Virtual Project CPD – Kent County Council

In the early days of its development BIM Academy designed the Virtual Project course to build on the success and experience they had gained working on a number of international competitions. The course was designed to span over three days, bringing together team members who could quickly asses their capability and responsibility on a BIM project within a risk free environment. For me it had an instant and obvious appeal as it should work for team members with differing levels of expertise without the usual penalties associated with making a mess of things. The Virtual Project has been used by many project teams and has delivered splendid results – and averted some dreadful mistakes.

To date the course has been run from the safety of our North East base and we were therefore delighted to get a call from Terry Gough at Kent County Council. Terry is rolling out BIM within the Council and was keen to allow his colleagues to experience a hands on BIM project before they procure one… Sensible man. We spoke to Terry at length to establish what the council needed to gain from the experience. It is clear they have been investing in awareness sessions but do not have any intimate knowledge of the BIM tools and how they work together.

We duly decamped down to Maidstone for a two day version of the course attended by a diverse group of Kent County Council officers including Project Managers, procurement professionals and estate managers. Having never participated in a Virtual Project I was delighted to support the course sharing my experience of using BIM in Local Government.

The course is nothing short of amazing as we go through the full life cycle of a BIM project. This included an explanation and example of how and why we use COBie in language even I could understand.

A session using the design tools demonstrated how user friendly they are and quickly opened up a discussion about how important BIM implementation will be in the future for Kent County Council. We explored the joys of PAS 1192:2 and 3 plus how the Level 2 documentation works together. We also learnt how important front end involvement across the supply chain is, and debated some of the challenges this may pose for future procurement.

Feedback from the course has been excellent and the BIM Academy team kept everyone involved throughout the course. As each stage unfolded there was a lot of debate about how costs could be reduced by using BIM process. Hopefully we will be asked to repeat the exercise with another group of officers and spread the knowledge and insights gained.

If you’d like to know more about the course and the benefits for your organisation, contact Justine Gray on