February 4, 2013

Gold Seal opens an online portal

The Gold Seal certification program, the leading certification program for Canadian construction management professionals such as estimators, superintendents, project managers and safety coordinators, has launched an online application and study portal.

“These changes are great. Applying online is environmentally friendly and helps us and the local construction associations reduce the review time which benefits the applicants,” said Barry Brown, chair of the Canadian Construction Association’s (CCA) Gold Seal Committee.

“Also, the online study portal will make it easier for applicants to get ready for their certification exam.”

Initially, online applications are available for Gold Seal certification applicants in English only.

However, French-speaking applicants will be able to submit their applications online by March 2013.

Replacing paper-based applications, the new system is simple to use.

In addition to basic personal information, all the applicants need is information detailing their experience, scanned copies of their certificates, as well as a debit or credit card for payment.

>Lorraine Pelrine, regional EHS manager for Quantum Murray LP was the first to submit an online application.

“It was easy to use and the pop ups along the way were very helpful,” she said.

“Since a few of my colleagues had gone through the old process, I was aware of what was required and had all the documentation prepared.

“The notification that the payment had successfully gone through on a secure payment portal gave me great peace of mind, same for receiving a status notification that my application was successfully submitted and later on reviewed.”

Once an application is submitted, the local construction association reviews it and electronically submits it for final review by a national reviewer.

>“The new online application process eliminates applications getting lost in the mail and cuts down the review time,” said Faith Chen, professional development co-ordinator for the Toronto Construction Association, who reviews Gold Seal certification applications for her association.

The new online application process enables applicants to log back in to see what is happening with their application.

Also, applicants are sent automated emails when their application moves from one stage to another.

Initially available for the construction safety co-ordinator designation, as well as for all designations in the general contracting discipline, the study portal will be available for all disciplines by the end of the year.

Using the portal, applicants can now better prepare for their Gold Seal certification exam.

“We used to send this material by mail so in addition to being more environmentally conscious, we’re making this material available to the applicants faster and eliminating the risk of the material getting lost on the way or in peoples’ homes,” said Stephanie Wallace, who reviews Gold Seal certification applications for her association.

Reviewing basic information and taking practice exams is now mandatory.

“I think the new system will help the candidates immensely,” Wallace said.

“Some candidates were surprised by the exam because they had not taken notice of the study package that was sent to them.”

Gold Seal certification candidates receive login credentials for the study portal following the approval of their application.

The study portal shows candidates how many days until their scheduled exam.

Also, they can review their discipline’s snapshot profile and the related exam specifications.

“The problem is that people ‘wear many hats’ at work. This information clarifies what we regard as what, for example, a general contracting project manager typically does,” Wallace said.

The study portal also includes practice tests for different parts of the certification exam.

Additional information is available at the Gold Seal website at

The program is supported by the CCA and managed by the national Gold Seal committee.

Currently, there are more than 8,000 Gold Seal certified construction management professionals.


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