Who is a CCS?

Who is a CCS?

Just as documentation associated with construction projects has become more specialized, so also have the qualities and characteristics of the specifier. Because specifiers produce written documents, they must be proficient in the use of written language. They must be capable of producing precisely worded sentences and well-constructed paragraphs that are clear, concise, and easily understood by a wide variety of people. Researching and reading skills are also of prime importance because of the requirement to work with voluminous quantities of information in search of precise information.

In the course of preparing construction documents, specifiers consult and coordinate with other professionals in many disciplines. They must be skilled in verbal communication and credible in all of their dealings with others. Because they deal with construction methods and materials, the specifier must have a thorough working knowledge of construction products and materials, the construction industry, and field construction practices. Because construction contract documents are legal instruments, specifiers must also have a clear, fundamental understanding of the legal principles involved in each of the documents they prepare.

Educational Background

There is no single educational program designed to train a professional specifier. Any formal educational background must be supplemented with additional education gained through work experience before one can become a fully qualified specifier. The following are several formal educational backgrounds that would be suitable for specifiers:

  • College degree in architecture or engineering
  • Vocational school education in architecture, engineering, or construction technology
  • High school education supplemented by on-the-job training in architecture or engineering

Beneficial Traits

Following is a list of general character traits considered to be most desirable for a specifier. These abilities should be acquired if they are not inherent in the individual:

  • Observes and is able to work with detailed information
  • Can visualize three-dimensional objects
  • Organizes thoughts and concepts into orderly statements
  • Can sort out the essential elements of a problem
  • Is objective and impartial
  • Listens to and accurately understands people
  • Works with people and achieves equitable agreements without compromising important principles
  • Accurately expresses ideas and concepts


The effective specifier uses these character traits to develop the following areas of proficiency:

  • Understanding of construction materials, systems, and methods
  • Verbal and written communication skills
  • Understanding of graphic information presented in drawings, tables, and charts
  • Ability to carry out successful negotiations, coordination, and arbitrations
  • Management and organization techniques needed to meet scheduled commitments
  • Good research methods
  • Knowledge of computers as they are used to access information and perform word processing
  • Understanding of basic construction law
  • Understanding of building codes and ordinances
  • Knowledge of basic insurance and bonds as they relate to the construction industry
  • Ability to assist with quality control and quality assurance