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  • Designer of timber structures

    The certification of a Designer of timber structures is based on the Land Use and Building Act (in Finnish), as well as the decrees and guidelines complementing it (Ministry of the Environment: Legislation on land use and building (in Finnish). In accordance with Section 120 c of the Act, special designs required in the building shall be designed by a designer responsible for the special field concerned.

    The certification requirements for a Designer of timber structures have been prepared taking into consideration the instructions for interpretation of building inspections in the Metropolitan area (www.pksrava.fi).

    Certification of a Designer of timber structures can be applied separately for new building (U) and for repairs and alteration works (K).

    The certification of a Designer of timber structures can also be utilised in projects where the Land Use and Building Act is not applied. Such projects include, among others, bridge and other infrastructure construction projects.

    Application form

    Certification grades

    The certification grades in new buildings (U) and in repairs and alteration works (K) are:

    • Conventional
    • Difficult (V and V+)
    • Exceptionally difficult

    The certification grades are based on the requirement classes of design duties stated in the Land Use and Building Act. The difficult grade is divided into subgroups V and V+ in accordance with the PKSRAVA instruction for interpretation 17-12002.

    Certification requirements

    The certification requirements consist of requirements on education, work experience and demonstration of skills.  A summary of certification requirements by certification grade is presented below. The requirements applied for repairs and alteration works (K) are presented separately to the extent they deviate from the requirements applied for new buildings (U). The detailed certification requirements are presented on the application form of the certification in question.

    1. EDUCATION

    The requirements for education consist of a degree and studies. The required degree is based on the qualification requirements for designers, set in Section 120 e of the Land Use and Building Act. The requirements on studies are in accordance with the Ministry of the Environment’s guideline on the qualifications of designers of buildings (YM2/601/2015) and the PKSRAVA instruction for interpretation 17-12002.  The education may include studies performed for degrees, as well as training complementing such degrees.

    Table. Requirements on degrees and studies by certification grade.

     

     GRADE DEGREE STUDIES
    Conventional A construction-related or technical degree appropriate for the design task in question, equivalent to an earlier technician’s or another relevant degree. A minimum of 30 credits in studies relating to  structural engineering, as well as the design and function of structures in question, which shall include the following credits:

    Structural mechanics (minimum 10 credits) and structural engineering

    Material technology and manufacturing techniques

    • Design of timber structures (min. 4 credits) and timber construction

    Timber product technology

    Difficult (V ja V+) A construction-related or technical university degree appropriate for the design task in question, or an earlier construction-related higher-level vocational or other degree A minimum of 40 credits in studies relating to structural engineering, as well as the design and function of structures in question, which shall include the following credits:

    • Structural mechanics (minimum 15 credits) and structural engineering
    • Material technology and manufacturing techniques

    Design of timber structures (minimum 10 credits, of which the maximum of 3 credits may be replaced by studies relating to concrete and steel structures) and timber construction

    Timber product technology

    Exceptionally difficult
    A construction-related or technical university master’s degree appropriate for the design task in question. A minimum of 45 credits in studies relating to  structural engineering, as well as the design and function of structures in question, which shall include credits in the following areas:

    • Structural mechanics (minimum 20 credits) and structural engineering

    Material technology and manufacturing techniques, material models

    Design of timber structures (min. 10 credits) and timber construction

    Timber product technology

    The diploma work of a degree can be partially included in the required studies, provided that the applicant can prove its relevance to timber structures and that it has strengthened the applicant’s expertise in the subjects presented. A maximum of 30% of a diploma work’s credits can be accepted as part of the studies. Similarly, work experience in excess of 10 years can be accepted to substitute studies in part (maximally 20%).  The above described total quantity of studies shall, however, be performed as study credits.

    The so-called AHOT procedure i.e. identification and recognition of previously acquired expertise is an activity to be executed within the educational system. Wishing to exercise this procedure, the applicant may turn towards educational institutions providing e.g. training for certifications.  The certification board does not perform the so-called AHOT procedure, but the studies presented in the applications shall be recognized by educational organisations.

     

    2. WORK EXPERIENCE

    The work experience required for the verification of certification of a Designer for timber structures is in accordance with the requirements on work experience stated in the qualification requirements for designers, set in Section 120 e of the Land Use and Building Act. The assessment of design experience is based on the Ministry of the Environment’s guideline on the qualifications of designers of buildings (YM2/601/2015) and the Ministry of the Environment’s guideline on the requirement classes of design tasks (YM1/601/2015).

    Table. Requirements on work experience by certification grade in the certification for new buildings (U) and repairs and alterations works (K).

     

     GRADE NEW BUILDING U REPAIR AND ALTERATIONWORK K
    Conventional A minimum of 3 years of experience in assisting with design tasks relating to at least conventional load bearing structures, including design tasks of timber structures. The same as for new buildings but with at least 1 year of experience in design tasks relating to the repairs and alteration works of structures, including the design of timber structures repairs.
    V A minimum of 4 years of experience in design tasks relating to conventional load-bearing structures and a minimum of 2 years of experience in assisting with design tasks relating to difficult load-bearing structures. The total experience shall be 6 years and include design tasks relating to timber structures. The same as for new buildings but with at least 2 years of experience in design tasks relating to the repairs and alteration works of structures, including the design of timber structures repairs.
    V+ A minimum of 4 years of experience as responsible designer in design tasks relating to load bearing structures of grade V, including design tasks of timber structures.  The total experience shall be at least 6 years. The same as for new buildings but with at least 2 years of experience in design tasks relating to the repairs and alteration works of structures, including the design of grade V timber structures repairs.
    Exceptionally difficult
    A minimum of 10 years of experience in design tasks relating to load-bearing structures, with at least 6 years in design tasks relating to grades V and V+ or in assisting in Exceptionally difficult tasks, including a minimum of 4 years as a responsible designer relating to at least Difficult tasks. The experience shall include grade V+ projects. The above-mentioned experience of 6 years shall be performed after completing the degree. The experience shall include designing of load-bearing timber structures. The same as for new buildings but with at least 3 years of experience in the design tasks of repairs and alteration works on structures, including the design of repairs of grade V+ timber structures.

    In the Conventional grade, as well as the Difficult grades V and V+, a minimum of 2/3 of the work experience shall be performed after completing the degree. Work experience performed during the studies shall only be accepted for the part of work experience performed after fulfilment of the required credits and that can be deemed as designing work (e.g. final draughting of designs is not accepted as designing). In the Exceptionally difficult grade, the experience shall in its entirety be performed after completing the degree that is required for the task in question.

    3. DEMONSTRATION OF SKILLS

    The certification grades V, V+ and Exceptionally difficult requires 2 demonstrations of skills (e.g. design documents), which will demonstrate the level of skills and the demanding nature of the design projects.

    4. APPLICATION FOR CERTIFICATION BASED ON TRANSITIONAL PROVISION

    The Act on the Amendment of the Land Use and Building Act, 41/2014, includes a transitional provision, according to which a person who prior to the effective date of the Act (1 September 2014) has been approved as certified for extremely difficult structural design tasks by the building inspection authority and thus can be deemed to have the requirements required for an exceptionally difficult design task, can be considered as a structural designer fulfilling the certification requirements.

    When applying verification of certification based on the transitional provision, the applicant shall be verified as having the general certification in the grade, in which the requirements set of degrees and credits in accordance with the new act are fulfilled. The certification in the Exceptionally difficult grade shall be delimited to apply for corresponding design tasks that were the basis for verifying to certification.

    With regard to work experience, the applicant shall fulfil the requirements set for the Exceptionally difficult grade, presented under WORK EXPERIENCE.

    Upgrading of certification grade

    The certification grade V can be upgraded during its 7 years period of validity to a certification grade V+ applying a lightened procedure. This requires the indication of fulfilment of the work experience requirement relating to grade V+, in accordance with the table above. The upgraded certification of grade V+ will be valid until the end of the original certification’s period of validity, after which the certification shall be renewed.  In case the requirements set for the Exceptionally difficult grade are fulfilled, the verification of certification in Exceptionally difficult grade shall be applied for as new certification, not as renewal.

    Renewal of certification

    A verified certification will be valid for a period of 7 years at a time, after which the certification shall be renewed.

    By renewing a certification, the applicant shall prove that he/she has worked actively in the task determined by the verified certification. The application shall provide information on employment, work experience and updating training during the certification’s period of validity.

    1. WORK EXPERIENCE

    The requirement is a minimum of 3 years of work experience in certification grade in accordance with or higher than the certification, during the certification’s period of validity.

    2. UPDATING TRAINING

    The requirement is updating training that supports the design of timber structures, a minimum of 3 training days (21 training hours) or 3 credits for the previous 7 years’ registering period.

    If the verification of certification is applied for in a requirement grade higher than before, it shall be applied for as new certification.

    Application instructions

    A certification, an upgrade of a certification grade, or renewal of a certification is applied for using an application form that can be accessed by depressing the button APPLICATION FORM FOR CERTIFICATION at the top of this page. The application form provides detailed certification requirements and the instructions for applying for the certification.

    The processing and registering fees for the Application of certification are given under APPLY FOR CERTIFICATION.

    Additional information on the application for certification as Designer of timber structures are given by the secretariat organization RIL (in Finnish) that is responsible for the certification board of designers of timber structures.

    80 CERTIFICATION DESIGNATIONS