Understanding the Building Certification System: A Need for Accreditation Reform
The building and construction industry makes a major contribution to the New South Wales (NSW) economy, with an annual input of 7.6% during 2010 that is projected to rise to 8.4% in 2020. Irrespective of the sector’s growth potential, it is experiencing a severe skills shortage across a range of professions including building certification. Interestingly, the certification sector and the regulatory environment in which it operates is yet to receive rigorous attention in academia and industry. In the context of NSW, the role of the accredited certifier is multifaceted and involves confirming that building work complies with environmental planning controls and the National Construction Code. The Building Professionals Board (BPB) is the statutory body responsible for accrediting these professionals. The BPB is partnering with the University of Newcastle to ameliorate the current skills shortage through the development of an evaluation instrument regarding: certifiers seeking to upgrade to a higher level of accreditation but who do not have a recognised qualification and/or are unable to obtain the practical experience relevant to progression; and associated professionals who, although not accredited, wish to become a certifier but lack the recognised qualifications and/or experience.
The proposed evaluation instrument will incorporate a mix of current technologies and approaches to address the current and likely future demographics of certifiers, and their preparedness to engage with and access novel IT technologies. This paper introduces the current certification environment and the technologies proposed to structure the evaluation instrument.
Keywords: Key Words: construction, building surveying, accreditation, education, assessment.
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