“Getting my Gold Seal Certification provided a path to developing the qualities I needed to be a better leader. As a superintendent I encourage my team members to follow Gold Seal’s educational curriculum and to test themselves against the industry standard by getting their Gold Seal Certification.”
– Mike Love, GSC, superintendent, PCL Constructors Canada Inc.
After completing a diploma in architectural technology and a bachelor of architectural science, Mike felt he was still missing something in his career. He didn’t want to be sitting in an office all day ‘thinking’ about buildings, he wanted to be out there building them. Joining the field management team at PCL gave Mike the opportunity to follow his passion and build the environment we live and work in every day.’
PCL recognizes the value of education and leadership and encourages all field staff to become Gold Seal certified. That was how Mike first learned about the program and from day one at PCL he started working towards his certification.
“Field management can be very demanding both physically and mentally. The hardest obstacle I face is learning to be a leader at work while raising a young family. Working towards my Gold Seal, I did a lot of workshops on learning how to prioritize work and manage stress, and it definitely helped me balance the demands of work and home.”
Mike takes his leadership skills seriously and is looking forward to championing the Gold Seal program to help other people reach their potential as construction management professionals.
“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!”