Training Courses for Your Business

WRLA offers courses and training for our members so you can develop industry-related skills and use the tools needed to accomplish effective estimating. We've completely revamped our Estimating courses to offer even more solutions for more modern, complex projects. Check out the course descriptions below.

WRLA courses are held across Western Canada and at the annual WRLA Building & Hardware Showcase.


The WRLA Academy is here! We can't wait to share our all-new professional development program with all our members. Your first opportunity to experience these upgraded and redesigned courses will be at the 2023 WRLA Building & Hardware Showcase.

Sign-up for all three courses and save!

When you enrol in Blueprint Reading, Estimating 1, and Estimating 2, you'll pay only $1,200. If you want to take advantage of this offer, please email Martine Yzerman to book your place. You can sign up for individual sessions under their course descriptions on this page.

**NEW** WRLA Academy Courses are here

Become an expert estimator in the lumber and building supply industry. WRLA offers courses from introductory to expert, on developing estimates for a variety of projects. Each course has a comprehensive exam with a certificate awarded upon completion of the level. Once you have completed all of the courses, you will be awarded a “Professional Estimator” certificate.

Blueprint Reading:

Are you looking to better understand the information found on working drawings for the purpose of estimating? This course covers the basic content of residential working drawings. It includes several different types of drawings to help students become familiar with all aspects of blueprint reading. Upon completion of this class, students will have a good understanding of house plans and be able to:

  • Identify the information included in title blocks, cover sheets and schedules
  • Realize the liability and contractual obligations arising from working with blueprints
  • Differentiate between items shown in the section and in elevation and the importance of the ‘cut plane’
  • Calculate vertical and horizontal dimensions in both imperial and metric
  • Recognize building terms, abbreviations and symbols common to the building industry

Comprehend the information included on-site plans, including grades, slope and setbacks.

Tuesday, January 17, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at RBC Convention Centre, Rm 17

Member cost: $399

Click here to register

Estimating Level 1

Construction estimating creates sales opportunities for your business and detailed, accurate estimates are essential!

This course is recommended for anyone new to a sales or estimating role and we recommend taking our WRLA Academy Blueprint Reading course prior. It will take you through the process of estimating: from the contract documents to the methods of calculating material quantities used in construction. You’ll learn how to use  “take off” methods from professional drawings to develop an accurate materials list. You’ll learn all the terminology and components you need to make a typical estimate for decks, garages, bungalows and a standard 2-storey home. Practical exercises and more will give you the solid estimating foundation you need.

Wednesday, January 18, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at RBC Convention Centre Rm 17

Member Cost: $499

Click here to register

Estimating Level 2

Construction estimating creates sales opportunities for your business and detailed, accurate estimates are essential! You’ve learned the basics, and now it’s time to advance your expertise.

This course will build on the concepts you learned in Level 1 (it is strongly recommended to take level 1 prior) and is for anyone looking to gain advanced knowledge of estimating. We’ll take you through the full process of estimating so you can thrive in your role!

You’ll review architectural and structural drawings and learn how to read these drawings to create a full and accurate material list. Become fully proficient with creating the take-off. Discover the terminology and components you need to make a typical estimate for a standard 2-storey home, bonus room, walkout, duplex, 2-storey duplex, and tall walls. Through practical exercises and actual estimating examples, this course will give you the confidence you need to succeed.

Thursday, January 19, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at RBC Convention Centre, Rm 17

WRLA member price: $499.00 + GST

Click here to register


Special full-day session at WRLA Building & Hardware Showcase - delivered by Gord Cooke, President of Building Knowledge Canada

Session 1: The Compelling Energy Efficiency Trends in Building Codes and Programs

The Opportunities and Challenges of Part 9.36 of the NBC for the Building Supply Chain This session will outline the history of energy efficiency requirements in national and provincial building codes and the compelling proposed requirements from now until 2035 as the industry moves towards net-zero energy objectives.

Session 2: Understanding Building Science to Help Builders Make Better Decisions

This session will outline the fundamentals of Canadian building science that ensures homes are simultaneously safe, healthy, durable, comfortable, energy efficient and cost-effective. Participants will learn the six basic physics rules of air, heat and moisture flow that every designer, builder and trade contractor needs to be able to apply to the building material choices and construction process decisions they make.

Session 3: The Best Building Practices for Creating High-Performance Homes

The Top 10 Building Materials/Processes to Create Better Performing Homes This session will identify the top 10 building materials or processes building material suppliers will want to make available to their customers over the next one, three or seven-year time frame to empower the construction of high-performance homes that meet the ever-increasing expectations of homeowners.

Session 4: The Perfect Wall—Both Above and Below Grade, and the Windows that are in Them

A Deeper Dive into High-Performance that Optimize Heat, Air and Moisture Flow

This session will demonstrate the three strategies for optimizing the performance of walls, including the strategic use of wood and different insulation types.

Cost: WRLA member price: $350 + GST

To receive more information on a course or register for an upcoming course please email Liz Kovach

WHMIS training is legally required for all employees who are exposed or likely to be exposed to a hazardous material or controlled product at the workplace. Ensure your employees have up-to-date knowledge on how to protect themselves and their co-workers from hazardous products in the workplace.

Sask Polytech and the Western Retail Lumber Association are partnering to deliver WHMIS-GHS, a short 4-hour course designed to familiarize you and your employees with the WHMIS 2015 system, including GHS, and how it is used in workplaces. (In recent years, WHMIS has changed to align with the Globally Harmonized System (GHS) of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals. GHS is used worldwide by many of Canada’s global trading partners, including the United States.)
Participants will learn:

  • Proper safety procedures to follow when using hazardous products
  • Hazard identification
  • Product classification
  • Product labeling

Upon successful completion, participants will be issued a WHMIS certificate (valid for two years).

Course: WHMIS-GHS - SaskPolytech (SFTY-1821)
Location: Online and in Saskatoon
Length: 4 hours
Cost: $35
Prerequisite: None

To receive more information on a course or register for an upcoming course please email Liz Kovach.

This course is not a prerequisite, but would be beneficial for those taking Manual Estimating as a math refresher. Thank you to Saskatchewan Polytechnic for partnering with the WRLA on sharing these courses.

Applied Trades Math

FREE course available to WRLA members

This 24-hour, self-paced course provides students with the opportunity to review and improve their math skills. It focuses on concepts most commonly used in workplaces, apprenticeships and trades environments. The online course is conducted through D2L Open Courses using videos, interaction opportunities and discussion forums.

Course Number: 202111-1919

The course will review concepts related to:

  • Addition
  • Subtraction
  • Multiplication
  • Division
  • Fractions
  • Decimals
  • Percentages
  • Measuring
  • Algebra
  • Geometry
  • Working with money

To register, email Faye Eberle at