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Construction industry ethics course nears completion

Lindsey Cole
Construction industry ethics course nears completion

The Canadian Construction Association (CCA) and BuildForce Canada continue to work towards producing the first-ever national construction industry ethics course.

During the CCA’s fall board meeting in Thunder Bay, Ont., the ethics course taskforce provided an update to the Business and Market Development Committee, stating it is hoping to be able to unveil the new course at the CCA Annual Conference next March.

"I think the course that you’re going to see in 2016…is going to reflect, as best you can, something that you can’t just say is right or wrong. There is some flexibility in some decision-making that every person has to go through," explained Scott Matheson, taskforce member and committee vice-chair. "As industry you’re going to start by really assessing yourself as an ethical provider of construction services. What that will do at the end of the course is, it will ask you the same questions again to see if your view of ethics has changed at all throughout taking the course."

According to a report to the committee, the taskforce met with BuildForce in August to discuss the storyboard and course outline as well as the development of construction specific ethical situations, scenarios and examples for the course. From there, the course outline was approved, the report notes, with BuildForce now working on producing content, which will include video interviews with industry leaders.

"The scenarios that are provided allow you to try to develop your understanding of the way CCA feels you should behave ethically through scenarios and examples. Then the questions are, how do you react to those scenarios?" Matheson said, adding the way the course is rolled out is meant to foster interaction and engagement. "If you think about it, if we just preached ethics to an audience without any feedback, I don’t think it would have the same impact as if we had a discussion about ethics. The real strength of the course is going to be its delivery within groups. It’s very powerful when all of us from different backgrounds get together and start talking about ethical behaviour."

The CCA states the plan is to make this course mandatory for Gold Seal Certification applicants.

"This is a nationally rolled out course, so it truly should be a representation of our industry from the field, from management, in general," Matheson added. "There’s some challenging questions in there. It’s not meant to shock you, but it’s meant to evoke some thought."

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