For Immediate Release
Oct. 1, 2010
Ministry of Housing and Social Development
NEW INSTITUTE TO PROTECT HOMEBUYERS ACROSS PROVINCE
VICTORIA – The Professional Builders’ Institute (PBI) has been established to raise the bar of professionalism in the residential construction industry and protect consumers in British Columbia, announced Rich Coleman, Minister of Housing and Social Development.
“The Province, the residential construction industry and consumers are unified in their desire to further enhance the requirements for residential builder licensing,” said Coleman. “Our continued commitment to support improvements in the quality of residential construction helps protect new homebuyers across B.C.”
The PBI was formed by the residential construction industry in collaboration with the Province as a result of recommendations provided by an industry task group. The institute was established in anticipation of further steps being taken to develop a system of minimum education and training requirements as a condition of obtaining and maintaining a residential builder licence.
Created as an independent body comprised of broad representation from the residential construction industry, the PBI will provide services to BC Housing, which is responsible for licensing residential builders following the recent transfer of the Homeowner Protection Office (HPO).
Services provided will be related to the anticipated introduction of minimum qualifications for licensed residential builders constructing or selling one- to four-unit residential buildings and will include evaluating:
· Applications for accreditation of education and training providers and programs.
· Specific courses offered by accredited providers.
· The currency of standards, educational benchmarks and continuing professional development requirements.
Stephen Torrence, former executive director of the Construction Safety Network, has been appointed as chief executive officer by the PBI. In mid-October, Torrence will start developing the accreditation processes necessary to support the implementation of minimum qualifications.
“We are pleased that our vision of an industry-led institute for the accreditation of future courses and programs counting toward anticipated minimum qualifications for licensed residential builders is coming about,” said Bob Deeks, chair of the PBI board and president of the Canadian Home Builders’ Association of British Columbia, who will also serve on a steering committee established to review operating costs and collaborate on strategies related to professionalism of the industry. Representation on the steering committee will include senior members of the PBI and BC Housing.
Start up funding for the PBI will come from the Homeowner Protection Office (HPO), a branch of BC Housing, with ongoing operations funded through PBI’s accreditation fees.
The HPO will continue to perform its responsibilities established under the Homeowner Protection Act including licensing more than 5,300 residential builders in the province, and research and education benefiting the industry and consumers.
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