BIMBeing: The Journey #13
#13 – How credible…?
Photo source unknown.
Post #13, this may be unlucky. Today’s topic is accreditation and I’m really hoping this one sparks a debate, or an argument, I don’t mind either way. To clarify, i’m talking about the BS 1192 and now the ISO 19650 accreditations – certified ‘BIM experts’. It’s something I’ve heard an awful lot about during my time in industry, and it’s starting to grind some gears.
I’ll set the ball rolling; I think current BIM accreditations are absolutely worthless. I’d double underline that and add flashing lights if I understood more about the WordPress website platform. Go on, argue otherwise…
Having worked with many companies and individuals over the past few years that have had some form of accreditation/certification/badge-of-honour I can honestly say that not one of them were consistent within their own environment to the standards that they are supposedly accredited, let alone being consistent with one another. I see these certificates to be a bit like a school Prefect badge; everybody wanted the badge on their blazer but nobody ever did anything ‘prefect-like’ once they had it, everyone continued to do their own thing – it’s merely status.
The issue, for me, comes down to the accreditation process.
Firstly, there are several companies that offer certification – why? Surely certifying against a single standard should be a single process governed by a single entity? Standards are supposed to drive consistency, but we’re getting it completely wrong from the word go. How has this been allowed to happen? Also, how do they compare to one another? Do we regard one as being more valuable than another? If they were all equal then surely they wouldn’t all exist? Its confusing, unregulated and inconsistent.
Then you have the wider issue that the accreditors are measuring a single company against a single document – this isn’t BIM! The fundamental core of a BIM construction process is collaboration – that requires more than one person, more than one company. BIM is also much more than any single document, so again you can’t be ‘super BIM certified’ without implementing a whole suite of standards and processes. So, even if you can demonstrate what is required for the accreditation it most certainly doesn’t mean that you’re capable of delivering good BIM. Would it not make more sense to certify teams or projects?
The final and most prevalent issue is how the certification is achieved. Sorry to say, for all of those that have worked to achieve that signed piece of paper, but it’s far too easy. All of the evidence that’s given to the accreditors is a smoke and mirrors exercise, cherry picking small pieces of information from various projects in an attempt to demonstrate an overall compliant process. The stark reality is that not a single project would fully align to the requirements, if we were being honest most of us have never actually seen one.
The requirements need to be far more stringent; you should need to demonstrate a full delivery process, start to finish. You know that it’s all BS (and I don’t mean British Standard) when companies are being accredited to ISO 19650 less than 4 months after it was officially released. There is no way on earth that this is a sufficient amount of time to fully deliver one or more projects, with sufficient evidence, to a new standard. It’s an absolute farce, and that makes it worthless.
So, why are we all entertaining it? The entire process is a fabrication and from where I’m sat it’s adding no value at all to the industry. Companies ‘need’ to become accredited in order to showboat to the world; look how good we are at BIM everyone! They need to see it on the email footer, show it on the website and it needs to be a tick in the box on the pre-qualification questionnaire. Clients will continue to insist that they will only work with accredited companies and therefore companies will continue to pay for these pointless certificates granted on manufactured evidence. What, if anything, could break the cycle?
My bottom line is this; that certificate hanging on the wall is in no way an indication of how good a company or individual is at delivering BIM. To truly see how good a company is you need to see evidence, real evidence, of successfully delivered projects. No unregulated piece of paper is going to demonstrate that.
The rant is over for today. It would be great to hear some feedback on this one, I’m sure many of you have opinions both for and against the certification process. Comment below or drop me an email!