Construction ethics courses create a "golden rule" for industry [Excerpt]

A new ethics course, developed by BuildForce Canada, is a mandatory component of the Canadian Construction Association's (CCA) Gold Seal certification program and is being taught in Vancouver [and Victoria] by BGC Partners Inc. president Tim Williams.

The Vancouver Regional Construction Association [and the Vancouver Island Construction Association] is providing courses to members through both online and in-class learning modules. The essence of the in-class course, Williams said, is "going through copious amounts of challenging case studies. The feeling of the industry is that they want ethical lines in the sand."

"With the in-class course taking people through case studies, they'll really think about it. We wanted a larger lens than 'it's always been done that way,'" CCA president Michael Atkinson added. "There are grey areas, but having faced self-examination (in the course) means you've gone through it."

He also stressed the need for a visible set of ethical standards for the construction industry.

"We wanted to find a way to partly change the image of construction, after inquiries like the Charbonneau Commission in Quebec," Atkinson said. "A more ethical approach to business practices was seen as an important part of leadership training."

...Problem areas in the industry can include bidding, where "on day one, a company is under pressure to be efficient and effective and companies can take shortcuts to that efficiency," Williams said. The push towards an improved safety culture over the past years has resulted in real progress, Williams added, and "we're bringing discussion about ethical conduct in a similar way that developed with safety culture."

Read the full article on the Journal of Commerce.

Construction Industry Ethics at VICA Victoria

Construction Industry Ethics with Tim Williams, BGC, at VICA Victoria. Our next class is on December 13th.

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