It has once again been an extremely busy past six months for building officials in Saskatchewan. Your Association continues to work towards many goals and on many initiatives. I would like to thank the Conference Host Committee for all the work they have done, the Conference Chair for the excellent informative agenda, and the rest of the executive who put the time in to put this conference together.
I’d also like to thank our hard-working Board of Directors and Committee Chairs who work tirelessly to ensure we are moving in the right direction – currently, that is on many fronts.
As many of you know, the SBOA is currently forging ahead with development of a new Certification Program for Building Officials in Saskatchewan. We have already brought draft policies and outlines of the program to the provincial government in hopes of creating an alternative path through the Building Official Licensing Program, and the response has been very positive. After years of seeing no sign of changes to the existing twenty-five-year-old program, we believe we have demonstrated that we can offer a rigorous and credible certification program that allows an engaged, knowledgeable, and well trained Building Official the opportunity to advance in their career. The program is built around the model that education, examination, and experience are the pillars of competency. There is a lot of work ahead, and lots of machinery to build, but we are very excited about what this will mean for Saskatchewan Building Officials.
Discussions on the Alternative Compliance Model occurred between myself and Mr. Hawkins in the past term as well. We have not seen any additional consultations, but we did ask Building Standards for a summary of what outcomes and next steps from Phase-II of the consultations has been. Phase-II identified that nearly all sectors of the construction industry opposed a process that eliminates or handcuffs a municipality’s ability to regulate construction and public safety. The consultations produced reasonable actions and next steps, and identified the need to continue to engage all stakeholders through the process. I will always be proud of the role and opportunities the SBOA seized, and the positive impact we had on where this has landed to date.
But our workload doesn’t stop there. I am extremely excited to report that on August 24th, our policy development consultant delivered to the SBOA, a 116-page draft policy manual. The work lies ahead to review, analyze, scrutinize, and ultimately adopt the policies that make sense for our Association. But I am very excited about this piece of work as this will guide us through our matters, and ensure the consistency and continuity of SBOA business for all the years to come.
As a contributing partner in the Alliance of Canadian Building Officials Association, we are starting to see the development of new relationships with NRC through CCMC. The recognition of our role in industry as Building Officials, and recognition of the role of ACBOA as the national voice for Building Officials, is monumental, and will serve this industry in many ways for many years to come.
We have some work ahead, but I promise you that the SBOA will continue to be the industry leader in Saskatchewan for providing training, skill development, and professional development opportunities for Building Officials and many other stakeholders.
Chris Gates, LBO-3, A.Sc.T., CRBO
Saskatchewan Building Officials Association