Training & Development: A Misunderstood Requirement in the Construction Industry

Who’s responsible for employee training and development?

How about your professional growth?

Who says so when it comes to competency, training, and career development?

What is the standard of quality?

Now you will know. Let me explain below...

 

Introduction

Training, Awareness, and Competency can be measured with a set of standards and procedures to determine the level of quality compliance an organization had achieve.

And ISO 9001 is the only standard for the construction industry and for many businesses because of simplicity and success in the past several decades.

It holds through for every company in the construction industry whether the Owner, the Consultant/Designer, or the Contractor - certified or NOT.

Here is a summary of the training requirements from ISO 9001, Training & Development:  Competence, Awareness, and Training.

The ISO 9001 quality standards states:

  1. Define the knowledge and skill needed for each employee to conduct their job in terms of quality standards.
  2. Deliver training or other learning activities to develop the required knowledge and skill.
  3. Provide a way to whether the training or learning activities were effective.
  4. Keep training records such as training certificates and records of employee education, skills, and experience for every employee.

 (3Web Project sample training certificate)

 

Here are "3 key considerations" to guide you with effective training, competence, and career development...

 

Continuous Improvement Initiatives.

One way to continually improve a company’s performance is by creating “Training Plans” every year that must be verifiable.

In terms of formal training, the company must demonstrate by its training records when verified during an audit, 2nd party or 3rd party audit the evidence of training certificates for its employees.

Compliance with project quality standards can’t be measured alone by customer satisfaction or a project done in a workmanlike manner.

Just to mention a few of the Key Performance Indicators(KPI) are:

Internal Audit, Corrective Action, Preventive Action, Non-conforming products, Internal Audit, Records of training, skills, experience and qualifications, Design and Development Records, Management Review to name a few.

Moreover, an organization like a contractor may claim in their publications, letterhead, and company profile indicating compliance to: ISO 9001, and Ohas 18001, and ISO 14001 which is a good indicator.

These are commendable, but are just tiny measures to indicate compliance to quality standards or project quality; however, it is not a comprehensive measure.

The construction industry has developed in the past 2-4 decades, the procedure, standards, and best practice applied to construction projects.

Through the years, these became the measure of the level of quality an organization in the construction industry as follows:

Submittals and approvals such as Approval of the Baseline Schedule, approval of the project manager, and key project staff (training certificates in the last 3 years must be attached to each cvs for approval before joining the project team)

Approval of construction drawings, material approval, approval of method statement for Main Activities, Submission of Project Quality Plan, and Project HSE plan among others.

Training & career development, however, are highly misunderstood, not complied with, and a major non-conformance by organizations or professionals as it would be.

While the lack of training and competency unknowingly or consciously will result in poor job performance.

Employers, on the other hand, when it supports and provide the right training for key staff such as the Project manager, construction manager, project architects, project engineer, site engineer, quality engineer when assign to a construction project with the right education, experience, and formal training, will most likely deliver a project that conforms and satisfy the requirement of the construction contract, project quality, project management, among others.

Moreover, organizations may claim 10-30+ years in the business, so the need for training is a choice. Take note, however, this is just one of the requirements - "experience" as stated above.

In addition, education, competence, and formal training to get the knowledge and skills are additional requirements to comply with quality standards.



Because of the construction industry requirements for quality, companies need to abreast of the new trends, standards, skills, tools and techniques,  and best practices to ensure conformance and deliver projects with competence.

 


Competency, Awareness, and Training as per ISO 9001 standards

The employer is responsible to provide Awareness, Training, and competency for its employees.

Top or executive managers namely the President, Managing Director, or General Manager are responsible to ensure performance measures such as ensuring the quality of services.

Each employee must be able to conduct their job in a competent manner, through formal training.

Most companies when certified with ISO 9001, sadly they are NOT educated with its requirements; it serves to satisfies the minimum requirements, compliance.

Moreover, competency and training are called for/implied in the Construction Contract.

And project owners tendering projects normally require contractor, consultant, designer, project Management Company to have a quality management system to ensure compliance to project quality, contract, construction supervision, and project management. 

And Project Owners and Developers are required by government authorities to comply with the same in the conduct of their business.

So those organizations or companies who can demonstrate a level of degree of quality will most likely get approval, get higher evaluation scores, and eventually awarded a project when participating in the tender and bidding process.

So, it's critically important to have a quality management system that requires training and competency for employees working in the construction industry.

Evidence of training records for employees must be attached to each cv the recent training certificate in the last 3 years.

This can happen and required during tender submission and upon the start of the contract when the contractor is required to submit qualifications of project key staff before being accepted into the project.

 


Your Professional Growth

Training if done correctly and for the right reasons, is not an expense – but an investment.

Though few advocate formal training, their only reason to do it is the return on investment far out weight the benefits.

But how about those companies who don’t provide training?

Since a company trying to comply with training and requirement, it usually provides minimum compliance.

Similarly, if you are not provided any training by your organization, then what you should do about it when it impacts your profession negatively?

So your personal goals, training plan, and career development - your company may not consider training expenses a priority.

Though formal training is optional, yet it's critical for your professional growth to achieve career success in your field.

For these reasons, you are responsible and should be proactive to achieve the training you desire, because your career goals will not be similar to that of the company.

 

Summary

Employers, through top management, are required mandatory training for employees as per ISO 9001 standard and contract requirements to provide knowledge and skills necessary to conduct their jobs competently.

This aims to promote the organization’s compliance with quality geared towards excellent service or if not delight the customers. 

In the same manner, you are responsible for your career growth since what you want to achieve will not be the same as that of your organization.

Remember, you can’t go wrong with the right training.

Thank you for taking the time to read.

 

To your career success,

Marlon A. Frando, MBA, PMP, CMQ/OE

3Web Project

 

P.S - To learn more of the training to start, advance, and get certified in project management, go to this link below:

1. Project Management for Beginners to Intermediate level, 0-4years of experience
 
Check the "Course Overview" for details in this link...Project Management for Beginners to Intermediate Level
 
2. Project Managers Course & Advanced Construction Project Management, 0-9 years of experience
 
Check the "Course Overview" for details in this link...PROJECT MANAGERS COURSE
 
3. Mastering Project Management, 0-19 years of experience and above
 
Check the "Course Overview" for details in this link...Mastering Project Management(MPM)
 

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