During my long hiatus from updating this blog, one of the activities I have been spending a lot of energy on lately has been preparing for the CCCA exam. The Certified Construction Contract Administrator credential is offered by the Construction Specifications Institute (CSI), the same organization that devised the MasterFormat system of divisions to organize construction project manuals (specifications). Achieving this professional designation signifies a high level of skill and understanding of the construction documents and the contract administration process. This certification corresponds directly to my role as a Construction Administrator at SHP Leading Design and has been on my list of professional goals for a long time. If I am able to successfully complete the exam later this month, it will be the culmination of an effort several years in the making.
In order for an individual to sit for the CCCA exam, they must first have earned the CDT credential. The CDT, or Construction Document Technologist, provides “foundation training in construction documentation” for many construction professionals. I earned the CDT in 2010 and it has been the single most valuable and had the most far-reaching (beneficial) effects of any aspect of my career preparation. The knowledge I gained from preparing for the CDT made me a better CA representative, better LEED Project Administrator, and a much better student. It remains one of my proudest professional accomplishments. I believe preparing for the CCCA exam has had a double-down effect, and in the future I expect it will make me a better project engineer and project manager.
Along the way I have had a lot of good teachers with many great lessons, from Phil Baker, my Construction Documents professor back at Columbus State, to working under SHP’s Loren Schmelzer and Doug Maggied on projects over the last 6 years. Working at SHP has taught me a lot about how construction documents are put together, how they are used, why things are done the way they are, etc. I feel lucky to have learned these things the “by the book” way, so that preparation for the CCCA exam has not included unlearning bad habits. The most important lesson I have learned though is how important CA is to delivering our projects and making sure our clients are satisfied with not just the new facility, but the entire process. I look forward to utilizing the knowledge gained in my CCCA preparation journey and applying it to raise the bar on my professional capabilities.
As this post still gets hits from search engines, I wanted to pass along a resource that some of you may find useful in your preparations, Mark Ogg, a fellow CSI member sent me a link to his online flash cards, which can be found here