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Training strategies

Training to achieve Building Information Modelling (BIM) proficiency is becoming a prerequisite in most organisations as governments encourage adoption of BIM as a mandate for undertaking building projects, especially public works.

As it is with other emerging technologies, training professionals to deliver BIM projects is costly and time-consuming.

There are also issues like recognising the actual skills workers require to be able to efficiently and functionally implement BIM practice within their projects/workplace. Once identified, sufficient training programmes can be put in place to ensure that all workers are trained to the required level to successfully deliver a BIM project.

In their survey to explore soft-skill requirements in BIM project teams, Davies et al. (2015) categorised their interviewees into five groups based on ‘the spectrum of roles in which BIM specialists are employed, and the types of skill sets aligned with those roles’:

  • Senior level directors or senior managers who have responsibility for determining the direction of BIM practice within their company
  • BIM managers and coordinators who manage BIM processes at a project level
  • BIM specialists: BIM managers who have a primarily practice-based role
  • BIM-technical focus groups working primarily in model creation
  • BIM-specific roles in the more traditional industry roles (architects, engineers, contractors etc) who are also required to operate within a BIM environment

Consider the challenges for training people in various categories such as those listed above and think about the importance of employing staff with the skills needed to meet the company needs.

Hiring people with existing BIM skills also provides the added bonus of keeping up staff morale. The risk of up-skilling employees at this late stage is that they can become frustrated with the pressures of training and development alongside managing the day job. New staff would relieve some of this pressure and could potentially inject some much-needed enthusiasm into a company around the new ways of working. They can also help with the training and development of existing staff.

Your task

To what extent do you agree or disagree with employing experienced individuals as part of BIM implementation as opposed to implementing a training plan for the existing team within an organisation?

Share your thoughts in the discussion area.


Davies, K., McMeel, D. and Wilkinson, S., (2015) Soft skill requirements in a BIM project team. [online] Available from: https://unitec.researchbank.ac.nz/bitstream/handle/10652/3239/w78-2015-paper-011.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y Accessed on [9 May 2019]

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This article is from the free online course:

BIM Implementation within the AEC Industry

Coventry University