Skip to content

ICMS: International Cost Management Standard

ICMS: International Cost Management Standard

Since publication of the first edition in July 2017, the International Cost Management Standard (ICMS) has provided a single methodology for reporting, grouping and classifying construction project costs.

In response to industry feedback following the publication of the first edition of ICMS, the ICMS Coalition updated the standard in 2019 to incorporate life cycle costs. The second edition enabled practitioners to classify costs across the whole project life cycle, eliminating inconsistencies and discrepancies when accounting, comparing and predicting project finances.

In 2021, recognising the importance of reducing carbon emissions in construction, the ICMS Coalition developed the third edition. This provides a common reporting framework allowing the interrelationship between construction costs and carbon emission to be explored. The third edition provides the opportunity to make decisions about design, construction, operation, and measurement of the built environment that optimise environmental sustainability. 

In addition, it extends the number of civil engineering Projects or Sub-Projects to include ‘Offshore structures’, ‘Near shore works’, ‘Ports’, ‘Waterway works’, and ‘Land formation and reclamation’.  

About the ICMS coalition

The International Cost Management Standard Coalition (ICMSC) is a group of 49 professional and not-for-profit organisations from around the world, working together to develop and implement international standards for benchmarking, measuring and reporting construction project costs. The ICMSC Standards Setting Committee comprises 25 independent experts from 15 countries. They were appointed by the Coalition to draft, consult and produce the new International Cost Management Standard, third edition.

ICMS Explained

Following the launch of ICMS 3, a new ICMS explained user guide is now available. ICMS 3 incorporates both cost and carbon reporting on construction projects worldwide.

ICMS explained is a practical resource that will equip quantity surveyors and cost consultants to deliver cost estimates and financial reports in line with ICMS 3. It also sets out the purpose, context and philosophy of ICMS.

Practitioners will find ICMS explained valuable as a reference document to address questions of the terminology used and how ICMS rules could apply to a specific project situation. It also sets out how ICMS is used in practice by drawing on and illustrating real examples of where it is already in use


RICS Data Standard (RDS)

The schema and example data files are available in both XML and JSON formats with html documentation in separate JSON and XML directories. The current version supersedes previous RICS Data Standards for IPMS and ICMS which have both been incorporated into this single schema allowing users to capture, share and exchange data on land, property, real estate, and infrastructure assets. Where appropriate, the RDS references and supports a range of RICS and international standards covering property measurement, valuation, due diligence, life-cycle costing, carbon emissions, building operation, brokerage, leasing, and building surveying.

The RDS is available under the MIT License and RICS can provide technical support on the implementation of the RDS, for further information and support please contact

Go to the standard