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  • Principal Designer

    The certification of a Principal Designer 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) with Section 120 a of the Act, a principal designer in charge of the design in its entirety and of its quality shall be appointed for the design.

    The certification of a Principal Designer can be applied for separately for new building (U) and repair and alteration works (K). The applicant shall have a valid certification of a building designer or a special designer at least in the same certification grade as the certification of a principal designer the application is submitted for.

    Application form

    Certification grades

    The certification grades for new building (U) and for repairs and alteration works (K) are:

    • Conventional
    • Difficult
    • Exceptionally difficult

    The certification grades are based on the requirement classes of design duties stated in the Land Use and Building Act.

    Certification requirements

    The certification requirements consist of requirements on certification, education, work experience and testimonies.  A summary of certification requirements by certification grade is presented below. The requirements for repair and alteration works (K) are presented separately to the extent as they deviate from the ones applied to new building (U).

    1. CERTIFICATION

    A Principal Designer shall have the valid certification of a building designer or a special designer of at least in the same certification grade as the certification of a principal designer the application is submitted for.

    2. EDUCATION

    The requirements for education consist of a degree and studies, as well as certification training for and certification examination of a Principal Designer.

    The required degree is based on the qualification requirements for designers, set in Section 120 e of the Land Use and Building Act. The evaluation of the degree and the studies complementing it is based on the Ministry of the Environment’s guideline on the qualifications of designers of buildings (YM2/601/2015).

    The applicant’s degree and studies are evaluated in conjunction with the verification of their qualifications as a building designer or a special designer. The requirements can be found in the context of these certifications.

    The applicant is required to have certification training for a Principal Designer approved by FISE. The applicant shall have passed the written national certification examination of a Principal Designer organised by the secretariat organization. At the time of application, the training and the examination must have been performed within the previous 5 years.
    In the Conventional certification grade, the training shall include a minimum of 3 days of training as a course-type or scheduled training for a principal designer at the level of a university of applied sciences. In addition to this, the training shall include a thesis or a seminar paper.

    In the Difficult and Exceptionally difficult certification grade, the training shall include a minimum of 10 days of training as a course-type or scheduled training for a principal designer at the university level. In addition to this, the training shall include a thesis or a seminar paper.

    Upon decision by the certification board, the certification training can be compensated if the applicant has:

    • Performed the tasks of a Principal Designer for more than 7 years in total
    • Successfully passed the above-mentioned national examination
    • Presented the required testimonies verifying their experience as Principal Designer, and
    • Presented the contact data of 4 persons responsible for designing and/or construction management in 2 projects other than the projects relating to the testimonies (in total 8 persons and their contact data).

    Upon decision by the certification board, the certification training and the examination can be compensated if the applicant has:

    • Performed the tasks of a Principal Designer for more than 13 years in total
    • Presented the required testimonies verifying their experience as Principal Designer, and
    • Presented the contact data of 4 persons responsible for designing and/or construction management in 4 projects other than the projects relating to the testimonies (in total 16 persons and their contact data).

    The certification trainings for a Principal Designer approved by FISE and the link to the certification examinations arranged by the secretariat organisation can be found under item Certification training and examinations (in Finnish).

    2. WORK EXPERIENCE

    The work experience required for the certification of a Principal Designer consists of experience in designing and principal designing.

    The required design experience 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).

    The applicant’s design experience is evaluated in conjunction with the verification of their qualifications as a building designer or a special designer. The requirements can be found in the context of these certifications.

    Principal design experience shall be performed in addition to design experience. The experience shall be performed in its entirety after completing the degree.  The last project, in which principal design experience was performed, shall have taken place within the past 5 years.

    The required minimum of principal design experience shall be at least 3 years. In relation to the requirement grade of the certification to be applied for, the required principal design experience shall be as follows:

    • Experience in performing the duties of a principal designer as Responsible Principal Designer in tasks that are one requirement grade lower (as Responsible Principal Designer appointed by the building control authority) and
    • Assisting in principal design tasks in at least one project in the requirement grade of a certification applied for.

    3. TESTIMONIES

    The person applying for a certification shall obtain testimonies verifying their experience in performing of principal design tasks, in two different projects, to be filled in application forms of a special form. For both projects, a total of 4 testimonies each shall be obtained as follows:

    • From the entity undertaking a construction project or their representative who has executed the construction management tasks,
    • From three (3) other designers in the design team or
    • If the applicant has acted as Assisting Principal Designer, a testimony from the Principal Designer of the project and from two (2) other designers in the design team.

    Persons issuing the testimonies (with the exception of the Principal Designer) may not be from the same company/organisation as the applicant.

    At least one of the projects in the testimonies shall be completed (with final review fully performed) and the other one shall at least be taken into use. The projects for which testimonies are given shall have been executed in the last 10 years. If the applicant has acted as Assisting Principal Designer in the project, the applicant’s share of the Principal Designer’s tasks shall be at least 50%.
    When necessary, the Certification board may request statements from expert entities of their choice.

    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 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 designer fulfilling the certification requirements. The certification in the Exceptionally difficult grade shall be delimited to apply for corresponding design tasks that were the basis for verifying to certification.

    The applicant’s education shall be at least a former degree of a Construction Architect or an Engineer. Regarding experience, the applicant shall fulfil the requirements set forth under item WORK EXPERIENCE. Approvals of performances approved by the building inspection authority, as Responsible Principal Designer in the exceptionally difficult grade (AA) shall be presented in the application.

    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 principal designing, a minimum of 35 training hours 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 or an upgrade of a certification grade 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 Principal Designer are given by the secretariat organization SAFA (in Finnish) responsible for maintaining the certification board of principal designers.

    80 CERTIFICATION DESIGNATIONS