NATSPEC Global BIM Education Report 2017

May 3, 2017

NATSPEC has published an update to their Global BIM Education Report summarizing the current status of BIM education in a number of countries across the globe. The first edition was published in 2014. We highlight here the Canadian update which highlights some of the initiatives in this space by CanBIM and buildingSmartCanada. The full report can be found here.



The Roadmap to Lifecycle Building Information Modeling in the Canadian AECOO Industry continues to drive the change required to realise industry transformation.

buildingSMARTCanada (bSC) and Canada BIM Council (CanBIM) are jointly moving ahead with the implementation of the Canadian BIM Education Strategy. The Strategy was soft-launched at two events in May and October 2016 respectively. A joint academia/industry workshop took place in May, prior to the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering annual conference, in London, Ontario. This was followed by bSC/CanBIM participation in a two-day BIM Research in Education workshop at the École de Technologie Supérieure in Montreal, Quebec in October. The latter workshop brought together key actors in BIM training, research and education as well as key players in industry from across Canada. The goals of the workshop were to identify challenges and needs regarding BIM research and education in Canada, look abroad for potential solutions and devise an action plan to establish a way forward.

As a result of these events, five work groups comprising bSC and CanBIM members, academia and industry partners have been created to develop a Canada-centric BIM learning outcomes framework (LOF), associated University, college, professional development curricula, and recommend BIM accreditation/certificate for the Canadian ACEOO industry. Target completion of the LOF is September 2017.

bSC continues to participate on the buildingSMART International Technical committees and is an active member of the bSI People Compliance Committee. This committee is developing an international BIM qualification that will serve as a benchmark for Open BIM knowledge and awareness.

The CanBIM committee continues to focus its efforts on exploring and understanding how BIM is best implemented within the AECOO industry while also understanding the connection between Education and Industry. Since its inception in 2014, the success of CanBIM’s Certification Program for Professionals has led to the creation of the CanBIM Educational Certification Program which, through the establishing of course and program outcomes, assists educational institutes in aligning their respective curriculum to CanBIM education assessment targets. To date, the CanBIM Educational Certification Program has certified and/or currently reviewing upwards of 20 BIM-specific reviewing upwards of 20 BIM-specific programs or courses offered both nationally and internationally.

Initiatives/ Organisations

bSC Initiatives

Government funding was secured in 2015, under the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP), to help the Institute for BIM in Canada (IBC) to deliver a Canadian Practice Manual for BIM. Volunteer in-kind support and other in-kind contributions contributed the reminder. This manual has since been completed and is expected to be promulgated in March 2017.

The practice manual is multi-disciplinary, multivolume, intended to be a comprehensive guide that reflects both international best practices as well as the use of BIM in Canada.

The practice manual builds on the Roadmap to deliver value to industry. It is being used to develop a BIM 101 course/workshop to be offered by bSC. IBC/bSC have identified a communications strategy to overcome some of the challenges in raising awareness and continue to work through the Education Committee to facilitate content delivery to those providing education at a regional and local level.

Educational Outreach

bSC has produced a short video to promote the benefits of Open BIM. The video will be launched in 2017 for outreach across the country in conjunction with ongoing presentations on the Roadmap. In addition, bSC runs monthly webinars open to anyone who registers through the bSC Community.

Educational Offerings Matrix

bSC has created and maintains a matrix of educational opportunities in BIM at the College and University levels. This matrix included course offerings and key contacts for BIM training and is routinely updated. Instructors are encouraged to contact and collaborate with their counterparts to share and exchange case studies, lesson materials, and best practices. The bSC scan can be viewed at the following website:

CanBIM Initiatives


The CanBIM Certification Program was launched in 2014 with the objective of bridging BIM education and the AECOO industry’s implementation and use of BIM through the pursuit of excellence in certification. The aims of CanBIM Certification Program are:

A four-level certification program for BIM Professionals recognizing knowledge, skill and experience.Assessment and certification of courses and/or programs offered by:Educational Institutions both private and public.AEC industry training providers for industry professionalsAssessment and Certification of tiered CanBIM Certification Program for BIM-enabled companies and organizations.Assessment of single-course and program learning outcomes and objectives in Canadian post-secondary education.

Provision of guidelines for Continued Professional Development through: CanBIM Regional Sessions – Educational Presentations and Panel Discussions.Technology Exhibition – showcasing the latest technologies in the building industry.BIM-related academic programs.BIM-related industry training providers.In-house company/organization sessions

CanBIM Satellite Sessions

2016 saw the launch of the CanBIM Satellite Sessions; a joint event between CanBIM and CanBIM Educational Member Institutions; with Industry and Academia presenting on relevant topics within the host Region. These events are intended to bridge the gap and unite the interests between Academia and Industry. The host Academic Institution has the opportunity to highlight its BIM related programs, a student from the host school is invited to present a BIM-relevant topic and the remainder of the agenda is filled out with Industry leaders from the host region. It’s an opportunity to educate and connect all stakeholders over the course of an evening while also showcasing the latest developments of the educational institutions across Canada. CanBIM has three Satellite Sessions planned for 2017.


Awareness and uptake continue to be on the rise. Many local interest groups across the country have grown in number as bSC and CanBIM work to promote understanding of BIM. New programs continue to be developed, the most recent being Algonquin College’s BIM Lifecyle Management Course.

bSC and CanBIM continue to offer monthly newsletters to their respective memberships with interviews and articles from industry leaders discussing the latest in BIM.

The bSC and CanBIM Education Committees continue to work together to progress BIM education in the ACEOO community and actively participate at each other’s events.