April 4, 2007
Momentum building for Gold Seal across Canada
Later this month, close to 200 individuals will write Gold Seal exams at construction association offices across the country — the largest number in the program’s 15-year history.
More than 60 are vying for certification as construction safety co-ordinators, a newly created designation. Another 21 hope to be certified as estimators, 52 as superintendents, 51 as project managers and two as owners’ project managers.
The largest contingent is drawn from the general contracting ranks — 74 applicants.
“This promises to be a busy year,” said Andrew Shepherd, the program’s Ottawa based manager.
So far in 2007, 71 senior practitioners have achieved certification along with 23 interns.
More than a quarter of the current crop of applicants, some 54 in all, will be writing the April 13 exams in Ontario. Locales include Ottawa, Toronto, Hamilton, Kingston, London, Cambridge, Sudbury and Niagara.
“Interest in Gold Seal certification is definitely on the upswing,” said Clive Thurston, president of the Ontario General Contractors Association (OGCA), who recently gave a presentation at the Windsor Construction Association.
Eleven of the candidates will be writing the exams at his association’s office in Mississauga.
“Applications are coming into our offices on a weekly basis,” Thurston said. “We’re continuing to see full classrooms across the province.
“There also has been a significant interest from a number of owners.”
OGCA met recently with a “major” owner who is interested in making Gold Seal certification a condition of contract, Thurston said.
Martha George, president of the Grand Valley Construction Association (GVCA) has also seen an upswing in interest in the program.
Four applicants will be writing exams at the GVCA offices in Cambridge.
George, who has been actively promoting the program in her region, said the majority of medium to large-sized GVCA general contracting firms have Gold Seal certified personnel on staff.
One member, Nith Valley Construction Ltd. of New Hamburg, rewarded two newly certified personnel with a trip to the recent Canadian Construction Association conference in Puerto Rico.
“They obviously see the value in this program,” George said.
Her association, which has 580 members, is in the midst of setting up a mentoring program for applicants.
“The exams can be somewhat intimidating for individuals who have chosen non-academic careers,” George said.
The next set of Gold Seal exams will be written in mid-October.
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