How does a Gold Seal Certification boost your construction career?

How does a Gold Seal Certification boost your construction career?

The Gold Seal Certification is a distinction offered by the Canadian Construction Association (CCA). Keep reading to learn more about the CCA Gold Seal credential, its value, and how you can obtain it.

What is the Canadian Construction Association’s Gold Seal Certification?

Through the Gold Seal Certification, the CCA monitors adherence and contributes to national construction management standards. It is geared towards professionals such as:

  • estimators
  • foremen
  • project managers
  • superintendents
  • safety practitioners

Professionals must obtain the necessary educational and experience-based Gold Seal credits, then complete an examination.

Gold Seal Certification application process

Throughout the Gold Seal Certification program enrollment application process, the goal is to test construction professionals based on the knowledge they’ve accumulated through experience elsewhere and determine whether they have the expertise required to successfully complete the program.

Applicants choose a designation to pursue a Gold Seal certification in and proceed with assessments, provided they meet the requirements. Those requirements are one year of professional experience in the chosen designation or two years in an assistant role along with a recommendation letter.

Once an applicant has been enrolled in the Gold Seal certification program, they can apply for the CCA’s Gold Seal Certified designation, the requirements of which are as follows.

  • Foremen must receive 75 Gold Seal credits, 50 of which must come from experience. The remaining 25 Gold Seal credits must come from mandatory program educational coursework.
  • Applicants from other competencies must receive 100 credits. Of those credits, 50 must come from experience, 25 must come from mandatory program coursework, and the remaining 25 credits can be achieved through a combination of both paths.

Applicants can use the CCA’s Gold Seal credit self-assessment tool to determine whether they have enough credits to proceed before taking their examination.

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About the Professional, Gold Seal Certified (P.GSC) program

The Professional, Gold Seal Certified (P.GSC) program is geared towards applicants that meet the following requirements:

  • prior receipt of the Gold Seal Certified designation
  • a minimum of 2,000 hours of experience in their chosen designation over the course of two years (1,000 hours per year)
  • a minimum of 30 Gold Seal credits in these categories:
    • formal education
    • information education (one credit awarded per three hours)
    • community involvement, including professional mentoring (one credit awarded per three hours)
    • teaching experience through presentations, workshops, seminars, etc (two credits awarded per hour)
    • contributions to the construction industry, such as participation in committees (one credit awarded per hour), filing patents (10 credits per patent), and publishing peer-reviewed documentation (five credits per article)

Because many of these metrics are self-tracked, the CCA notes it audits some participants to ensure adherence to their standards.

Deciding which Gold Seal construction designation to apply for

Many applicants to the Gold Seal Certification program are unsure which designation to apply for. The CCA advises considering the following.

What type of company you work for

The estimator, foreman, project manager, construction safety practitioner, and superintendent competencies all require that applicants be directly employed by the following types of contractors:

  • general
  • civil infrastructure
  • mechanical
  • electrical
  • specialty trade

What type of construction you perform

The CCA makes a clear distinction between construction and maintenance. 

Construction, it declares, is the practice of building, demolishing, moving, or installing a structure, including roadways and landscaping. This includes exterior and interior work conducted on a new construction building.

Maintenance, meanwhile, is defined as the upkeep (not improvement, which is still considered construction) of existing structures. This work is not eligible for experience-related Gold Seal credits.

It’s important to keep this in mind when applying for the Gold Seal program since experience-based credits are required to become certified.

What types of construction projects you work on

According to the CCA, residential construction projects that fall under Part 9 of the National Building Code of Canada do not qualify for experience-based Gold Seal credits. Residential projects that fall under Part 3 of the National Building Code and industrial, commercial, and heavy civil projects do qualify for experience-based credits, however.

Your job title (and whether it differs from your actual duties)

The CCA recognizes job titles don’t always align with the competencies it specifies. Consequently, if you feel your role qualifies you for a specific designation that isn’t reflected in your job title, the CCA will consider the responsibilities you’ve listed on your resume instead.

Whether you may be automatically eligible for a particular designation

Members of the Chartered Institute of Builders (CIOB) automatically meet educational requirements (50 credits) if they have five years of experience and have taken mandatory ethics courses.

Those holding the National Construction Safety Officer designation with five years of experience are also automatically eligible to jump straight to the examination phase.

Professionals with the Construction Estimator Certified designation are automatically eligible for the estimator examination. Those holding the Professional Surveyor designation, meanwhile, do not even need to take the examination but can rather apply for their certification right out of the gate.

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Benefits of receiving the CCA Gold Seal Certification

Next, let’s discuss the benefits of receiving the CCA Gold Seal certification and how it can improve your career prospects.

Formal recognition and demonstration of accumulated knowledge and experience

The CCA Gold Seal Certification offers a standardized means of demonstrating your accumulated knowledge in a particular designation. This can help you better communicate your expertise to prospective employers, clients, and colleagues, especially given the fact job titles may not always reflect your duties, which (in the absence of standardized certifications such as the CCA Gold Seal) might make it difficult to progress.

Progressive training and accreditation

The CCA offers many certifications under the Gold Seal umbrella one can progress through. Completion of successive certifications is another great way to demonstrate progressive experience and career development to prospective employers, clients, and colleagues.

Access to standardized training and examination materials

The Gold Seal construction training and certification program also offers an opportunity to learn about construction (and be tested on your learnings) via provided coursework coordinated by the CCA, a national body of over 20,000 member organizations.

CCA Gold Seal Certification: Conclusion

We hope this article has helped you learn more about the CCA Gold Seal Certification, how you can obtain it, and the benefits of doing so. For more articles on the topic of construction management processes and certifications, visit our blog.

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Brandon-Richard Austin

Brandon-Richard Austin is a writer and content strategist focused on the construction sector. He’s passionate about educating readers on construction management techniques and best practices.