UKAS tasked with creating new BIM certification

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has tasked the UK Accreditation Service (UKAS) with establishing a new certification scheme to show that companies comply with Level 2 BIM

Currently there are several competing certification schemes for BIM Level 2 available in the market, run by BRE Group, BSI, Lloyd’s Register and Ocean Certification.

UKAS says it has been asked by BEIS and the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI) to investigate a way to form a common, as yet undecided way of achieving BIM certification which will hopefully help deliver the Government Construction Strategy and avoid confusion for those seeking accredited certification for their BIM Level 2 activities.

Once a common approach has been agreed by BEIS and CPNI, it is anticipated that a pilot assessment programme will be undertaken to develop the necessary assessment and accreditation capability for this activity in accordance with international conformity assessment standards.

Dan Rossiter, BRE’s senior BIM communicator, welcomed the announcement: “I am glad that UKAS have announced that they are considering extending their accreditation activity to include BIM. 

“BRE Global already runs a number of UKAS-accredited certification schemes and meets with them on a regular basis. I’m confident that BRE Global will actively pursue UKAS accreditation for BIM once it is available, and assist UKAS in any way possible. This is definitely a positive step towards a joined up approach to certification.”

Mark Bew, chairman of the government’s BIM Task Group, announced the plan for new certification as he officially launched Digital Built Britain at a conference in London.

Digital Built Britain is the latest stage of the UK’s BIM Task Group programme and brings together a number of digital and innovation programmes under one funding umbrella. Originally announced in the 2016 Budget, Digital Built Britain aims to deliver reductions in whole-life costs and carbon emissions, while improving productivity and capacity by using intelligent building information models, sensing technology and secure data and information infrastructure.

Garry Fannon, head of BIM at Willmott Dixon, does not believe the new accreditation scheme would be a major disruption to the current market as many contractors had already made their choice of scheme.

“There are already a number of BIM certs in the market, personally we’ve chosen to go with BRE. If UKAS develop their own approach that is fine,” he said.

John Adams, head of BIM services at BIM Strategy, added that he thought a new scheme could help encourage people engage with BIM, which is good thing: “Anything new in helping people get BIM certified is good. What we need is some overall direction and structure.”

BRE Global already runs a number of UKAS-accredited certification schemes and meets with them on a regular basis. I’m confident that BRE Global will actively pursue UKAS accreditation for BIM once it is available, and assist UKAS in any way possible. This is definitely a positive step towards a joined up approach to certification.– Dan Rossiter, BRE

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  1. Please, no more separate accreditation schemes for BIM!

    As you state, we have a number of competing schemes climbing onto the lucrative (for them) bandwagon, imposing yet more red tape and overhead costs on businesses, especially us SMEs.

    Can not BIM accreditation be included as part of ISO9001? As in fact we are doing.

    We integrate 1192, CIC BIM Protocol, other standards, protocols, classifications, collaboration formats, our whole IT infrastructure and the software we use, along with their Standard Methods and Procedures, into the 9001 accreditation process. This is more than adequate without imposing new accreditation schemes.

    When we bid, we state that our BIM processes are being enshrined in our 9001 QA business processes/procedures. We are writing BIM/IT related policies (signed off by our Board of Directors) that will be integrated into our 9001 processes. These will back up the standard, and confirm BIM governance is actually being applied across our business operations and all our projects. We will be able to prove that when asked.

    We have absolutely no intention of wasting money on specific niche BIM accreditation scheme(s)!

    Clients seem to accept this as reasonable. We help some write their EIRs or respond to EIRs with our BEP. Even if an EIR is non-existent we provide a BEP as a matter of course. These are the minimum requirements for successful BIM under 1192-2/1192-3.

    We do not want to and we will not (unless clients mandate) pay more fees to accreditation bodies (especially if their accreditations are similar but different). This will not do! BIM can be easily included in the existing 9001 processes and procedures. 9001:2015 is so much more process orientated now and its clauses are very closely aligned for the incorporation of BIM.

    We are working on 1192-5/ISO27001 to align with Government/MoJ/MoD security requirements. These will also be incorporated into our 9001 processes and procedures in the longer term for BIM. COBie is included in this alignment under 1192-4.

    CDM/H&S/CDM regulations 2015 is another integral for BIM within our Architectural/CDM Principal Designer services.

    We will include 1192-6 CDM standard when available. We incorporate CDM design risk assessments into Revit, such that CDM can be integral to the whole asset lifecycle from RIBA 2013, Stages 0 to 7.

    For specifications we are starting to use NBS Create software/Uniclass 2015 classifications. Both are something most manufacturers we talk to have no idea of at present.

    It takes time to implement. Change Management/staff training is critical to get this right and properly aligned to 9001 for the external auditors to review and confirm our compliance. It is worth it for us, as BIM has really made a big difference to our fee incomes and project deliveries.

    In short then, no more costly red tape imposed on businesses please. Let the existing ISOs do the job instead and stop bleeding businesses of our hard earned fees!

  2. John,

    My understanding is that this isn’t another accreditation scheme this is to provide the criteria against which any accreditation should be assessed. This would in theory bring all the disparate certification that currently exists in line.

    I fully agree though, this needs to be part of ISO9001 and not a money making scheme for opportunists.

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