Spring is almost here, and that means busy times for our industry. I want to thank the SBOA Conference team, and the host committee for putting together a great conference in Regina. I’d like to also 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.
The Saskatchewan Building Officials Association (SBOA) has begun work on taking on a key new role, and one of the most significant challenges in our 50-year history.
After years of dealing with an out-dated, unmaintained licensing program for Building Officials, the SBOA has taken the lead on developing a new Certification Program for Building Officials. Because we could demonstrate to Government that the new program will be rigorous and credible, and that it will be based on the three pillars of competence; education, examination, and experience the Government took very little time in recognizing this is an appropriate time and place for the change, and we are proud to say that Government has chosen to work with us to make this program the new path to licensing.
It is important to understand, that in no way will this simplify the path to licensing. But for those who continue to develop skills, gain experience, take on training, and want to advance, the light at the end of the tunnel will now shine brighter. We haven’t shortened the path, but the path will now be clear and achievable for those with the skills to get there. Watch for more details to follow.
On another important issue, many are likely wondering where the ACM initiative is at, or what the Government might be looking at as next steps. The SBOA continues to consider this a priority in terms of staying involved and having influence on where it might land. It has not gone away, or come to any final outcome in any way.
Phase II of the Consultation happened in December with stakeholder groups getting together in Regina and Saskatoon. We felt that Phase II was very narrow in scope – it was simply to consult on still having an owner driven ACM, but that perhaps some monetary thresholds would help hit the target.
Our goal going into those meetings was to demonstrate that monetary thresholds are arbitrary, there is still only one group looking for any version of an ACM, and most importantly, that any owner driven ACM is still two things; at odds with the concept of municipal autonomy, and a weakening of public safety. We know our municipal partners, and almost everyone else in industry agree. We will stay focused on this, and be ready for further discussions and opportunities to demonstrate our position.
On the national front, SBOA continues to be a strong contributor to our national voice, the Alliance of Canadian Building Officials Association (ACBOA). The role of ACBOA has recently been acknowledged and enhanced by a significant new relationship with the National Research Council (NRC). NRC has reached out to Building Officials across the country through ACBOA, recognizing Building Officials as a major stakeholder and code user group, and looking to enhance their service to our industry. One of the first undertakings will be an NRC review and endorsement of the ACBOA curriculum. Training that forms the foundation of our new SBOA Certification Program.
This new partnership, recognition of our role in industry as Building Officials, and recognition of ACBOA as the national voice for Building Officials, is monumental and will serve this industry in the future.
With all these initiatives and many others, it is obvious we have some work ahead. We will be looking for help from our members with many future projects. 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.
As always, we continue to work towards our association objectives, and to help our members be better Building Officials.
Chris Gates, LBO-3, A.Sc.T., CRBO
President, Saskatchewan Building Officials Association