• Category Archives PreQualification
  • PreQualification

    PreQualification is tailoring the permit process to the applicant.  Applicants who are prequalfied because of training and/or experienced who prepare document and design packages that are better organized, more complete, and include information which facilitates quick understanding and review, have access to a plan check process from those applicants who are not pre-qualified.

    PreQualification can be based on license status; experience, or training.  There is tremendous potential in the area of PreQualification as this means of streamlining has not been well used or considered.
    region builders at AIACV (Large)b

    One method of creating a PreQualification based program:  An AIA Component works with local regional juridictions to develop a series of classes that cover preparation of documents in accordance with a well developed standard; example standards this program from Florida.  The Classes would be a win – win: a source of non-dues revenue to the component; a competitive advantage for those architects willing to invest the time and money in training; and improved economic conditions in the community resulting from more efficient and effective permit processes.

    Florida Technical Guides is an excellent and comprehensive set of tools for establishing permit document packages that are easy to plan check.


    One thought on “PreQualification”

    1. mfmalinowskiPost author
      Outline of a PreQualification Program• A working group (with members from both design and regulatory professionals) is created to vet and adopt a set of document content and organization standards for an initial project type (such as small commercial building alteration; or tenant improvements).
      • The working group enlists AIA Austin to put a training program together to cover the use of the standards. This program could become a non-dues revenue source for the component.
      • Participants are trained and tested; those passing the program would be added to a list of ‘pre-qualified professionals’.
      • Plans prepared by ‘pre-qualified professionals’ according to the adopted standards (perhaps indicated by a symbol added to the cover sheet) would save time and money for the jurisdiction; the jurisdiction would in turn create a separate ‘track’ for plan review of these packages. The participating design professional realizes a significant time savings in the permit process.
      • There would be quality control feedback loop for both program refinement and development, and also to insure that ‘pre qualified professionals’ continue to adhere to program standards (or face loss of eligibility).If the beta program proved successful, it could be expanded to additional project types.

      Properly implemented, there is the potential for such a program to be a win-win, with efficiency and effectiveness benefits for ‘both sides of the counter’.

      With plans prepared in a consistent format to make them more clear and easy to review for the permit processing professionals, the resulting increased efficiency could result in time savings for participating professionals.

      A program along these lines is being developed in the Sacramento Region as a cooperative effort involving six different jurisdictions; and it is being evaluated by AIA Austin following a presentation and workshop there by MFMalinowski AIA in November of 2014

  • Professional Certification

    Professional Certification Programs are not new. Mike in a meeting They have been used successfully in New York City for decades, on many thousands of projects.  In some jurisdictionsProfessional Certification is limited to very simple tenant improvement plans.  In many cases these programs are optional; and design professionals can choose whether this is an appropriate strategy on a case by case basis.  In other juridictions, Professional Certification is used for many if not most permit processes (Hawaii as I understand it is an example of this; but the Certification is often performed by a licensed professional selected by the plan preparer).

    Many jurisdictions do not support any level of Professional certification.  In some jurisdictions there may be political barriers to certification; there may also be concerns about liability on the part of the certifying professional, as the legal immunities that are associated with individuals who perform plan review for jurisdictions may not extend to the person certifying the plans.

    Note that these programs are often called “Self Certification’, but here the more broad term “Professional Certification” is used, as it includes the potential of peer review.

    Have you experienced the option of ‘professional certification’?

    If you had the option but didn’t use it, what were the reasons?

    If you have used Professional or Self Certification, what was your experience?

    What are the characteristics of programs that work; and those that do not?AIAAustin Self Certification