As the means and methods for building documentation have evolved, various stakeholders have entered the marketplace with disparate levels of understanding. Some service providers have all the right tools but lack the necessary expertise to apply them correctly. Others have a substantial amount of expertise in their field but find themselves seeking additional resources as they acquire new technologies or seek to apply their skills in new markets; and still others simply want to find a way to differentiate their qualifications.
For architects, engineers and owners, the challenges lie in evaluating and comparing the capabilities of service providers and effectively communicating the needs of the project. Unlike the profession of land surveying, there are no licensure or certification requirements to perform building documentation in the U.S. As a result, finding a qualified service provider often seems like a guessing game.
Resolving these challenges requires a dedicated focus on education and training—one of the primary initiatives of the U.S. Institute of Building Documentation (USIBD). Chaired by Gene Roe, PhD, PE, PLS, the USIBD Education Committee comprises four subcommittees:
- Training - By creating on-the-job training courses and programs, we will be able to assist individuals who are either in the business already or want to become qualified to pursue new employment opportunities.
- Education – By developing relationships with established college and university programs, we will be able to better prepare students to enter our profession by communicating with these programs about the skills and coursework that is needed to be successful in building documentation.
- Certification - Within three to five years (or perhaps even sooner), the USIBD would like to offer a building documentation professional certification program. Such a program would establish a threshold level of expertise for members who are certified and create value for all involved.
- Outreach - By informing and educating the public about the benefits and mission of USIBD and seeking out mutually beneficial strategic partnerships with other professional organizations and business groups, we will strengthen the building documentation industry as a whole.
Learning is the key to fostering excellence in building documentation. Together, we can bridge the gaps and create new opportunities. To get involved, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (704) 651-7552.