BCO Online Learning - Understanding Office Specifications

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Once again, the BCO is setting the standard for knowledge in the office sector and has now strengthened its offer with the introduction of a new course based on the 2009 edition of the BCO Guide to Specification.

Introduction to the course

Written by over 90 experts the BCO Guide to Specification provides the learning material for this new course which allows delegates the opportunity to receive an overview of ongoing changes in office development and occupation. The course provides detailed information on sustainability, engineering, architecture, acoustics, fit out and finishes in the office sector.

The course will provide students with:

  • An improved depth and breadth of knowledge on innovations in the office sector in recent years.
  • The ability to speak the same language as office developers, owners and investors when it comes to the technical aspects of offices.
  • Access to the wealth of knowledge from professionals within the BCO who contributed to the writing of the BCO Guide to Specification.
  • A recognised certificate from the leading organisation within the office sector and the leading distance learning provider within the real estate and construction sector.
  • 12 hours of CPD training for everyone who successfully completes the course.

Why study this course?

This course will benefit anyone involved with the commercial property sector who wishes to broaden their knowledge of the BCO Guide to Specification. The course is suited to participants who:

  • are new to the industry
  • wish to refresh their knowledge
  • want to gain a more holistic understanding of office specifications across the professions
  • are agency professionals looking to increase their knowledge of office specifications in order to market their property to its highest potential
  • would like access to the BCO’s research portal which contains all the latest research reports on the office sector produced by BCO and others
  • wish to receive a hard copy of the BCO Guide to Specification (while stocks last) as a reference document
  • are looking for an industry recognised certificate from the BCO and the College of Estate Management.

Footnote: Students undertaking this course will receive a hard copy of the BCO Guide to Specification one week prior to course start date. Please note this is subject to receipt of payment 14 days before commencement date.

Learning outcomes

Having completed the course, you will:

  • have a good understanding of how offices can deliver productivity, good value for money and the prospect of being the best place to work
  • obtain a good working knowledge and understanding of the factors that need to be considered when specifying offices
  • gain an appreciation for the drivers which are changing office developments
  • recognise the contribution of the different professions to a successful office development
  • develop an awareness of the benefits to occupiers of the various office design options
  • appreciate the decisions made during the office development process and their advantages to the office occupier
  • be able to provide a thought provoking appraisal in the context of future office design.

Course Structure

The course is delivered by distance learning and will equate to 12 hours of CPD. The online learning experience will be fully inclusive and allows for collaboration and reflection time with other professionals.

The online delivery method will be via an internet based Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). Each course will be of two weeks duration (i.e. delegates will be able to access course materials over a two-week period). During this time, delegates will study 9 bite-sized modules and undertake an end of course assessment. This method is an exceptionally convenient approach for the busy professional and provides students with a convenient section of appendices.

Course Outline

  1. Drivers for Change [ Quiz: self-assesment]
  2. Site Issues [ Quiz: self-assesment]
  3. Building Form [ Quiz: self-assesment]
  4. Sustainability [ Quiz: self-assesment]
  5. Envelope [ Quiz: self-assesment]
  6. Engineering [ Quiz: self-assesment]
  7. Vertical Transportation [ Quiz: self-assesment]
  8. Acoustics [ Quiz: self-assesment]
  9. Finishes, fit-out and building completion [ Quiz: self-assesment]


Prices quoted are valid for all bookings made up to 31 December 2013 and are exclusive of VAT.

BCO Member Rate
incl. in price

£99 + VAT
• 12 hours of CPD training
• Copy of the 2009 Guide to Specification (retail price = £95 + £4 postage)

Non Member Rate
incl. in price


£199 + VAT
• 12 hours of CPD training
• Copy of the 2009 Guide to Specification (retail price = £150 + £4 postage)
• Free individual membership of the BCO (retail price = £200)

Membership will run from the start date of the course until the end of the current membership year*. If a student commences a course between 01 January and 31 March then the free membership will run until the end of the following membership year.

* The BCO membership year runs from 01 April until 31 March.


Please contact bco@cem.ac.uk if you wish to book more than one place on this course. Note that discounted rates apply to bookings of 6 or more delegates, further information can be obtained from a member of the CEM Training Team.

Your details will only be used by CEM and BCO for the administration of this course and to keep you informed of other similar products.