Building Magazine


New certification program means safer buildings

Buildings in Canada will become safer than ever for Canadians and their families as a new professional certification program for Building Officials gets underway.

For the first time, Building Officials — the people who review all plans and inspect homes, apartments, hospitals, office towers, shopping malls, and many other types of buildings to make sure they comply with current building codes — will be certified to a National Standard as qualified professionals.

“It is high time these professionals who are knowledgeable and well-trained get the credit and recognition they deserve,” says Mannie Withrow, president of the Alliance of Canadian Building Officials’ Associations (ACBOA), noting that Building Officials, who work behind the scenes to provide a level of comfort and safety for all Canadians, often did not get the respect they deserve because of the lack of national standards for this profession. “When we do our job right, nothing happens and Canadians get to enjoy the use and occupancy of all buildings across this great country.”

Over the past couple of years, the Construction Sector Council (CSC) has partnered with ACBOA, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), and other industry stakeholders to develop national occupational standards and a certification process that measures Building Officials’ qualifications against an approved standard.

The CSC’s Executive Director, George Gritziotis, says “Another 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 challenge of an aging workforce and the inadequate supply of skilled labour,” he says. “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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