In 2019, the Construction Industry Competency Standard (CICS) was introduced to replace the National Occupational Skills Standards (NOSS). This update aimed to expand standards to cover supervisory and managerial skills. It also aimed to clarify the differences between Certified Construction Managers (CCM) and Certified Project Managers (CPM). Before this change, all those overseeing construction projects were labeled as "Project Managers," causing confusion. This update helped differentiate between project managers overseeing various types of construction projects.

It was mandated by the Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) Act 520 Part VII, Sections 3(1)A and 4, requiring accreditation and certification of construction personnel by CIDB. Section 4 empowers CIDB to oversee registration, accreditation, and certification, including the authority to revoke, suspend, or reinstate these credentials.

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Introduction of CICS

Introduction of CCPM & CCM

CIDB introduced the Certified Construction Project Management (CCPM) program in 2006 to certify Construction Project Managers (CPMs). This was in response to the varied project management practices in construction and growing concerns about poor project delivery. Before this program, there wasn't a formal framework for education, training, or certification in construction project management.

Challenges in Project Management Education and Certification

Without a formal framework, organizations offering project management education, training, and certification programs had the freedom to design and implement their own. While some programs issued certificates, diplomas, degrees, or competency certificates, doubts emerged about the credibility and reliability of these credentials.

 Lack of Regulation in Project Manager Titles in Construction Industry

Making matters worse is the absence of formal regulations overseeing the job title "Project Manager." As a result, those supervising construction projects could label themselves as project managers regardless of their expertise or credentials. This differed from professions like architecture, engineering, and surveying, where strict regulations by professional associations ensured only qualified individuals could hold such positions.

Transitioning from Vocational to Comprehensive Skills Standards in Construction

Before 2019, construction personnel's expected skills were defined by the National Competency Standard (NCS), which relied on vocational skills from the Malaysian National Occupational Skills Standards (NOSS). However, with the introduction of the CICS, there was a shift. It acknowledged that relying solely on vocational skills to define competency standards for higher supervisory and managerial levels wasn't enough.


National Occupational Skills Standards (NOSS)

Construction Industry Competency Standards (CICS)

The National Occupational Skills Standard (NOSS) defines the minimal competency standards necessary for proficient workers in specific trades or fields, covering a range of proficiency levels within each trade and construction occupation.
CICS is a replacement for NOSS. Unlike NOSS, which primarily focused on establishing minimal competency standards for entry-level construction personnel in specific trades, CICS had a broader scope. Its aim was to reset competency benchmarks from basic-level and supervisory workers to construction and project management levels. 
NOSS delineates the pathways leading to the acquisition of these competencies, serving as a fundamental component of the Malaysian Skills Certification System (MSCS). This system assesses the performance of workers and trainees in various sectors, ultimately granting them Malaysian Skills Certificates based on their demonstrated proficiency.
Like NOSS, CICS also serve a framework that outlines the pathways for achieving these competencies. It plays a pivotal role for providing the framework for establishing and assessing the level of ability of construction personnel. This covers craft/trade workers, supervisors, and managers, ultimately awarding them Competency Certificates based on their demonstrated competency.
NOSS was embraced by the Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA) to align with the Malaysian Qualifications Framework (MQF). It establishes equivalences in credits and facilitating the transfer of qualifications between Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) programs offered by technical colleges and higher academic education programs from trade/craft to supervisory level provided by polytechnics and universities.
CICS has also been adopted by the Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA) with the objective of aligning it seamlessly with the Malaysian Qualifications Framework (MQF). It serves as a vital reference point for establishing equivalences in credits and streamlining the processes of accrediting and transferring qualifications within the Malaysian technical and academic educational systems. 

Implications of Act and Law

Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB)

Act 520 Part VII,
Section 3(1)A and 4. 

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Section 3(1)A requires all construction personnel to be accredited and certified by CIDB. In parallel, Section 4 empowers CIDB to oversee the registration, accreditation, and certification of construction personnel, together with the authority to revoke, suspend, or reinstate these registrations, accreditations, and certifications.
It was introduced in response to the poor response to the call to certify construction project managers and construction managers. This was against the backdrop of the continuing issue of poor delivery of construction projects which call for construction projects to be managed by trained, and qualified competent managers.
Originally scheduled to become mandatory for projects with a value exceeding RM50 million in 2022, this Act will require contractors to exclusively engage the services of CPMs and CCMs for their projects. Failure to do so may result in fines.
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Uniform Building By-Laws 1984 (UBBL) 

(Amendment 2021)

The Amendment of the Uniform Building By-Laws 1984 (UBBL) in 2021 introduced a new requirement for Construction Project Managers (CPMs). Specifically, it mandates that CPMs or CCMs must sign 9 out of the 21 Form G documents for a construction project to obtain a Certificate of Completion and Compliance (CCC).
The objective behind this requirement is to ensure that qualified and responsible professionals, like CPMs, are actively involved in overseeing and approving key elements of construction projects. This helps to enhance the overall quality, safety, and compliance of construction work, ultimately contributing to safer and more reliable built structures.
Non-compliance with this requirement will lead to the project being denied its Certificate of Completion and Compliance (CCC).
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