It may be obvious, but it’s worth saying that it’s important for any project to have involvement from competent people and organisations. Not only will this reduce a significant number of project risks, it will enable the project to proceed in an efficient and organised manner.
You need to make sure that the organisations involved in your project are able to do exactly what is required of them (or, in some circumstances, that they have a plan in place to develop their competency to deliver your requirements).
When it comes to design that impacts upon health and safety, the Construction (Design and Management) or CDM Regulations 2015 issued by the UK Health and Safety Executive, make it a legal requirement for organisations who provide any sort of design to be assessed for competency.
If BIM is a deliverable requirement for your project, you need to be sure that the organisations you employ are competent to deliver your BIM requirements.
And, of course, the assessment of competency needs to take place during the procurement or appointment process. It’s very disruptive to find out, deep into your project, that an important member of your team is unable to deliver a key requirement.
Competency is relatively easy to assess for most of your project requirements, using established methods. For individuals, you have competency assessment cards, such as the Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) – which provide proof that individuals working on construction sites have the required training and qualifications – and you have membership of established professional bodies. And for organisations, there are certifications and accreditations that confirm compliance with standards, trade bodies and independent assessment bodies.
But how do you assess competency in the new area of BIM, at a time when BIM requirements are not yet mature enough to follow the above methods?
However, you may not feel confident enough in your own BIM competency to assess the competency of other organisations. This is completely understandable. If you find yourself in this position, the best approach is to engage with a trusted BIM consultancy such as BIMsense, who can either advise you or provide you with an impartial assessment of the BIM competency of your proposed supply chain.
It is also worth noting that being BIM competent is subjective. One person’s perception of what it takes to become a BIM specialist will not be the same as someone else’s. During procurement, such claims should be investigated so that you are satisfied that marketing or tender-response content is indeed a true reflection of practical experience or certification status.
Ultimately, when assessing BIM competency, you want to be sure that all the organisations involved in your project can deliver your specific BIM requirements, and not generic requirements that are not applicable to you.