INTERVIEW | Turning attention onto construction project managers as 'key' to industry

Jesmond Chetcuti explains the reasoning behind the establishment of the Malta Chamber of Construction Management, its  objectives and aspirations


Issues within the local construction industry have been of common knowledge for quite some time now.

Multiple efforts and attempts have been made and are still being made by various stakeholders in a bid to address these issues, with the main objective being that of improving the situation.

The construction sector eco-system is made up of various stakeholders with varying levels of involvement and interests.

In their majority, these provided numerous inputs and proposals on how to address these issues.

One and a very important, key stakeholder that was not involved much in these initiatives and proposals, was the construction project manager (and other construction managerial roles).

Internationally, and for many years now, this professional has been considered an important member of the administration of every project, from inception to post-completion review and use.

At the end of the day, the construction project manager is the catalyst and glue that holds together all the other parties and stakeholders, especially if a project is to be concluded successfully.

The Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB)

Looking at the situation from a personal perspective, and from the perspective of a chartered professional, member and local representative of the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB), late in 2019, I successfully invited to Malta the CEO of the CIOB, Caroline Gumble for discussions with the Minister for Infrastructure Ian Borg.

The aim of the talks was to see how the two parties could work together for the benefit of the local construction industry.

From this meeting the seed of a movement was planted. I started contacting fellow colleagues to introduce them to the CIOB, explaining the benefits of membership, not just on an individual basis but most importantly, the collective potential in terms of the common good.

As COVID-19 reached Malta’s shores, early meetings had to be rescheduled and reorganised so to keep with the health authorities’ regulations.

The end result of all meetings with the various stakeholders is for this Chamber to become a fully autonomous local body that will be more of a partner to the much larger institution, but still adopting the same high standards of governance, code of ethics, values and mission.


Clearly identified as a weak aspect within the local construction sector are the skill gaps and short supply in the form of specialised training and educational courses, being provided and made available by the local institutions.

To address this situation, this project will be involving local educational institutions, public or private. We are already working on facilitating the accreditation and collaboration with the more experienced foreign institutions, namely the CIOB and its Academy.


Unless this profession and role of the construction project manager is regularised and legally recognised, it will be very difficult for the reform being piloted by the government to be fully successful.

We simply need to the example of other countries, to determine what worked and what didn’t. We do not deen to reinvent the wheel, but merely to  tailor it to our local environment.

Apart from the legal recognition of the CPM, the chamber will also be working to assimilate other construction managerial roles and bringing them under one umbrella.

These will be organised in various sections that we are calling Tiers.

In this way, the reform government is piloting will be sure to reach all levels of construction and site management.

Besides working closely with the local educational institutions, we are also working on the mutual recognition with foreign institutions.

Our aim is not only to be one of the leaders and drivers in this much-needed change, but also to push standards and quality to new levels.

The Quintano Report Review

The expert report into excavation and construction practices - commissioned following the death of a housewife in the rubble of her own home and led by Judge Lawrence Quintano - focuses mainly on the technical aspect of the incident and the situation in general.

It provides recommendations within the existing legal framework with few recommendations on a new framework.

On the other hand, we focused on the managerial aspect of the industry.

Our attempt therefore goes much deeper on the issues.

We believe that if management within the construction industry is properly addressed, the chance to improve and ensure reform success will be much higher.

It is all about good and proper management. The lack of it will hinder upscaling of the industry.

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