There are a variety of educational programs available through institutions and organizations in public works. To obtain more information, please select the area you are interested in below.
Please refer to our events calendar to view all upcoming education courses.
Courses Provided by PWABC
Management Toolkit Series
The Management Toolkit is a two-level program: each level is comprised of a series of three, one-hour sessions plus some homework that will be evaluated. It is intended for new supervisors or those wishing to build their leadership skills.
Participants will be provided with practical skills that can be used immediately, presented in a manner that is engaging and entertaining in an effort to create a comfortable environment that facilitates better learning and retention. Classes are fast paced and focused on developing specific skills so that participants can confidently apply their new skills at work the very next day. The end result will be the development of specific practical skills that are in line with municipal culture.
Outcome: Stronger, more confident managers who possess the basic tools to manage a department and subordinates and who can develop solutions that are aligned with agency goals.
Sound Decision Making for Supervisors
- Characteristics of a good decision maker
- Establishing decision making criteria
- Prioritizing and choosing between options
Problem Solving Step by Step
- Developing a process for identifying problems accurately
- Evaluating a series of options including the status quo
- Choosing and implementing a selected solution
Managing a Team
How to build and manage a team that functions well together:
- Creating a good team dynamic
- Conducting effective team meetings
- Stress management: identifying sources of stress, prioritizing, and managing your time.
- Learn strategies for diffusing conflict and reaching a workable solution.
- Evaluating the issues
- Avoiding blame
- Reaching a conclusion that fosters a spirit of collaboration
Providing Effective Feedback
- Identifying and communicating expectations
- Getting heard
- Helping team members improve their performance
Setting Key Performance Indicators
- Deciding what gets measured
- Best practices
- Evaluating and responding to Performance Indicators for Continuous improvement
Public Works Project/Construction Management Training Course
Take your project and construction management skills to a new level by attending this two-day live workshop facilitated by a top expert in the field. Learn new tips and techniques to get your projects completed efficiently, safely, on time and on budget. Each workshop participant will receive a photocopy of the instructor’s PowerPoint presentation – a great reference once you are back in the office.
By attending this workshop participants will be better able to:
- Analyze how both owners and contractors see the Project Manager’s and Construction Manager’s role
- Review estimating strategies for change order negotiation
- Identify how project management tools are used to prioritize, sequence and schedule tasks
- Understand the various methods used to communicate with owners, contractors, businesses, the public and the media
- Be aware of and understand the general requirements for environmental management on a public works project
- Understand and enhance skills required for project scheduling, quality assurance/quality control, time and cost management
- Project Management Overview
- Construction Management Overview
- Professional Practice in Project/Construction Management
- Critical Path Method (CPM) Scheduling
- Quality Management
- Time Management
- Cost Management
- Contract Administration
- Report/Documentation Procedures
- Media Relations
- Insurance and Liability Issues
- Project Wrap-Up Procedures
Plenty of time will be provided for extensive Q&A breaks as required by course participants.
Snow & Ice Training
Learn how to prepare for and treat roads to winter conditions in a safe manner.
The course content covers the following:
- Preparations based on weather forecasts
- Salt and sand applications, rates of application and speeds
- Pre trips on plow equipment and loaders
- Liquid salt brine, application and precautions, pros and cons
- Salt management, storing and handling
- Snow plowing, preparation and equipment, precautions and hazards
- Risk assessments for plowing, salting, sanding and brine applications
- SOBO salinity testing demonstration
The course outline will be in a powerpoint presentation with supported material (PDF supplied for printing locally). There will be a one page test of 10 to 20 questions for all participants, marked in an open discussion.
Risk Management Planning
Participants will learn to write a usable risk management plan that stratifies the risks inherent in public works projects and articulates corresponding mitigation strategies. A number of risk management models will be considered and evaluated including ERM and COSO.
Outcome: Managers who possess a basic understanding of risk management planning and who can write a usable risk management plan.
Risk Management Models (1hr)
An overview of existing methodology and best practices.
Risk Identification and Mitigation (1.5 hrs)
Identifying all relevant categories of risks and developing corresponding mitigation strategies.
Asset Management (1hr)
Risk management as it relates to the repair or replacement of assets.
Developing a usable risk management plan (2hrs)
Decision making, managing scope
Consultation and implementation (0.5hr)
We will discuss how the risk plan and mitigation strategies can be implemented including consultation internally and externally.
(Total 6 hours)
Developing a Sound Business Case
Participants will learn to write a business case that justifies decisions for a recommendation to senior management and council within the context of a municipal environment. We will look at problem identification, consider a broad range of options to address that problem and identify a best option considering municipal priorities. Finally, we will develop and articulate a rationale that justifies the expense, the risk and the resources necessary, as well as any potential benefits or risk to reputation.
Outcome: Managers who can consider a broad range of options and articulate a best option with rationale and consideration of the resources required
Suitable for: Managers responsible for budgets who assist in decision making for significant expenditures including asset management
Defining the Problem (0.5hrs)
Identifying the problem to be solved as accurately as possible
Consideration and Evaluation of Options (1.5hrs)
Consideration of a broad range of options including the status quo, using various resources
Choosing a Best Option (1.5hrs)
Determining the most appropriate metrics
Quantifying Costs and Benefits (1.5hrs)
Estimating costs and quantifying intangible benefits
Articulating a Rationale (1hr)
Writing up a rationale for the chosen option that justifies the expense, the risk and the resources necessary
(Total 6 hours)
Introduction to Construction Inspection
This three-day course is the most comprehensive introductory construction inspection workshop available in BC. Take your construction inspection knowledge and abilities to a whole new level with three days of training.
- Learn about construction inspection as it relates to Canadian standards and regulations
- Learn the liabilities of construction inspection
- Know your responsibilities as an inspector
- Understand how both agencies and contractors see the inspector’s role
The latest information in the construction industry packed full of useful practical work techniques and real world examples.
The 3-day course will cover the following modules:
Module 1: Construction Inspection: A Basic Overview
Module 2: Pre-project Preparation
Module 3: Communication & Documentation
Module 4: Risk Management & Legal Issues
Module 5: Project Closeout Procedures
Module 6: Regulatory Overview
Module 7: Earthwork Construction Inspection
Module 8: Excavation & Confined Space Safety
Module 9: Underground Pipeline Construction Inspection
Module 10: General Concrete construction Inspection
Module 11: Street and Surface Improvements
Module 12: Street Lighting & Traffic Signal Inspection
Module 13: General Structural Steel Inspection Module
Module 14: Landscape & Irrigation Construction Inspection
Introduction to Emergency Management
This one-day stand-alone workshop is geared to introduce certified operators, supervisors, and managers to their responsibility for emergency management. The workshop combines presentation of material with shared discussion by the participants to help cement the ideas and concepts presented. Upon completion of the workshop participants will be able to describe the difference between a plan and a program, what components make up an emergency program, what a response plan is, and be able to develop emergency operating procedures for specific emergency activities. The result will be a thorough understanding of the development of emergency management as it relates to their job.
This course will explain:
- Responsibility of Public Works in Emergency Management
- Acts and Regulations
- What is an Emergency Operations Plan/Program?
- What is an Emergency Response Plan (ERP)?
- What is and Emergency Operations Procedure (EOP)?
- Certificate Credits: 0.40 CEUs
Credential: EOCP accepted as Core for WWC, WD, WWT, & SWWS (EOCP #7955)
Public Works Supervisor Program
The Public Works Supervisor (PWS) program was designed to help public works practitioners advance into management roles by allowing them to identify and obtain education and experience relevant to their career path. This program recognized both education and work experience of public works practitioners and awards them with a level of recognition matching their experience and education.
The two basic requirements to achieving a level or recognition are Work Experience Units (WEU) and Certified Education Units (CEU). Certified Education Units may be accrued from a variety of education providers, including local colleges, universities, technical institutes, and the Public Works Association of BC. Work Experience Units must be accrued while working in a supervisory capacity as defined at each level and each year is equal to 50 weeks. Each level has a mandatory Public Works Institute requiring participants to attend several days of training with fellow public works leaders where the key concepts of that level of leadership are instructed by current or retired public works professionals.
Each level requires CEU’s and Three Years’ Work Experience:
Level 1 – 20 CEU’s and 3 years’ experience (Sub Foreman, Lead Hands, Crew Leader)
Level 2 – 22 CEU’s and 3 years’ experience (Foreman, Superintendent, Supervisor, Manager)
Level 3 – 24 CEU’s and 3 years’ experience (Superintendent, Supervisor, Manager)
Participants with a certificate, diploma or a degree MAY be granted a maximum of 53 CEU’s upon review by a PWABC committee. Those with water or wastewater tickets will also be granted 10 CEU’s to a maximum of 54.
Level 1 – Emerging Leader 20 CEU’s and 3 Years’ experience (minimum – sub foreman, leadhand, crew leader)
The focus of this level is on the Emerging Leader. Employers may recognize an individual with an aptitude for supervising others and projects and would like to prepare this individual for a management career. Individuals may be in consideration for an entry-level management position OR are serving in that role currently. These courses provide basic management fundamentals and are the corner stone of our additional education offerings.
Level 2 – Supervisor 22 CEU’s and 3 Years’ experience (minimum Foreman, Supervisor, Superintendent, Manager)
The focus of this level is on the Supervisor. Individuals may be in consideration for a mid-management position OR are serving in that role currently. These courses provide basic management fundamentals and will prepare the individual for Level 3 of this program.
Level 3 – Manager 24 CEU’s and 3 Years ‘experience (minimum Supervisor, Superintendent, Manager)
The focus of this level is on the Manager. Individuals may be in consideration for an upper level management position OR are serving in that role currently.
I have enough credits for ‘level 1’, how do I apply for that accreditation and do I have to do that for each level?
Application form available on above – Apply for your level 1 now and resubmit for each level attained. Set up fee will be waived for those already registered in the former program.
Where would I find out how many CEU’s a course is through BCIT?
Each Course Credit is worth 1 CEU (3 credit course is 3 CEU’s).
Will any of the courses (BCIT) I have taken be credited towards the remodeled program?
All courses with proof of grades will be accepted.
How do I apply for the new program?
See application form above.
If you have additional questions please send them to email@example.com. Your questions will then be forwarded on to the program committee.
Asset Management 101
Learn Effective Maintenance Management Technique in a fun interactive environment. Gain a better understanding of the Gas Tax Requirements and how to implement an Asset Management culture into your organization.
Local Government employees need to know Asset Management! The crippling cost of aging infrastructure coupled with shrinking budgets and Provincial mandates has made Asset Management a “NEED TO KNOW” for all local government employees.
This course will allow participants to:
- Learn how to make records keeping FUN!
- Earn CEU’s towards your PWABC designation.
- Learn how to meet the requirements for Gas Tax funding.
- Network with your counterparts from other municipalities and share your best practices.
Certificate Credits: 1.8
Credential: PWABC/EOCP CEU
Visit our Events Calendar to register for an upcoming session.
APWA Educational Events
Justice Institute of British Columbia
Canada’s leading public safety educator.
Civic & Environmental Engineering
Professional development courses offered in Civic and Environmental Engineering at the University of Washington College of Engineering.
The Transportation Partnership in Engineering Education Development (TRANSPEED) offers a comprehensive professional development program in transportation engineering and planning. TRANSPEED presents an on-going series of short courses designed to assist in the training and education of personnel in federal, state and local agencies, as well as in the private sector.