“To be a valuable team member, your boots don’t need to be as worn as the foreman’s. You might even carry a clipboard instead of a toolbelt and that’s ok. Everyone brings their own expertise to the table when delivering projects”.
– Kristina Kenny GSC, PMP – Project Manager, Colliers Project Leaders
Kristina’s been managing construction projects for general contractors for eight years and is now a trusted advisor and project manager for Colliers Project Leaders. She earned a certificate in project management through Ryerson University, and completed the Project Management Professional exam.
She took interest in the Gold Seal Certification program after noticing the GSC credentials on the business cards of her colleagues. After asking around, she discovered contractors considered it one of the highest levels of industry achievements available. She decided it was the competitive edge she both wanted and needed.
“I really felt it would earn me credibility in the construction industry and would be a wonderful complement to my professional development activities,” she said. “If you’re not continuing to develop your skills, your competition will overtake you.”
Earning the GSC wasn’t only important in giving Kristina the competitive edge, it also meant her clients could put faith in her skills and abilities as a credible and experienced member of the industry.
Her advice to anyone looking to progress in the industry is to be proactive in taking steps like earning your GSC and building your skills.
“If you’re going to call yourself a professional, then you should believe in continuous improvement and professional development,” she said. “If you want to be the very best that you can be, you can’t just sit still.”
“I’m very happy I earned the Gold Seal Project Management designation. I already had most of the work and education needed to qualify for my certification. It is very satisfying for me to have that experience and knowledge validated.” – Phillip Pawluk, Engineer, KGS Group Consulting Engineers
Phillip’s dad was a master plumber, mechanical contractor and power engineer. Since he was old enough for his dad to let him tag along to his job sites, Phil wanted to be part of building projects from start to finish. Now an engineer with KGS Group Consulting Engineers in Winnipeg, Phil also runs a small construction company with a close friend and business partner.
Phil chose the Gold Seal Certification program because it allowed him to channel his previous schooling and experience into qualifying for a professional designation. Having spent five years running a construction company and seven years in school all Phil had to do was take a few courses to qualify for the Gold Seal Certification exam in project management. Asked whether the extra courses added value, he said some things you don’t learn in college and university. “You don’t realize how much trouble you can get into until you take those courses,” Phil said, referring to the law and ethics courses he took.
Phil’s expertise both as an engineer and a contractor is unique in the industry. He believes that the Gold Seal Certification in project management provides even more credibility. His designation helps him overcome the stigma of being ‘just an engineer’ and builds the trust he needs to act as a project management professional and mediator when disputes arise on projects.
Phil believes the main benefits of having his Gold Seal Certification are:
- Improved relationships between clients, contractors, and
- Improved recognition in the industry when dealing with contractors.
- The opportunity to move ahead within the company.
When asked what he would say to others considering earning their Gold Seal Certification, he replied: “Don’t hesitate for a moment!” he answered, “Reflect back on all the work you’ve done and experience you’ve gained, apply yourself, take the exam and earn the designation.”
Fidelis is a project safety coordinator for a construction management company in Edmonton, Alberta. His daily tasks include providing orientation to all new workers, inspecting the sites and ensuring employees on site are following the practices and procedures laid out for them.
Fidelis immigrated over to Canada where he settled in Alberta. During this time, he noticed that the construction industry was booming and was quickly drawn to the idea of employment in construction. In 2013 he took the National Construction Safety Officer course with the Alberta Construction Safety Association. He was hired as a health and safety technician for a few months before becoming the project safety coordinator for the company he is currently with. During a review with his regional safety manager, he mentioned his goal is to become a supervisor and his employer recommended the Gold Seal Certification program as a great asset to help him achieve his goal.
When Fidelis received his letter of confirmation on passing the Gold Seal Certification, he quickly told his employer. His employer was impressed and forwarded the news to the vice president who then sent a congratulatory message to him. “It was like, up in heaven,” the quick recognition he received on his achievement from the company, his coworkers and the industry were instant gratification for him.
Fidelis believes some of the main benefits of having his Gold Seal Certification include career growth, recognition with a nationally recognized certification and that it reinforces a company when negotiating new contracts. “It’s not a job you are doing, it’s a career. This qualification opens up doors for you. It’s career growth!”
When asked what he would say to others considering earning their Gold Seal Certification, he replied: “No certificate is useless. Go for it, it adds credibility to the individual, it adds credibility to the company and it adds credibility to the construction industry. Go for it, don’t hesitate!”
Matt is a construction safety advisor with the Construction Safety Association of Manitoba (CSAM). His daily tasks include core audits for companies and provide courses and training inside and outside of the office. He also is the point of contact for questions and inquiries regarding core audits, legislation and workplace safety.
Matt began his career as a welder in 2007 and took an information course on the new Gold Seal program for construction safety coordinators which piqued his interest in getting his certification. While with CSAM, he was able to finish off his NCSO designation and continued to pursue his Gold Seal Certification and reached that goal on October 20, 2017.
Looking back at his career prior to getting his Gold Seal Certification, Matt mentioned it would have been easier for him to get his point across as well as gaining more respect within the industry. With his Gold Seal certification, Matt believes he can see things from other people’s point of view and spot different things on site. His Gold Seal Certification has helped him assist in developing programs, coordinate different issues on site and help the supervisors be more aware of different health and safety concerns.
Matt believes some of the main benefits of having his Gold Seal Certification include having a certification that is recognized across Canada, it is great for future career growth and the gratifying feeling of now having the letters beside your name. When asked how he felt now that he is certified, “Like a hundred bucks!” he answered, “There’s been a lot of handshakes and high fives around the office since I’ve been awarded the certification.”
When asked what he would say to others considering earning their Gold Seal Certification, he replied: “It’s recognized as a position as opposed to a trade recognition. It’s a way for them to say they are the cream of the crop and that they have put in the time and effort.”