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This course is designed to help the new and existing administrative staff become more knowledgeable about the basics of the construction industry. This course will show how various stakeholders – owners, consultants, contractors, sub-contractors, manufacturers, suppliers and service providers fit into the Industry. Participants will engage in learning activities that will enable them to appreciate project delivery from concept to closeout.

Topics include:

  • Introduction to the Construction Industry – roles and responsibilities
  • Construction Documents – bid documents and format of specs and drawings
  • Tendering, Bidding and Award of Contracts – calling and receiving of bids
  • Format of Contracts – features and types such as lump sum CCDC 2, CM, Design-Build, Unit price
  • Other Legal – general principles of law, contract vs tort, what is a breach of contract, Lien Act
  • Risk Management in Construction -  insurance, performance bonds, L & M bonds, Liability risks
  • Construction Project Management & Administration – start up to close out basics

Intended Audience

Who should attend:

New employees and those in administrative support roles for:

  • Contractors - Generals and Trades
  • Buyers of Construction Services - Municipalities, School Districts, etc.
  • Design Consultants - Engineers and Architects
  • A must-have course for intern architects and engineers new to administering construction contracts, calling tenders and recommending award of contracts to owners
  • Also, an excellent course for representatives of Owners (Project Managers and Coordinators) who are new to the role of capital projects


Derek Smith, President/Lead Facilitator - Constructionlab

Derek Smith spent 15 years of his career in construction boots on-site and behind the drawing board and CADD equipment honing his craft; drafting and designing buildings.  As part of the pioneering generation shifting the production of construction drawings and contract documents from the drawing board to digital format, Derek was engaged to work on some of Canada's most recognizable retail and commercial building projects from Newfoundland to Victoria.   His roles have included prime consultant, job captain/owners' project manager for Chrysler Canada, and design firm principal for over $400 million in built work.  Along the way, Derek honed his teaching and facilitating skills at St. Clair College in Windsor Ontario as an adjunct professor in the Architectural Technology and Interior Design diploma and undergraduate degree programs.  Derek served a 2 year term on the Donald J. Smith School of Building Technology Program Advisory Committee at Fanshawe College in London ON between 2009 and 2011

In 2007, Derek shifted his career path by taking the helm at the mixed trade London & District Construction Association where he assisted unionized signatory contractors, and open shop contractors with day-to day challenges they faced in performance and outcomes of projects.  In 2010, Derek assisted in bargaining OLRB board area 3 unionized employers to a strike free round, bargaining multiple collective agreements that avoided work interruptions in the ICI construction sector.

Derek is the principal of Constructionlab Ltd., and serves as the Executive Director of the Walls and Ceilings Association Ottawa (WACCA).  His duties include assisting employer’s signatory to OLRB board area 15 ICI and residential agreements and navigating legislation, building code changes and more.  WACCA is an accredited ErBA for the region. 

Since 2013, Derek has worked with over 12,500 attendees in his workshops, developed over 15  general and topic specific industry courses and workshops and co-created with the Ontario Construction Secretariat, Canada’s only Fundamentals of Construction Labour Relations course recognized by McMaster University.   Derek maintains a BCIN and limited license in architectural consulting and is a regular speaker/contributor at The Buildings Show held each year in Toronto.