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BIM national certification framework taking shape, says CanBIM

Lindsey Cole
BIM national certification framework taking shape, says CanBIM

The framework on the national certification for Building Information Modeling (BIM) professionals by the Canada BIM Council (CanBIM) has taken shape with elements of the levels of certification ironed out.

Launched in 2014, the hope was to create a benchmark, "a national community where everybody is on a consistent level," explained Pietro Ferrari, CanBIM Research and Education Committee director and chair.

He highlighted details regarding the certification program for individuals during the recent Ontario General Contractors Association Construction Symposium.

"We’ve established it (the certification) based on what industry users tell us that they want people to be able to do to be effective for what they need BIM to do," he added.

"Our CanBIM certification program now is basically a tiered, progressive certification in place for individuals and we will be doing the same for companies."

BIM is the process of generating and managing digital representations of physical and functional characteristics of places. It uses files, which can be exchanged or networked to support decision-making. BIM software can be used in the design, construction, operation and maintenance of infrastructure.

Through the certification program, Ferrari states, companies will be able to see where individuals are in terms of their BIM knowledge and place them accordingly depending on the project.

"The building industry has told us, we need people to be trained," he said.

"This certification program is about making sure we’re nurturing the industry with those healthy components that are the users."

There are four levels of certification for individuals, rising in knowledge and experience with BIM.

"The progression is by way of courses, but more so it’s by way of proof of application of the skills," added Ferrari. "It’s not a theoretical standard, it’s an applied standard."

CanBIM BP1, means the successful candidate has completed a "CanBIM accredited introductory-level course" in BIM, focusing on a general overview. They must be able to show a theoretical knowledge on the foundations of the BIM process.

CanBIM BP2, is a "demonstration that you can use some of the tools that apply in BIM," stated Ferrari.

The candidate must have completed a CanBIM-accredited introductory-level BIM-related software course or courses through academic training or have a minimum of 2,000 documented hours of relevant experience.

CanBIM BP3, is when the candidate has a "recognized degree in a relevant building-related discipline plus three years (6,000 hours) of relevant experience or a recognized diploma in a relevant building-related discipline plus five years (10,000 hours) of relevant experience," explains CanBIM’s website.

The candidate will also provide documented proof of completing a CanBIM-accredited, BIM management course and has completed a building project using BIM.

The final level is known as CanBIM CP (Certified Professional).

"This is the person that has covered all aspects," explained Ferrari. "One you’ve reached CP, you’ve pretty much reached the top."

According to CanBIM, in this instance, the candidate would provide documented proof of completing three building projects using integrated, multi-discipline BIM.

The certification process allows each candidate to provide evidence to support their competence in each of the levels. It all begins with the completion of an application form, payment of an application fee and submitting all the documentation.

Written documents, confirmation of recognized BIM courses, a recognized relevant building-related diploma and/or degree, documented proof of experience in executed building projects using BIM and/or integrated BIM and documented proof of recognized professional development are all examples of adequate documentation, states the website.

Each candidate submission is reviewed by the CanBIM Certification Assessment Panel. Successful candidates are then invited to submit a certification fee based on the approved level of certification, the website reads.

Continuous professional development is required for certification, Ferrari explained, with specifics provided for each certification level.

For more details on the certification process and requirements, visit

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