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Project Management Boot Camps Receives TAC’s Educational Achievement Award

Monday, July 31, 2017

Stantec Consulting has received the 2017 Transportation Association of Canada (TAC) Educational Achievement Award for Project Management Boot Camps.

This award was created to recognize outstanding contributions in training relating to an in-house or external program or provide the foundation for future and better business practices.


Winner of the TAC Educational Achievement Award: Greg Cooke, Stantec Consulting (centre); Paul Lafleche, TAC President (left); Don Boccabella, 3M Canada (right).


A key component of Stantec’s Project Management Framework, Project Management Boot Camp is a full-day in-class session delivered year-round. The Boot Camps incorporate health and safety, group exercises, and specific examples dealing with real experiences in Stantec project management.

Executive Vice-President Carl Clayton indicates that Project Managers (PMs) of all seniorities and disciplines have participated in these sessions, as have executives and project support staff. The format emphasizes applied learning, local case studies and interactive exercises. Sessions are led by an experienced Stantec facilitator, with the input of local leaders and PMs.

The PM Boot Camp was developed in 2011 by Brian Guthrie, Vice-President, Practice Services and Innovation. Since its inception, over 3,800 PMs, leaders and support staff have taken the training, representing over 48,000 hours of face-to-face learning. The connection of the PM Framework to practical situations, as well as the knowledge and experiences of their peers, confirms the value of the training.

Stantec recognized the need for interactive face-to-face sessions that would enrich the PMs’ learning experience, and implemented the program on a large scale.

“Stantec’s Project Management Boot Camps have been delivered in over 340 sessions in our offices around the world,” notes Brian. “The training sessions take place at approximately 25 office visits each year, and approximately 700 of our PMs, leaders and support people participate annually. Several of our larger offices are visited multiple times a year, attracting PMs from all over the region. Participant satisfaction scores are consistently in the 90-94% range.”

The key to the success of this program is offering an enriched learning environment where the adult learner can thrive. Adult learning, also known as andragogy, is based on six key principles which have been incorporated into Stantec’s program:

  1. The adult learner must need to know the subject matter
  2. The adult learner is autonomous and self-directed
  3. The adult learner has significant and varied experience
  4. The adult learner is ready to learn
  5. The adult learner is oriented towards learning
  6. The adult learner is motivated to learn

Contributing to Education and the Canadian Transportation Community

The content of the PM Boot Camp addresses Stantec’s core project management practices, organized around its PM Framework. Subjects include some key themes such as risk management; health and safety; quality assurance and control; budgeting and financial monitoring; leadership skills and much more.

According to Vice-President, Practice Services and Innovation Brian Guthrie, the training program has enabled PMs to be better equipped to provide quality in all services, including transportation design work while following all appropriate codes, standards, financial constraints, and ethical guidelines.  

“Because of our increased focus in the last 10-20 years on project management protocols and the development of our quality management framework, our projects are delivered to our clients on schedule, on budget, and within scope,” adds Brian. “Risks are reduced, not only for Stantec but also for our clients. Meanwhile, we are nurturing an internal network of excellent PMs, who will be able to manage larger and more complex projects in the future.”

The ultimate value of Stantec’s PM Boot Camp to the Canadian transportation community is improved project quality and design for transportation systems across Canada, including traffic systems, roads, bridges, transit systems and airports.

One other submission for the Educational Achievement Award entitled Maintenance Career Training Program (Manitoba Infrastructure) was also reviewed by the a selection committee appointed by TAC’s Education and Human Resources Development Council.

The award was conferred during the Monday Lunch at the 2017 TAC Conference & Exhibition in St. John’s on September 25.