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
The certification grades for new building (U) and for repairs and alteration works (K) are:
The certification grades are based on the requirement classes of design duties stated in the Land Use and Building Act.
The certification requirements consist of requirements on certification, education, work experience and statements. 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).
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.
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 three (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 (V or V+) 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:
Upon decision by the certification board, the certification training and the examination can be compensated if the applicant has:
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).
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. In the case of repair and alteration works, the principal design experience must have accumulated sufficiently from the principal design of the repair and alteration works.
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:
The person applying for a certification shall obtain statements verifying their experience in performing of principal design tasks, in two (2) different projects, to be filled in application forms of a special form. For both projects, a total of four (4) statements each shall be obtained as follows:
Persons issuing the statements (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 statements shall be completed (with final review fully performed) and the other one shall at least be taken into use. The projects for which statements 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.
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.
A verified certification will be valid for a period of seven (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.
The validity of a Principal Designer’s certification does not automatically require Your own design field maintaining competence when the applicant operates mainly in principal designer position. If the certificate of competency is applied for at a higher level than before, this is a completely new application and requirement is valid certification at least in the same certification grade.
The applicant must provide a report of his / her activities as a principal designer of the previous certification period. The report must show that the activity has been continuous.
The report is a reference list including following information
The principal design experience gained during the past seven (7) years is considered continuous when:
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.
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.