#1: CM Help Is On The Way
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The Association for the Advancement of Cost Engineering International, (aacei), introduced the Professional Scheduler and Planner Certification, (PSP), in 2006. Now, four years later, about 900 schedulers have been certified.
I can tell you, the exam is rigorous. Only half of the candidates pass the test on their first attempt. I took the test last summer, (2009), and was sweating bullets. I was writing my final sentence for the essay portion, (final section), of the exam, when the proctor called-out times up. My arms, (reflexively), went straight up, and just before I yelled out YES – I regained control; realizing that everyone in the the room now had their eyes on me, I whispered – yes. For me it was an intense eight hours …
Even with 23 years of diverse construction management experience, the test was a challenge for me. I was happy to get my results 3 months later, and credit my 1st round success, to having spent the last 3 years working with two of the smartest PSP’s in the industry.
The certification can be used to qualify a resume or a company, (in the case of a scheduling consultant). You will start seeing project specifications requiring PSP’s. A&E’s are getting the message, and seeing the fruit of having a PSP clause in the project specification. Requiring certification for those building and maintaining the schedule pays dividends to all project stakeholders.
When you hire or find yourself lined up across from a PSP, you can expect valid schedule design/development/maintenance/analysis and rigorous schedule reviews.
Have you already noticed a trend within fed/govt. agencies, listing schedulers as key personnel in their RFP’s? I have. It won’t be long before they are requiring PSP’s. There is no other certification that quantifies and qualifies a CPM scheduler within the context of CM.
It is no secret that troubled projects are rooted in poor planning and invalid scheduling. Now you have a qualifier to help you identify and secure top schedulers on your projects. You also have a pipeline of schedulers in -training; learning best practices that relatively few in the construction management industry currently understand.
To sit for the eight hour exam, requires eight years of industry experience, (or a relevant 4 year degree and 4 years of experience). That’s why, (along with the pass/fail ratio), we are not seeing huge numbers being certified per year. However, the number of PSP’s is rising steadily; as is the quality of planning, and the level of CM performance on the projects they are associated with.
A list of certified PSP’s will be forthcoming.
I look forward to your comments and questions, and would appreciate your suggestions for future blog topics.