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Paul Oakley, BIM Director at BRE caught up with Colin Williams, currently BIM Consultant at Fulcro, about his awarded BRE Global BIM Certificated Practitioner which demonstrates a BIM Level 2 competency. He explains how BIM is making a positive impact on his career, as well as integrating BIM successfully within their business.

  1. How long have you been using BIM in your projects and what have been the main challenges so far?

I have been a champion of the benefits of BIM for over 10 years and have been using it on projects since the early days in 2003.

The main challenge is the general lack of understanding within the market place, particularly with many small and medium sized companies – where it is seen as an additional cost. BIM requires a fundamental change in thinking and process which many do not have the time or inclination to invest in. Those that do however are starting to reap the benefits.

  1. BIM Level 2 is government-driven, but are you embracing BIM as a business opportunity?

BIM is at the very core of my work, I previously worked with a number of Universities and Hospitals who were seeking to adopt BIM. I have also helped a number of sub-contractors with their modelling requirements where they did not have the resources in house.

  1. Why have you sought a personal BIM certification?

BRE is a known and respected brand in construction in the UK and overseas. The brand stands alongside the other institutions meaning (from my point of view) the successful certification should be considered equally across the industry.

  1. What has BRE certificated? 

I have obtained a personal certification as a BIM Certificated Practitioner – Task information Manager/Project Information Manager.

  1. What were the benefits of undertaking the training with BRE Academy?

I think the entire package is pitched just right. The amount of time attending courses and learning worked well within my busy schedule and the cost was not prohibitive considering the value an industry recognised certification brings. The quality of the training was excellent. The ability to ask the author of 1192 specific questions was invaluable.

  1. What was the approach to personal certification and how did you find the process?

The certification process was very good. The questions asked were challenging to address and I suggest could only be answered by a person who had rolled up their sleeves and dug into the detail. I see myself as being fortunate in this case as I have been chief cook and bottle washer for many years, but I doubt others would have the same experience in a larger organisation where people tend to have specific roles and responsibilities. The process of registration, attendance, scoring, feedback and certification was excellent.

  1. In what way was the process especially valuable, for example, what did you learn from it?

The process took practical experience into account as well as student focus on the day. This ensures that candidates demonstrate their understanding of the BIM process at a project and strategic level. The training gave me a welcome refresh in terms of Level 2 and what it meant to me on a day to day basis particularly in terms of the specific roles and responsibilities involved in the process.

  1. Has the personal certification process helped with integrating BIM into your business?

Yes it has. I can clearly communicate what BIM means to our business and share that knowledge with our team at a detailed level. Again the ability to communicate the BIM process at a role specific level have been instrumental in making sure our staff understand what they have to do to ensure projects are delivered at Level 2.

  1. What other benefits do you see from certification?

Industry recognition of my knowledge and experience; the ability to prove to clients and colleagues that I have a good knowledge of Level 2; an opportunity to sense check my knowledge and realign where necessary to ensure Level 2 compliance.

  1. How have your existing clients responded to your certification and do you see it as an important aspect of winning new work?

Yes, our clients have responded and yes, it has helped us win work. The BRE stamp clearly communicates that we know what we are talking about and that clients can be confident in terms of the advice we give and the standard of our project delivery relative to Level 2.

  1. Would you recommend personal certification through BRE?

Yes absolutely. In today’s market there are too many ‘loose’ interpretations of BIM leading to ambiguity and confusion. If more businesses made the investment in getting their staff trained and certificated it would reduce the confusion and hopefully lead to a more consistent understanding and uptake of Level 2.

 

BRE Global has developed a BIM Level 2 Certification scheme for BIM Certificated Practitioners which will give customers the confidence that your services are going deliver what they need and expect. Read more…

Paul Oakley
About the Author
Paul Oakley, Director of BIM at BRE, sits on the management board of buildingSMART UKI, the network organisation that develops industry standards for BIM.

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