Report from the Field – CSC CCA Course
I just completed the week long, intensive Construction Contract Administration (CCA) course put on by Construction Specifications Canada (CSC) in Toronto. Largely due to the dynamic personality of instructor Ted Katsoris it was more fun than I expected! Ted was serious and informative as needed, but he kept things light by periodically injecting his somewhat acerbic and occasionally self-deprecating sense of humour into the lessons. 8 hours a day over 4 days is a long time to stay 100% focused on contract admin, but Ted kept it entertaining.
I appreciated that Ted wasn’t afraid to share personal experiences from his many years in the field, even when they didn’t go his way or were the result of mistakes he had made. His openness helped us learn important lessons the easy way by comparison.
Fellow students came from a wide range of disciplines, provinces, and levels of experience. There were representatives of the owner, contractor, and designer roles (both architect and engineer), and even a lawyer and a software developer (ahem). Provinces outside Ontario were represented with attendees from the Yukon, Manitoba, and Quebec. That diversity made in-class discussions quite dynamic and interesting – more so than if the group was homogeneous. I’m not sure if the groups are always so diverse or if we got lucky, but I’m glad it was the case.
The pace was definitely brisk, and it might prove too fast for those with minimal or no construction contract administration background (the extended multi-week course might be a better choice), but Ted made sure to periodically check that he wasn’t leaving anyone behind, and the group seemed to take it in all stride.
Overall I’m glad I took the course. It gave me an opportunity to learn some new things about CCA, and to formalize many of the things I’ve learned by osmosis over my years on the software side of construction contract administration. The course also inspired some new ideas for enhancements to FIVE that will extend its usefulness for things like tracking insurance, bond, and warranty amounts and expiration/renewals.
Now here’s hoping I passed the exam ? UPDATE: I passed!