Since starting out as a Quantity Surveying practice in Aberdeen in the 1880s, we’ve grown our firm to cover the whole of the North of Scotland. We’ve expanded our offering, too, and have added associated services such as project management, dispute resolution and CDM (construction design and management). As experts in CDM co-ordination, we’ve worked in the field for over twenty years, with clients in both the public and private sectors.
Here at BDG Thomson Gray, we have a dedicated CDM department. Each member of the team is a Registered Member of the APS (RMaPS) and have extensive knowledge and practical expertise in the construction process.
The department is headed up by Shirley Thomson – Director of BDG Thomson Gray. Shirley’s worked for BDG Thomson Gray for over 30 years. She’s an elected member of the RICS panel of Adjudicators in Scotland and heads up the CDMC department.
How do you fit into the BDG Thomson Gray picture?
I’m the Director here. I bring in the projects that we work on and manage both Doug and Matthew who help me deliver on it.
What do clients come to you specifically for?
As a profession, we are experts in construction costs and contracts. I’ve gained a reputation at being better than average at producing contracts. It’s a reputation I’ve worked very hard to gain!
What makes BDG Thomson Gray stand out against the competition?
I think it’s well known that the contracts we put together are more considered. When we speak to clients we tell them that our contracts are set up from the outset so they don’t get into trouble. Even though we offer dispute resolution work, when clients sign, they can be sure their contract is drafted so they don’t get into trouble, rather than having to get them out of trouble somewhere down the line.
What do your clients say about you?
That they would come to us straight away for advice – apart from going to a lawyer, the advice is as valid. Between us all, we have a vast amount of knowledge, hands-on expertise and skills.
They can be sure our advice is valid as were always learning and strengthening our skills and knowledge. We have to prove our competencies with assessments. Particularly as I’m now on the RICS panel of Adjudicators in Scotland.
What do you enjoy about your job?
I love that I can work on a wide variety of areas, industries and clients. I’ll work with clients who are charities and I’ll do a lot for clients who are affordable housing providers. Even though it’s building houses for housing providers – you see them getting handed over to the new tenants and it feels like it’s more than ‘just a job’. I enjoy knowing I’m part of a process that makes a positive impact on others.
You’ve been in this industry for 31 years. Stand out moments you’re most proud of?
I worked on the delivery of a new sport’s centre in Elgin. We’d been working on it for 3 years (including construction). For me, it was more about the ‘why’ of the build than anything else. It was set up by a charitable foundation. The majority of the £10m funding was put up by one individual – Sandy Adam. He wanted to give something back to Elgin, the town where he started, where he grew his success. There hadn’t been a sports facility in Moray for over 40 years. People had to travel to Aberdeen for training facilities. I was proud of being part of that.
What element of your job keeps you awake at night?
Honestly, I find the work part runs smoothly. It doesn’t keep me awake at night. I suppose it’s more about the responsibility of getting out there and bringing in the business. The people I work with rely on the company doing well, so that will always motivate me.
And what values or life lessons have you learned while working for BDG Thomson Gray?
I always try to remember that people do business with people. If you deliver a decent service, they’ll come back. Reputation is the most important.
Your work means you spend long days in the office – and weekends. When you can get away, where do you like to escape to?
My sister owns a house in the West Coast of Scotland. I love that there’s no mobile signal! The house looks over the cliff edge, Skye is on one side, Gairloch Bay on the other. It’s one of those places that gets into your blood. I feel so peaceful there.
BDG Thomson Gray expert CDM services
If you’re looking for professional and dependable Health and Safety advice and CDM services, get in touch with Shirley Thomson and her team of qualified and experienced safety managers and advisors. Experts in CDM regulations, project management and all aspects of Quantity Surveying BDG Thomson Gray is the answer to all of your QS questions across Scotland.