Sat. Jul 2nd, 2022

More and more construction State licensing boards are requiring that the construction contractor licensees complete between five to fourteen hours of continuing education depending on the State to renew their contractor license. This fact has increased the number on online continuing education courses available to a construction contractor dramatically in the last decade. Conversely the number of courses offered in-person at live seminars has decreased in some States and counties.

Some regulatory licensing boards continue to cling incorrectly to the idea believing that continuing education seminars attended in person are superior to online or live webinars. This is not accurate. The regulatory licensing boards should concentrate on what the construction contractors are learning and less on how the licensee is exposed to the course content.

Regardless if the continuing education course is online or in-person it should be approved based on the ability to interact with the course instructor, achievement of the learning objectives in addition to a timed attendance requirement. A course should expose the construction contractor to the changes in the rules, laws and regulations in their industry. Additionally the course should increase the contractor’s professional skill set in managing their business and technical knowledge in their trade.

The increase in availability in online continuing education courses offers many advantages to the construction contractor. This includes increased access to a specific course topic not offered in their geographic area, convenience, and affordability that would not be possible with mandatory in-person attendance.

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It is the mastery of the course content that increases the contractor’s knowledge, and for the contractor to be aware of the changes in the laws, rules and regulations. This yields a better product and service to the consumer public, and results in a successful business for the contractor which moves the entire construction industry forward.

Live Seminars:

The live seminar offers the following advantages: face to face communication which for some individuals works best if the class size is not too large. As spur of the moment questions can be answered quickly and the resulting dialogue will clarify any ambiguities. The contractor also has the ability to network with other contractors as there are many different construction trades in attendance. During the course breaks (coffee, smoke and restroom time) the contractor can make business connections and discuss some of the ideas offered during the lecture.

The disadvantages of a live seminar are: the seminar is typically held in a hotel or convention center with seating arrangements and/or a room temperature that is uncomfortable. The seminar is held at a fixed and limited time frame with little to no flexibility to attendee for date & time changes. The time required to commute to the seminar site frequently requires overnight travel and added expense for hotel and restaurant meals. Next when a live seminar has too many attendees it is not practical for each person to ask questions. This results in minimal to no interaction even though the course is in-person.

Online Courses:

Online courses would include both static or recorded courses and live webinars. The courses typically have an assessment tool (true/false and multiple choice quizzes or exams) and a minimum time course time log attendance to receive a certificate of completion. One of the main advantages of online courses is accessibility with a computer or smart phone. It is almost impossible today to manage a construction contracting business without the use of either of these tools. No longer is technology a barrier as it was in the past. However the contractor needs to be proficient with the use of the computer, tablet or smart phone and the associated software.

By rahul