The National Federation of Builders has launched a five-day course designed to train individuals at SMEs to become “BIM champions” within their businesses.
Run by the NFB’s Business & Skills training arm in collaboration with the CITB, the CPD-certified course will aim to teach all the skills participants need to strategically guide their organisations towards full BIM implementation.
And the BRE has also launched a new BIM certification scheme that will allow contractors and consultants to provide evidence that they have the policies and procedures required to deliver Level 2 BIM.
The BRE believes its new scheme will offer businesses in the sector a strong marketing tool and that it will increasingly carry weight in the procurement process.
The NFB’s course is open to SME main contractors and subcontractors, whether or not they are members of the NFB, and was developed in response to the groundswell of interest in BIM by SMEs, in advance of the government mandate to have Level 2 BIM on centrally-procured projects by 2016.
Karen Dawes, training manager at NFB, told CM: “We came up with the idea based on feedback from SMEs on our existing BIM courses, which we have been offering for around three years, and from SMEs completing our BIM workshops and webinars, who requested a course that looked specifically at creating a person within their organisations to drive change and take responsibility for it… We expect demand for the BIM Champion programme to be high given the relevance and importance of BIM to the SME sector.”
Teaching will be provided at 12 different locations across the UK through a combination of group learning, knowledge sharing and practical activities designed to provide:
- A detailed understanding of BIM, including the external drivers for its adoption, the internal benefits to companies and the many uses;
- A structured understanding of the government’s framework for BIM to enable the Champion to map their own process against best practice;
- Tools and techniques to influence behavioural change in their organisation;
- Techniques needed to develop a BIM Strategy to guide their company towards becoming BIM ready.
Courses will run one day a month over five consecutive months between July and November in Newcastle, Leeds, Preston, Manchester, Southampton, Bristol, Cardiff, Birmingham, North Wales, Crawley, Oxford and Newmarket. The cost per person starts at £150 for the five-day programme, with the reductions offered to firms with CITB grant support and to NFB members.
At the end of the course, BIM Champions will receive a CPD certificate as recognition of the CPD hours earned. To take part, participants should have a basic knowledge of BIM and the government drivers, and already be in a role where they can influence the strategic direction of the company in relation to BIM.
Meanwhile, the BRE’s new BIM certification service for businesses will require evidence-based assessment of BIM business and management systems in line with Level 2’s process requirements.
Those that successfully meet the criteria are awarded Certificated BIM Operator status by BRE Global, the BRE Group’s independent certification body.
Businesses will receive a full post-assessment report that details areas of compliance and, if applicable, non-compliance. A yearly site audit and review is performed to verify that standards and criteria continue to be met, with a full reassessment carried out every three years.
Paul Oakley, associate director of BIM at BRE, said: “As well as speeding up the tendering process, certification offers significant benefits all round. It saves businesses the time and costs involved in responding to ever-varying tender questions, and for those issuing tenders, having a BRE BIM-certified business in the running removes the need to check replies or employ someone to do it for them.”
Ahead of the launch, BRE has been trialling the scheme with three companies – BDP, David Miller Architects and Heatherwick Studio.
“We’re thrilled to be part of the pilot scheme,” said practice director David Miller. “In a climate where accurate, fast and reliable information is required as a bare minimum, it makes sense to us to put measurement procedures in place that will help us to maintain and progress these workflows within our practice.”
The scheme is launching alongside BIM Level 2 training and certification for professionals, with both schemes getting underway on 1 July 2014.