LIZ CARROLL writes about a crucial new Skillnet Level 8 programme designed to provide construction professionals with a greater understanding of modern methods of construction practices.
Government bodies and private clients are beginning to look for modern methods of construction (MMC) knowledge and experience as part of awarding criteria. Understanding the opportunities that MMC brings and learning how to overcome the challenges in its implementation will be critical to many construction businesses in the near future.
In April 2022, the Construction Professionals Skillnet published its report on the skills needed to be able to deliver MMC effectively – Modern Methods of Construction: Defining MMC. This report highlighted the key skills required by the sector, namely:
- Understanding MMC and Material Knowledge
- Collaboration Skills
- Quality Assurance and Control
- Planning and Scheduling
- BIM/Data Analytics and Regulatory Knowledge.
Following this report, the Skillnet worked with the Construction Industry Federation (CIF) MMC Working Group in facilitating workshops to further define the requirements in the first two areas. Work will continue to be done on the areas not yet covered. At a high level, there needs to be a general understanding of what MMC is, its benefits and challenges, and what is different about its business model to the traditional construction model.
The Skillnet is currently in postproduction of a number of short videos covering these topics. These will be available by the end of February to everyone via the network’s website, www.cpskillnet.ie
Certificate in Strategic Collaboration and Coordination for MMC
In addition, it was decided that collaboration skills are critical to any MMC project. With this in mind, a new Level 8 micro-credential has been developed: ‘Certificate in Strategic Collaboration and Coordination for MMC’. The programme has been developed in collaboration with Griffith College and started on 17 February 2023.
The aim of the Certificate in Strategic Collaboration and Coordination for MMC is to develop the learner’s understanding of the concept and practices of MMC and the role of coordination and collaboration in MMC project management. The objectives of this certificate programme are to:
- Provide the learner with knowledge and understanding of MMC as a business model
- Develop the learner’s appreciation of the necessity for coordination, cooperation and collaboration along the value/supply chain and how commercial relationships need to support this
- Develop learners’ interpersonal skills, such as empathy, commercial awareness, relationship management, project management, teamwork and time management skills, as well as research, communication and presentation skills.
The programme comprises three modules: ’Commercial Relationship Management in Modern Methods of Construction’, ‘Managing a Modern Methods of Construction Project’ and ‘Creating a Collaborative Culture’. While many of the key concepts may be familiar, it is the change in mindset that is needed in the sector to ensure the effective implementation of MMC that is critical. The concepts discussed in each of the three modules all impact the other modules, and so, the aim is to give a wholistic view of what is needed to enable MMC to be effective and to make the productivity gains that it promises.
The module Commercial Relationship Management in Modern Methods of Construction is designed to enable the learner to be cognisant of the factors impacting commercial relationships so they can select appropriate contracts and partners and analyse and evaluate the ongoing relationships to be able to effectively manage the inherent risks associated with those relationships. In a way, this is about the formal structures that are put in place to manage a commercial relationship.
The Managing a Modern Methods of Construction Project module aims to enable the learner to apply tools and techniques to effectively deliver an MMC project while being cognisant of the form of contract and information management processes and their impact on the project.
The Creating a Collaborative Culture module analyses the necessary practices and required behaviours to communicate effectively and create a collaborative culture in the workplace and along the value chain. It aims to equip learners with the resources and personal skills required to foster this. Learners will gain an appreciation of the importance of effective communication, collaboration and transparency. Through the module, participants will develop an understanding of different communication styles and the competencies necessary to create a culture of collaboration, trust and transparency with stakeholders.
For further information or to enrol, contact Liz Carroll at firstname.lastname@example.org