"Model of professional qualification structure and new methods of promotion, certification and mutual recognition of managerial skills in construction industry according to EU requirements"

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"Development of New Types of Studies and Courses in the Field of Management in Construction for Engineers According to the Requirements of European Union"
Project number: PL/99/1/086619/PI/I.1.1.a/FPC

Warsaw University of Technology, Poland


The main goal of the pilot project is to prepare the content related base and programme of filling an intellectual within construction staff, in the field of independent economical activity on European market. This gap was caused by fifty years of communistic economy, that decreased role of construction engineers only to technical area. Mentioned above need was confirmed by results of the questionnaire given to participants of Polish construction market.
Because of lack of European certification system and recognition of managerial skills in construction, the first task of the project was to work out universal structure of managerial knowledge, necessary for proper activity within all areas of construction - investment market. A full matrix of system's structure was created , and defined all 35 characteristic elements:
- for five areas of independent economical activity,
- for seven functional elements, answering different areas and disciplines of knowledge.
On foundations of this matrix, full systems were created and detailed curricula of a faculty of "Construction Engineering and Management", for two-degree studies and M.Sc. studies complementing knowledge of graduates of construction specialization of technical studies.
On the basis of experience of developed European countries, a model of post-graduate studies was prepared, complementing technical knowledge of construction staff with managerial knowledge, in distance learning method. The programme of this studies was prepared in the distance learning education system. There have been also prepared 15 conspectus of Construction Manager Library, in order to prepare full didactical base for mentioned above types of studies, realized on a faculty o "Construction Engineering and Management".
Worked out materials are treated as a base for planned studies' accreditation system , fulfilling criteria of managerial qualification of construction staff, as well as their individual certification. Prepared methodical base can be used for creating mutual recognition of managerial qualifications of construction staff n United Europe.
Prepared within the project extents:
- Structure of knowledge necessary for construction engineer",
- Learning programmes of the "Construction Engineering and Management" faculty,
- Construction Manager Library
Were presented to a very broad group of specialists from both, private and public universities, as well as from the private representatives of the construction industry including Polish small and medium enterprises.
That presentation took place on 11th June on the Faculty of Civil Engineering, and was found very interesting and very elaborated. There have been taken steps to create a grout of authors to write textbooks on the basis of managerial knowledge conspectus.
On the foundations of elaborated models of learning programmes - Faculty of "Construction Engineering and Management", different types of studies will be introduced on universities ,such as Warsaw University of Technology, Cracow University of Technology, European School of Business and many other Polish universities. Warsaw and Cracow University of Technology are planning to open two-degree studies (B.Sc. and M.Sc.) and post graduate studies. European School of Business plans to open specialization "Construction Engineering and Management". In both cases these programmes of studies are waiting for acceptation of National Ministry of Education. Post graduate studies of this faculty will be also opened at the Minho University (Portugal).

"Improvement of the linguistic skills of Polish and Portuguese Construction managers and engineers - recognition of needs and preparation of courses in Construction English Language"


In recent years the number of international investments in the construction sectors in Poland and Portugal have increased significantly. There is a need for an improvement of English language skills among Polish and Portuguese personnel working in the construction industry, as well as among students of Civil Engineering Faculties and didactic staff. Additionally the Polish language education system suffers a lack of trained tutors in the English language. The project helps to meet the training needs of people at risk of exclusion from the labour market. Lack of knowledge of the English language is a disadvantage on the labour markets in Poland and in Portugal. Specialised training in the English language within the Portuguese and Polish construction industries is important because of the following issues:
- an increasing number of foreign construction companies working in Portugal and Poland - the project will facilitate access to the Portuguese and Polish construction markets and labour forces, at all levels of employment: from foreman to managers and engineers.
- a growing number of Polish and Portuguese engineers working in other countries - the project will facilitate their access to foreign labour markets, as well as improve communications with potential employers within member states of the European Union.
- recognition of qualifications of Polish and Portuguese construction engineers and managers - the project will allow Polish and Portuguese engineers and managers to apply for certification and then pan-European qualifications (e.g. Eur. Eng.). Technical knowledge, even at the highest level, is not sufficient for full international recognition of qualifications. Transparency of qualification is not possible without use of a common language between interested parties.
- the growing use and importance of International Contract Conditions ( European Union Conditions of Contract, or FIDIC), where usually the contract documents are drawn up in English. The project will allow Polish and Portuguese engineers for better use of International Contract documents, facilitating the management of contracts financed by International Agencies (e.g. European Investment Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development or World Bank). Proper knowledge of contract language is particularly important for other EU Commission supported projects (like Framework V, Structural Funds, or as currently in Poland, the ISPA Programme).
- changes to the legal system in Poland - adjustment of laws regulations and standards, and the introduction of new European Directives. The project will facilitate the use of English language and terminology, regulations and directives, as well as allow for the transfer of information and greater influence of Polish and Portuguese construction experts in common European Law.
- increasing number of research contacts between Polish and Portuguese students and didactic staff at universities, with their counterparts from other European countries. The project will facilitate these contacts, together with access to foreign textbooks, construction magazines and papers, improving the linguistic skills of researchers. The project will also give a solid background to students for the future recognition of their qualifications.

Project will start with the recognition of language improvement needs among Polish and Portuguese construction industry personnel, didactic staff and students of Construction Faculties. For this purpose extended questionnaires and Focus Group methods will be used. Special WEB site for the project will be created for: organisation of the questionnaire, gathering the responds from future participants of the courses, for dissemination of the results of the project and for use as one of the distance learning tool. E-mail will be use for consultation services purpose. Technical and managerial language educational systems for engineers in United Kingdom, Poland and Portugal will be analysed. The Project Team will create detailed curricula and methodology for both technical and managerial English courses. Different types of courses are foreseen, depending on the competence levels of construction industry employees. Technical and managerial English language courses (subjects and materials) will be prepared for:
- Intermediate courses: aimed at the level of foremen in industry, and at the level of students from Technical Universities.
- Advanced courses: aimed at engineers and managers from industry, including representatives from Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, and didactic staff at Technical Universities.

All participants of proposed training courses should have some basic knowledge of the English language. The structure and format of the courses will be developed on the basis of co-operation between the construction industry and Technical Universities, with close co-operation with number of EFL (English as Foreign Language) and ESP (English for Special Purposes) experts from Universities (Warsaw University of Technology, University of Minho and University of Manchester) Language Training Centres.
The project will provide for the training of tutors for English language courses. Training will cover all content - related aspects of the courses, as well as the technical preparation of tutors in the use of modern techniques (e.g. distance learning). All necessary Course materials for the training of tutors will be prepared. During the project, various types of courses will be tried, with the participation of selected representatives of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, students and specialised didactic staff from Technical Universities in Poland and Portugal.
Tests will help with the selection of the most appropriate method of running the courses, and in the creation of the final versions of the proposed subjects. The project will provide a basis for future linguistic certification of Polish and Portuguese construction engineers and managers.
A better knowledge of the English language will facilitate mutual recognition of qualification and future international certification of Polish and Portuguese construction engineers. The project will conclude with the creation of material (basis and structure) for Portuguese - English, and Polish - English dictionaries, in the field of technical and managerial construction terminology. General schedule for the project was presented in Annex No 2. Work programme was presented in section E.1. of this full proposal. This project will strengthen co-operation between training organisations, including universities and vocational colleges, and the corporate sector, including Small and Medium-sized Enterprises. The results of the project and the courses for technical and managerial English will be disseminated in Portugal and Poland to representatives of construction industry related companies, and students and the didactic staff of Construction Faculties at Technical Universities. Results of the project will be available for transfer to other countries in Central and Western Europe.

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