Education FAQs

For Code courses, participants are asked to bring a copy of the provincially adopted National Building Code of Canada, a calculator, pen, pencil, eraser and note paper. For non-Code courses, participants are not required to bring the Code.

All of the NBBOA core courses use facilitators, which are intended to lead the participants through the course material and to facilitate class discussion. Instructors teach course material and are expected to know all the answers. While the facilitators are familiar with the course content, they are not necessarily expected to “have all the answers” and will look to the participants to participate in class discussion to come up with various possible solutions.

The NBBOA is always interested in expanding its pool of course facilitators. All facilitators are required to successfully complete a certified facilitation course. If you are interested, please email the Education Committee Chairperson.

It is not required to take the courses in any particular order; however, participants are encouraged to take the courses in order because they may find the courses more challenging if they take advanced level courses before having a solid foundation of basic courses first. It also tends to slow the course down if participants are not familiar with material covered in less advanced courses. The curriculum is provided in Appendix G of the Education Committee policies (posted on this website) and lists the courses in the order suggested by the Education Committee.

For Code courses, participants should bring a copy of the provincially adopted National Building Code of Canada, a calculator (non-programmable), pen, pencil and eraser. You are not permitted to bring in notes, course manual, programmable calculators, and personal communication devices (cell phones, IPads etc.).

With the volume of material covered in a week, it is challenging for participants to digest the information in 4-5 days and be adequately prepared to write the exam and be successful. For this reason, we are encouraging participants to return to their workplaces to put into practice what they’ve learning in the course, take time to let the information digest, and to review and ask questions on concepts they find challenging. It is found that this approach helps participants to retain the information on a more long-term basis, and avoids the pitfalls of cramming for an exam, only to begin to forget the information once the exam is over. It also helps participants to successfully pass the course.

Typically, participants are provided with their exam result within 15 days of writing the exam.

No, participants will be provided a “pass” or “fail” result. This policy is based on sound adult education learning principles. Pass or fail test results are given to discourage participants or others from coming to incorrect conclusions that a higher score on an exam equates to a better employee, smarter person, or anything other than proficiency of job related tasks. The purpose of our type of exams is to measure competency of job related tasks. As the NBBOA moves towards utilizing courses developed by the International Code Council, participants will be provided with their result (“pass” or “fail”) and feedback about areas of strength and areas for improvement.

An individual who does not pass an exam can complete a one time rewrite exam without taking the course over. The individual will simply have to re-apply to write an exam using the exam registration form.

Typically, participants are sent a Certificate of successful course completion within 8-10 weeks of completing the course.

For many courses, individuals can choose to “challenge the exam”. This means that they can opt to write the exam without having to take the course. An individual who wants to challenge an exam should simply order his exam via exam registration form and pay the applicable fee. If the individual does not pass the challenged exam, he/she will be required to attend the course the next time it is offered and pass the exam. An individual will not be able to rewrite the challenged exam.

An individual can challenge all core curriculum courses, with the exception of “Legal Processes and Responsibilities”, “Communication Skills for Building Officials”, “Barrier Free Design”, and the “Part 3 / Part 9 Plans Examinations” courses.

The fee for a challenge exam is the same as the course fee, mostly to encourage participants to take the course and benefit from all that is gained through class discussion, participation, review of case studies, and learning from other participants. Although the fee is the same, there is still cost savings for the participant or employer when time away from the office and travel expenses (food, accommodations, mileage) are considered.