Agreed Rules of Measurement (ARM) Joint Committee


The ARM Joint Committee of the Society of Chartered Surveyors in Ireland (SCSI) and the Construction Industry Federation (CIF) comprises a chairman, two representatives of the Society of Chartered Surveyors in Ireland, two representatives of the Construction Industry Federation and two observers from the Government Construction Contract Committee (GCCC).


The current members of the Joint Committee are:-

  • Michael Mulryan – Chairman.
  • John Curtain and Kieran Masterson – Construction Industry Federation (CIF).
  • Gerry O’ Sullivan and Neil Murphy – Society of Chartered Surveyors in Ireland (SCSI).
  • Charles Mitchell and Colin Cleary – Observers representing the Government Contracts Committee (GCCC).

The brief of the Joint Committee is to: –

  1. Produce and publish Agreed Rules of Measurement and Supplements.
  2. Answer queries received on the interpretation and application of the Agreed Rules of Measurement and its Supplements.
  3. Issue amendments and guidance notes as required.


Evolution of the Agreed Rules of Measurement


The purpose of the Agreed Rules of Measurement is to provide a uniform basis for measuring building work and presenting the information in bills of quantities / pricing documents that embody the essentials of good practice, facilitate the understanding of what the work described includes and contribute to the efficient pricing, tender assessment and post contract administration of the construction project that the tender document is issued for.


The Standard Method of Measurement (SMM) was the genesis of the Agreed Rules of Measurement (ARM). SMM 1 was published in 1922 and updated to take account of changes in methods of construction until the publication of the metric edition of SMM 6 in 1979. The SMM publication and review process was administered by a joint committee of the RICS and National Federation of Building Trades Employers and the committee included a representative from the then RICS branch in the Republic of Ireland.


The various editions of the SMMs, up to and including SMM 6, were used for the measurement of construction works in Ireland although an Irish Agreed Method of Measurement, published in 1952, was also in use for a period.


SMM 7 was first published by the RICS in 1988.  It was the first tabular format method of measurement but its Rules assumed the use of the UK ‘Common Arrangement’ specification system, which lead to the decision not to adopt it for use in Ireland.


Following this decision, the Society of Chartered Surveyors decided to instead continue to use SMM 6 but by the early 1990s it became clear that printed copies would no longer be available.  The Society of Chartered Surveyors decided on the adoption of the Principles of Measurement (International) for Works of Construction (POMI), published by the RICS in 1979.


As the name suggests, POMI contains principles of measurement rather than the detailed rules that the construction industry was used to.  As such, it allowed considerable latitude in how the work content in a building could be measured and presented in a Bill of Quantities.  The variety of interpretations of how to apply the Principles consequently resulted in inconsistent Bills of Quantities and Pricing Documents.  It is to be noted that many QS practices in the Republic of Ireland continued to use SMM 6 in preference to POMI, rather than diminish the standard of the Bills of Quantities they were producing.


After consideration of a number of possible alternatives to the Principles of Measurement without a choice being agreed, a Joint Committee was convened to prepare a new set of measurement rules for use in Ireland.  This Committee was chaired by the SCSI and comprised two representatives from the SCSI, two representatives from the CIF and two observers from the Department of Finance and, in turn, it appointed two external consultants to assist in drafting the new document.   The document produced was approved for use by the SCSI and CIF and it was also approved by the Department of Finance for use on publicly funded building projects.  It was titled the Agreed Rules of Measurement and was published in 1994.


Revisions were made over the years to update ARM to take account of the evolution of construction methodology and in response to industry requests for amendments to specific clauses.  ARM 4, the current edition, was published in 2009.


With the advent of the Public Works Conditions of Contract (PWC), ARM 4 Supplement 1 was produced by the Joint Committee to provide for the requirements to be satisfied in Pricing Documents/ Bills of Quantities for use with the PWC.  ARM 4 Supplement 1, Issue 2, the current edition, was printed in April 2016 and provides for the amendments adopted in the 2016 revisions to the Public Works Contracts.


ARM 4 Supplement 2, published in 2013, provides an alternative set of Rules for use in the measurement of Mechanical and Electrical Installations where the Design Team, with the agreement of the Employer, have decided that the measurement of Mechanical and Electrical Installations in accordance with ARM 4 is not warranted.


The ARM Joint Committee, following receipt of submissions from the SCSI, CIF and GCCC, are currently engaged in drafting what will become ARM 5.  Publication is planned for 2021.





ARM 4 is available for purchase by following this link.



Queries answered by the ARM Joint Committee


The ARM Joint Committee have answered several queries on the interpretation of the ARM and its Supplements.


These queries and the ARM Joint Committee answers can be viewed by following this link.



Advice Notes and Amendments


The following Advice Notes and amendments have been published and can be downloaded here.


  1. Advice Notes for Users of ARM – 27th May 2019
  2. ARM 4 Supplement 2 Amendments – 15th November 2019


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