Blog Published: 13/05/2019

Blogger - Daryn Fitz

Why BIM education and training has to change and mature

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” ― Nelson Mandela

One of my primary roles at Excitech is to help customers understand the wider impacts of BIM beyond the technologies. It is rewarding work and provides me with a platform to explain BIM management processes, emerging workflows and good working practices, provide insight into the key aspects of the standards and specifications, and explore contractual responsibilities and project risks in an interactive and open forum. However, the world never stands still, and the way we work is changing and evolving very quickly in this new digital age. As a result, Excitech’ s approach to Building Information Modelling (BIM) and Information Management education and BIM training also must evolve to stay relevant. 

2019 has already been significant for the continued world-wide adoption of BIM via the publication of the International standard ISO 19650. I will take this opportunity to personally congratulate all of those who supported this industry transition, significantly led by the original development of the UK standards and specifications, but also by those who added valuable insights on social media and at the many industry events by generously sharing their knowledge and experience.

Prior to the release of ISO 19650 and the associated PD 19650-0 UK Transition Guidance, we had already observed and identified two industry trends during the previous six months and observed a fundamental shift across the industry in both maturity and a focus on BIM and alignment to contractual frameworks.

The first trend seemed to emerge from a realisation by organisations that the overall BIM management process is as important as technical ability. As a result, we have noticed a significant increase in the number of organisations requesting assistance to update and sometimes rewriting their current BIM Standards, Methods and Procedures (SMP’s) to improve the overall management process and increase clarity of understanding on their projects. As the industry transitions over the next few years to working towards ISO19650, this provides a great opportunity for organisations to review and improve their current standards, methods and procedures in order to significantly advance their own BIM journey and maturity.  

The second trend we’ve also observed is the discussion and efforts being made to aligning Employers Information Requirement’s (EIR’s) and BIM Execution Plans (BEP’s) to specific contracts and roles and responsibilities. The industry is fast realising that the BEP is a contractual document in its own right, with a key contributor to project success and increased collaboration that must be specific to the project and the contractual framework. 

So how does this relate to BIM education and training?

Excitech has been running the CPD Accredited BIM Fundamental Workshops for almost six years, which was originally developed for Employer organisations. This course continues to be popular as a starting point to help develop a BIM strategy or transitional thinking away from just the technologies like Revit or Navisworks, into wider and new management concepts. However, there is also a need for more detailed BIM Training. This is not just because of the publication of ISO19650, but through a desire to make them easier to understand, provide clearer instruction and ensure they are more relevant to project specific requirements. Our consultants are more than competent in supporting this work, but I believe there is another approach that can be taken.

Our new facilitated BIM Writing Retreat provides attendee’s with that much needed thinking time away from project work, enabling individuals to author a BIM Execution Plan, respond to PQQ’s, develop Master Information Delivery Plans. During the retreat, an Excitech Consultant can answer any questions you have, and provide instruction and guidance specifically related to your project. We have described this as a Retreat on purpose because we want everyone who leaves this course brimming with confidence and assured of their approach. We believe you can only achieve this by taking a step away from daily work and life pressures, offering you the time to focus.

Another advantage of this type of approach, is that instead of being handed a BIM Execution Plan and being told to work to it without any further instruction, individuals would have personally authored the document and will fully understand every paragraph, sentence and word written. This type of education empowers individuals and makes BIM far more personal and relevant to them increasing adoption within organisations. Documents are therefore written clearly and concisely, and key questions are answered such as: who, what, when, how and the often forgotten why for each process. This new course is configured for groups of up to eight people over two days and intended for Design, BIM or Information Managers. This is not an exclusive club and should add value to anyone who needs to understand or author a BIM Execution Plan or ancillary documents.
The second BIM and Information Management education course is very much focused around ISO 19650. Our approach at Excitech has always been to try to ensure that attendees understand all the concepts and not just some parts, so we have taken our time to develop a clear and concise step-by-step approach through an ISO 19650 compliant project lifecycle. It includes everyone’s roles, responsibilities and perspectives whether you are a client, employer, organisation, designer or contractor. Attendee’s take on a project role and we lead you through the project from start to finish. We explain each requirement, what management tools or templates you may need, and also providing pragmatic advice gained from over thirty years of extensive industry experience.

I hope this blog has given you a small insight into the types of BIM training courses we have developed in order to support your own BIM journey.

I am personally very pleased that we are seeing a significant maturity and increase in BIM adoption across the industry, and our BIM training courses will continue to evolve and mature in step. By providing you with that powerful weapon, you can change your business for now and the future that lies ahead.

Current Excitech BIM Training Courses:
  • CPD Accredited BIM Workshops is our starting point for most customers, which has proved popular
  • BIM Fundamentals, Processes and Procedures Course has been updated to include ISO19650
  • BIM Writing Retreat is new for 2019, which provides that desperately needed personal time to develop your BIM documentation supported by an industry experienced consultant
  • Also new for 2019, is the BIM and Information Management – ISO 19650 Step by Step course 
If you are interested in any of the courses referenced above, you wish to discuss a bespoke training need, or you have any concerns or questions relating to the new ISO 19650, we are more than happy to help. View our full list of BIM training courses here and get in touch with us today.

About the author

  • Daryn Fitz

Daryn Fitz

Principal Consultant

Daryn has been involved in the construction industry and professional design practices for over 25 years. His experience spans many sectors, including Defence, Education, Healthcare, Petrochemical, Pharmaceutical, Biotech and Transport to name a few.

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