In January, the first further training course based on the Professional Certification Programme took place. Sarah Merz and Timo Kretschmer, who were involved in the development of the program for buildingSMART Germany, explain why a common educational standard is the basis for change in the planning culture.

In January the first course of the buildingSMART Professional Certification Program started. Since then, almost 300 certificates have been issued. What is the program about?

Merz: The aim is to disseminate uniform terminology and a common language in which we talk about the facts and processes involved in BIM projects.

Why is that important?

Merz: There are many specialists in the construction industry who provide a wide range of services. If they want to work together efficiently and successfully, they need a common terminology.

This means that the programme makes a contribution to changing the planning culture in BIM projects?

Kretschmer: That's it. Without this change, we will not be able to improve the quality of planning and construction in projects. Until now, we have often worked through individual tasks one after the other instead of working together right from the start. This cooperation requires a basic knowledge shared by all participants as well as the ability to use tools in such a way that the right information flows at the right time during data communication.

Merz: And the awareness of why another project participant acts, how he acts and what he needs from me to be able to perform. Only this enables an efficient and productive cooperation.

How is the programme accepted?

Merz: In Germany, we have now listed 22 training providers that meet the quality requirements of the program, including a chamber of engineers and several universities.

Why do universities also participate?

Kretschmer: Because the demand of students for this educational offer is very high. They know that they can get even better off into the world of work if they can prove their BIM knowledge with a certificate. We also receive enquiries from our alumni as to whether they can subsequently receive further training and certification from us.

About the interview partners:
Sarah Merz and Timo Kretschmer represent the German chapter in the working group "Professional Certification" of buildingSMART International, which has developed the Professional Certification program. Representatives from eight different national chapters of buildingSMART International are involved. Merz is full-time Head of Academy at the training provider EDUBIM, Kretschmer teaches full-time BIM at the University for technology, economy and culture in Leipzig.