The vocational outcome to integrate the design workflow

Dr Vinay Domal, Lecturer Civil Structural
Applied Engineering, Munster Campus WA.

Explore, ascertain, recognize, and revive

The role of construction modelers and/or checkers has significantly changed over the period, which requires not only a high level of attention to technical detail but also a strong aspiration to achieve functional excellence meeting the project deadlines, budgets, safety, etc. Despite the best intentions of the Vocational Education and Training (VET) sector to enhance graduates’ employability, the limitations are inherent within the TAFE/Industry collaborations will consistently produce mixed graduates’ outcomes. The challenge is, how do we support trainees in improving the employability skills which subjected to constant change. We propose a simple framework that might involve TAFE lectures and Industry experts in the design and delivery of VET qualifications in engineering and technology.  This framework developed from a review and synthesis of participant observations and in-depth interviews conducted by me over three months in the Year 2018 with leading construction modeling, detailing, and digital engineering companies in Perth, WA.


Explore: To start with, understand their roles and observe what they do in a typical hour or day. Get some insights into their daily routine and why it is challenging to create an engineering drawing, which is the principal means of communicating design intent. Whether it is a sketch, concept design, or a construction document, each item is detailed independently, and substantial checking is required to ensure that elements fit together. There are many potential sources for errors in a project in developing integrated workflow. It is impossible to control all of them, and how do they manage them to meet internal and external stakeholders’ expectations?


Ascertain: The second part would be to establish that there is a broad understanding of what qualities, characteristics, skills, and knowledge constitute employability of construction modelers and/or checkers in general and for graduates in particular. Employers expect graduates to have the technical and discipline competencies from their VET qualifications but require graduates to demonstrate a range of broader skills and attributes that include a good understanding of engineering drawing principles, standards, and codes; a good knowledge of manufacturing process and methods including various types of machining, steel fabrication, connections,  welding metal casting and moldings; a good understanding of real-world inspection and testing methodologies and their associated limitations and advantages in the field; capacity to use Computer-Aided Design (CAD) and Building Information Modeling (BIM) design tools to create intelligent 2D and 3D models; ability to apply the above knowledge in the appropriate manner to reduce part cost, reduce scrappage and increase life expectancy through the practical application of technical parameters of corrosion and fire protection, thermal and acoustic insulation; and sound documentation/communication capabilities and thus experience with Microsoft Outlook, Word, Excel and PowerPoint for example.


Recognize: These findings will enable Registered Training Organizations (RTOs) to produce national accredit training products in structural drafting and detailing, including high-quality learning content and assessments consistent with the Standards for RTOs 2015 and Training Packages. Based on Australian standards and manuals for technical drawing, this course must cover everything from basic shapes, forms, and raw materials, to project functional organizational structure, connections, welds, basic detailing conventions, general drawing presentation, and bills of materials.  Creating awareness in physical and chemical laws and principles, as well as mathematics, must give an inside glimpse of the various areas of specialization, and a straightforward look at what it takes to succeed and collaborate in construction projects.  Teaching students essential of CAD tools must enable them to create and edit a simple drawing and continue to develop the custom workspaces to expand its usefulness to the community of designers. Select and design quality assessment methods, including direct observation of work in progress, portfolio of evidence or technical drawings, third-party reports that confirm candidate performance, written and/or oral questioning, and reasoning to assess against the unit/s of competency and the associated learning outcomes. The assessment tasks would require the individual design coordinator to interact with the stakeholders on identified construction project milestones and subsequent design issue notices in 3D model. This learning and assessment strategy is necessary to empower simulated multidisciplinary design teams to create, share, and coordinate large amounts of design information, while maintaining the integrity of the design team’s knowledge and decision-making as the project evolves.


Revive: This final part based on continuous monitoring and evaluation, consultation, and validation to ensure that the qualification remains relevant and reflects the current work practices and job outcomes for construction modelers and/or checkers. I am confident that this framework will be successful in this respect, and the trainees will find the newly design delivery tools to be a more intuitive, industry-oriented, and meaningful experience. Increasing the delivery modes flexibility aimed at individual clients with increased choice in what they want to learn, when they want to learn it, where they want to learn it, and how they want to learn it is worth examining more closely.