A Delphi study on building services engineers' core competence and statutory role in Hong Kong

Francis W.H. Yik, Joseph H.K. Lai, Wai Ling Lee, K. T. Chan, Chi Kwan Chau

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to narrow the diverse views of the industry stakeholders on two controversial issues, namely the scope of core competence of building services engineers (BSEs) and the statutory role that they should play, which were encountered in an extensive research study on the building services profession of Hong Kong. Design/methodology/approach – An expert panel was formed and the Delphi method was applied to resolve the controversies. In the Delphi process, every panel member was provided with complete opinions expressed by all other panel members in each round of the deliberation. Findings – Sufficient support was found for the proposition that professional BSEs should be competent in handling air-conditioning, electrical, fire services, and plumbing & drainage works, and that the government authorities should mandate the design and compliance certification of electrical and fire services installations by BSEs. Research limitations/implications – Although the Delphi method has not been hitherto applied to resolve the controversies addressed in the study, it was proven to be a very effective tool in seeking majority opinions from a group of experts. The same approach may be taken in similar studies in future. Practical implications – The core competence identified should be made as a minimum requirement for practitioners who wish to practise as professional BSEs. The views and comments given by the expert panel members are informative references to public policy makers. Originality/value – This was the first ever study conducted in an attempt to identify the core competence and statutory role of BSEs in Hong Kong.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)26-44
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Facilities Management
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 17 Feb 2012


  • Building services
  • Building services engineering
  • Core competences
  • Delphi method
  • Facilities management
  • Hong Kong
  • Statutory role

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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