Matthew Swan


Career Story:

Matthew Swan

Jan. 22 2020

Ever wondered what it takes to get into building control surveying? Here Matthew Swan talks about his progress with Bureau Veritas and his next plans for professional development. 

What made you take the leap and apply for a role at Bureau Veritas?

At the time I joined the company, Bureau Veritas was just completing the acquisition of HCD Group and subsequently building the new Bureau Veritas Building Control division, within the wider Construction Consultancy team. I knew it would be a good career move and I jumped at the chance to join such a large, global organisation. 

What, if any, were your initial expectations?

I knew from the size of the business and from the emphasis they place on their people that I would be mentored and supported to move forward in my career. Before I joined I was an apprentice, now I’m a surveyor but I’m still learning and keen to use the experience of my colleagues to develop my own skills and competencies.

Have these been met / exceeded? How?

Yes, Bureau Veritas has definitely exceeded my initial expectations. With the support of my colleagues I’ve gained confidence and I now feel very confident in my role.

What kind of support did you get when you applied / first started?

The most significant support came in the form of mentoring, particularly from Darren Hendy and Ed Hill, both of whom have been my manager and I knew I could always go to them at any point with a question.

I was also given the opportunity to complete my studies at Birmingham City University thanks to a ‘day release’ initiative – another way in which the business has given me the platform to continue my own personal development.

What does your current role entail?

I talk to architects directly on all aspects of building control queries, I regularly carry out plans assessments and I undertake site inspections for projects. It's a varied role and I’m very much enjoying the additional responsibilities after recently being promoted to building surveyor from assistant.

I finish university in July 2020 on completion of my dissertation and I’m hoping to progress to senior surveyor at some point in the near future. That’s my next target to work towards.

What are some interesting / challenging aspects of your role?

I particularly enjoy dealing with new clients and working across such a variety of projects. Working for a company of this size means the projects we work on are invariably complex, commercial builds, not just small domestic jobs.

For example, I recently worked on a project consisting of refurbishment work at a number of venues in the portfolio of a major pub chain. I’ve also worked on a primary school extension, new schools and large housing developments amongst others – some really interesting projects to be involved with.

What are you most proud of?

It has to be my recent promotion, I’ve worked incredibly hard to get to where I am but it doesn’t stop here. My next development goal is to finish my degree and achieve a professional membership.

What advice would you give to colleagues considering / pursuing a career in this role?

The most important thing is to have good construction knowledge – it’s a good idea to read the role guidance documents to help yourself. I started off in the industry by doing bricklaying, I got my Level 1 and 2 City & Guilds and worked as a labourer before starting an apprenticeship building control surveyor role with Telford Council.

Since then I’ve completed further qualifications including Level 3 Construction and HSE Construction. I wanted to give myself the opportunity to pursue a professional role and I’m very proud of my progress so far.