Canadian Consulting Engineer

Building officials have new national certification program

A new national certification program for building officials has been launched, with the first 14 officials receivin...

November 23, 2007   Canadian Consulting Engineer

A new national certification program for building officials has been launched, with the first 14 officials receiving their certificates in Ottawa on November 9.
While different provinces have different rules for deciding who they allow to inspect buildings for compliance to building codes, from now on these building officials can become certified to a national standard. The standard was developed over two years by the Construction Sector Council, a labour organization established in 2001, with the Alliance of Canadian Building Officials Associations (ACBOA), and Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).
To qualify building officials “must prove that they are familiar with current and past provincial and national building codes and standards, federal and provincial legislation and municipal bylaws pertaining to health, fire and life safety as they relate to construction.” They also must demonstrate “a solid understanding of all aspects of the construction industry, including construction methods, procedures, practices and materials.”
Applicants will go through three stages: candidate, associate and certified, and will be tested through a “vigorous program of study and on-the-job training requirements.”
The organizations promoting the program say it will make buildings in Canada “safer than ever,” and will enable building officials to move around more easily from province to province in search of employment. The Construction Sector Council’s executive director, George Gritziotis, noted: “[An] important result is that the new national program means building officials’ credentials will be recognized in all jurisdictions allowing them to work in any province… The initiative addresses the challenges of an aging workforce and the inadequate supply of skilled labour … It will provide greater worker mobility, a wider variety of job opportunities and maintain the high level of professionalism required of this important occupation in the construction industry.”


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