By Peter S. Emmett, CCCA
In November 2011, the need for a proper, final exam for CSC’s Specifier 1 course was identified. Tom Dunbar (Ottawa Chapter), Mitch Brooks and Brian Colgan (Atlantic Chapter), and David Wilson (Toronto Chapter) were asked to meet in Toronto to develop the exam. Over dinner, they were talking about the need for course maintenance when CSC’s executive director Nick Franjic jokingly suggested they become ‘The Maintainers.’ They all laughed, but the next day, they assembled a proposal to form the Education Maintenance Task Team (EMTT), chaired by Dunbar.
EMTT’s original mandate was simply to remove duplication where possible, make the current documentation more consistent, and put a regular maintenance program in place for the various materials for the association’s courses—Principles of Construction Documentation (PCD), Specifier 1 and 2 (SP), Technical Representative (TR), and Construction Contract Administrator (CCA). This seemed reasonably simple until they dug into the course manuals.
Here is a simplified, rough timeline of the EMTT’s journey:
- February 2012: Board of Directors approved mandate;
- April 2012: EMTT developed “Course Maintenance Matrix” comparing the four courses and establishing duplication and contradictions (later drafts revealed inconsistencies in format and terminology between the four documents and within individual course manuals);
- December 2012: EMTT developed “Course Material Matrix” establishing which support documents were attached to each course manual (this revealed more inconsistencies in how our courses were structured and organized—later drafts revealed major duplication between Specifier 1 and Specifier 2, which resulted in a suggestion the two courses be combined);
- February 2013: EMTT mandate updated, and a final draft of course errata issued for review by Education Certification Committee (ECC);
- May 2013: EMTT breaks into separate subcommittees for each course and errata further reviewed by subcommittee members over the course of a year;
- October 2013: EMTT adds Corinne Golding (Calgary) as chair of the Principles of Construction Documentation (PCD) Subcommittee;
- May 2014: EMTT produced final draft errata for all the courses for review by a CSC-contracted editor (and Chris Lance [Ottawa] replaces Colgan as chair of the Construction Contract Administration [CCA] Subcommittee);
- September 2014: Betty-Jo Tell (Vancouver Island) replaces Wilson as chair of Specification Writer (SP) Subcommittee;
- December 2014: It was determined all errata (now returned from the editor) could be incorporated into the course manuals, as the EMTT moved into the final phase of the current task—ensuring all courses had the same type and quantity of support documentation (and Russ Snow [Toronto] replaced Mitch Brooks as chair of the TR Subcommittee.
- May 2015: Course manuals for each course completed and submitted to CSC’s editing and publishing contractors;
- February 2016: All CSC course manuals and supplementary information completed and available for use by the chapters; and
- March 2016: EMTT moved into regular cyclic maintenance program for all the courses.
Aside from the original EMTT members—and replacements like Golding, Lance , Tell, and Snow—the group’s subcommittees have been populated with approximately 60 to 70 CSC volunteers involved in the update and review process, including each of the Education Certification Committee (ECC) Subcommittees.
The course manuals and supplementary materials have been updated, with the English versions ready for use by the chapters and the association. A newly combined Specifier course (bringing together Specifiers 1 and 2) has been translated and reviewed by the Montréal Chapter. The comments on the translation were received and reviewed, revisions incorporated, and the next course is now in translation.
As we move into the maintenance cycle, CSC will actively solicit comments regarding technical content and other inconsistencies and updates will be incorporated through the EMTT.
The enormity of the EMTT’s task is beyond words. What started out as a simple, defined request over a weekend has, to the benefit of CSC, evolved into a five-year update of all the association’s courses for format, duplication of content, and language. I cannot begin to estimate the number of hours put in by the EMTT, their subcommittees, or other volunteers. Still, from the bottom of my heart, and on behalf of the association, thanks to each and every one of you who have contributed. You know who you are—you are CSC!