What does your current work involve?
On a day-to-day basis, my job involves a number of tasks from performing site inspections and checking building plans, to maintaining compliance with building regulations. I am responsible for consulting on all aspects of a project, including construction calculations, design team meetings and answering any queries.
The key focus of my role, however, is to apply building regulations across a variety of projects. This can vary depending on the project, whether it is a new build or existing structure for example, as well as the purpose of the building.
The regulations relating to building control are always evolving, which helps to keep my work interesting.
What attracted you to start a career within the construction industry?
My dad was a plasterer and I would often help out when I was younger, so I knew the importance of getting a trade. I knew I wanted to get hands on experience – university wasn’t for me - and I knew I enjoyed working on a construction site, so this helped me to narrow down my options and after seeking advice from industry professionals, I was advised towards the role of a surveyor.
For me it gave me an opportunity to get the best of both worlds, working both on site and in the office across a wide variety of projects.
Is there any advice you would give someone starting a career within the construction industry?
I would heavily encourage going through an apprenticeship scheme and once completed, gaining a qualified role with the same company. I was fortunate enough to be able to gain hands-on experience by following this route, plus I could ‘earn and learn’ which was obviously a bonus at the time.
Also, don’t be afraid to ask questions, whatever your role. As a junior surveyor I was constantly asking advice from the senior surveyors and it helped me to gain experience that I would not otherwise have had exposure to. Each building type has its own legislation so it can be invaluable if you can work on a less common building early in your career.
How would you describe your time at Bureau Veritas to others?
I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here. I work as part of a globally recognised brand, working closely with other divisions within Bureau Veritas to deliver an end-to-end solution that very few other organisations can offer. This includes mechanical, electrical, health and safety and fire safety services, so there is frequent opportunity to identify and offer services outside of our own expertise.
Do you feel there are opportunities for career development at Bureau Veritas?
Without a shadow of a doubt. One of the most rewarding things is the recognition given to employees who work hard, and there is the opportunity to shape your own career if that’s the case. Everyone receives an annual review which allows you to create plans for improvement or enable you to find you a more suitable role if applicable.
It is also important to note the sheer breadth of project experience that you can gain working within an organisation of this size and stature. One recent project I was involved in saw the development of a new £100 million retail and leisure complex comprising an Asda superstore, an 11 screen cinema and five restaurants. Being a part of Bureau Veritas brings great opportunities like this which may not be available elsewhere in the industry.