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New council aims to bring together construction and design education services

Angela Gismondi
New council aims to bring together construction and design education services

The new Construction and Design Educators Council of Canada (CDECC) is aiming to bridge the gap between those offering education services in the construction and design sectors with those who are looking for it.

“The idea is to break down the silos and pull everyone into the same organization, whether you are teaching construction-related courses or design-related courses, we are all here trying to do the same thing so let’s collaborate,” explained founder Derek Smith, a professional development and workforce development practitioner and owner of Constructionlab Ltd. “This is a way to pull the practitioners together, give them some sort of an identity.”


What is the CDECC?

The national, not-for-profit council’s mission is to connect, support and roster educators across Canada that provide independent or institutional professional development, workforce development or other educational services in the construction and design sectors, said Smith, adding the CDECC will also interface at all levels of both sectors to create and develop a supportive train the practitioner program.

The council is also currently reaching out to industry at the national, provincial and local level – including ICI, residential and design licensing bodies – to garner support and to populate its governance and advisory committee.

“It’s non-regulatory. It’s completely voluntary,” explained Smith, adding the council plans to bring together different affiliates including institutions and government, industry associations and corporate builders and provide a central repository of education services.

The council’s goal is to develop and maintain a registry of educational practitioners and companies specializing in providing educational-type services to the broader construction industry in Canada.


Industry associations can benefit from the new council

“Industry associations like local construction associations across the country who are offering educational services, there a lot of opportunities to assist them in either identifying practitioners, increasing the number of courses being offered and refining what that looks like,” said Smith. 

“For associations there is a huge opportunity to start building some data around the success of certain educational offerings versus other ones because that is not being tracked right now. We just don’t do a very good job of tracking that data and CDECC could potentially do that over time.”


Goals of the CDECC

The council wants to facilitate the provision and pre-clearance of professional liability insurance, health benefits and more for practitioners, consultants, speakers/presenters and lecturers. It will also require the acknowledgement of a Code of Practice for practitioner affiliates and organizations that offer education services to the public and member type organizations.

As part of its affiliate registration process, the council will also issue practitioner seals and code of practice certificates.

When it comes to long-term goals, the organization plans to assist industry organizations and institutions in connecting educational program design with academia.

Smith has been working with construction associations, in workforce development and teaching, lecturing and facilitating courses in the construction and design sector for many years.

“I keep saying to myself there is an industry here that is working hard but it’s fractured,” said Smith. “How do we pull it out of the nooks and crannies of the country and get together and offer opportunities to those who are providing education services to do better, track their data.

“At this point, we’ve got lots of interest to see what we can do,” said Smith. “There is a lot of misinformation out there. We want people who are out there getting the right industry advice.”


Follow the author on Twitter @DCN_Angela.

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