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ICMS: International Cost Management Standard

ICMS: International Cost Management Standard

Since publication of the first edition in July 2017, the International Cost Management Standards (ICMS) have 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 to incorporate life cycle costs. International Cost Management Standards 2nd Edition enables practitioners to classify costs across the whole project life cycle, eliminating inconsistencies and discrepancies when accounting, comparing and predicting project finances.


About the ICMS coalition

The International Cost Management Standards Coalition (ICMSC) is a growing group of more than 40 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 cost.The ICMSC Standards Setting Committee comprises 27 independent experts from 17 countries. They were appointed by the coalition to draft, consult and produce the new International Construction Measurement Standards.

ICMS Explained

ICMS Explained, a user guide for the below International Cost Management Standards, is a technical document that sets out the purpose, context and philosophy of ICMS. This practical resource will equip quantity surveyors and cost consultants to deliver cost estimates and financial reports in line with ICMS.

Practitioners will find the below guide valuable as a reference document to address questions of the terminology used and how ICMS rules could apply to a specific project situation.

The user guide also sets out how ICMS is used in practice by drawing on and illustrating real examples of where it is already in use.

Download the guides:

  • ICMS User Guide: Intended for use by RICS and other relevant professionals to apply the standards. The guide provides the background, structure, content and potential use for ICMS, together with various appendices, which provide further and more detailed guidance and worked examples.
  • Appendix A Mapping to NRM 1: This excel document maps across the NRM 1 cost groups to those which are now presented in ICMS, such that a valid interface can be achieved when comparing historic cost classification data. A PDF version of Appendix A is included in the ICMS User Guide.
  • Appendix B Worked Examples: A selection of ‘live’ projects where the presentation of the cost classification data is illustrated in a form that aligns with ICMS, and adjusted as necessary to suit local circumstances. Worked Examples include examples of projects from Turkey, Australia, and Malaysia. A PDF version of Appendix B is included in the ICMS User Guide. 
  • ICMS Linked Excel Templates: This blank template allows practitioners to complete a cost report in accordance with the standard and with the Excel sheet formulae already embedded within.

ICMS data standard

Software developers and those requiring the use of structured data are advised to follow the schemas as defined, and those wishing to pursue RICS software certification must demonstrate compliance with this data standard. This data standard is an XML schema and is available to download.

Find out more and download the data standard

RICS Data Standard (RDS) update

This is the April 2021 release, version 3.2.1, of the 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. This version replaces all previous RICS Data Standards for IPMS and ICMS which have both been incorporated into this single schema which allows 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, 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

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