Industry classification


Monitoring consulting engineering industry classifications that determine national accounts.

For consulting engineering services in countries and regions that have adopted the UN 2008 System of National Accounts (SNA08), the FIDIC-EFCA Consulting Engineering Industry Survey uses:

  • investment (Gross Fixed Capital Formation) and Supply-Use Tables (SUT) taken from national accounts to forecast demand and fee levels;
  • intermediate consumption at Basic Prices by industries to estimate supply (in statistical terms, the Basic Price as opposed to the Purchaser Price is the amount the producer receives per unit of goods or service produced, less the taxes on the products and plus any subsidies on the products).

Establishing the demand for services that make up the portfolio of services supplied by the consulting engineering industry calls for a clear understanding of how the various services are classified.

Consulting engineering services are mainly classified by the UN's International Standard Industrial Classification of All Economic Activities (ISIC) and its regional derivative - the European Union's classification of economic activities NACE - under Group M71.1 ( Architectural and engineering activities; technical testing and analysis) of Division M (Professional services).

However, several other NACE Classes, Groups and Divisions cover consulting engineering services, the most important being:

  • Mining support service activities (B9)
  • Other research and experimental development on natural sciences and engineering (M72.19)
  • Specialised design activities (M74.10)
  • Other professional, scientific and technical activities n.e.c (M74.90)
  • Landscape service activities (M81.3).

Several other Groups and Classes account for a small volume of consulting engineering activity:

  • Development of building projects (M41.1)
  • Management of real estate on a fee or contract basis (M68.32)
  • Public relations and communication activities (M70.21)
  • Patent brokerage activities (M74.90)
  • Accounting, bookkeeping and auditing activities; tax consultancy (M69.2)
  • Private security activities (M80.1)


Revisions to international and regional classifications of industrial activity and of the related product classifications are carried out routinely. They give rise to numerous proposals for changes in the classification structure and for new classes, merged classes and exclusions from classes.

Both ISIC and NACE are undergoing revisions. The FIDIC-EFCA Survey responds on behalf of EFCA to Eurostat's requests for proposals and comments and to proposed revisions.

The strategy is to seek to consolidate consulting engineering activities as much as possible in Class M71.12 ( Engineering activities and related technical consultancy).

The survey wiki describes in detail the various reports and recommendations that are made.