The history of BCA Academy dated back to the early 80s when Singapore was moving into a new phase of economic development which emphasized the shift to higher value-added products and services. To meet this challenge, there was a need to establish a pool of highly-skilled and productive workers in the construction industry. In 1984, a training institution, known as the Construction Industry Training Centre (CITC), was set up by the former Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) at Upper Serangoon to undertake the following functions:
to provide full-time skills training in construction trades to young people entering the construction industry;
- to upgrade and update the skill levels of the existing construction workforce; and
- to set standards, test and certify construction skills in Singapore.
For its first 10 years, the CITC conducted full-time courses on various construction trades at different skill levels to meet the manpower needs of the industry.
As the construction sector expanded rapidly in the late 80s, the training capacity of the CITC became over-stretched. The need for a larger training centre became evident. In 1991, to meet the new training needs of the industry in the face of advances in construction technology, the Singapore government announced the construction of a new training centre at Braddell Road. The new centre, known as the Construction Industry Training Institute (CITI), was opened on 18 May 1994. With its expanded capacity and facilities, CITI conducted a full range of training programmes for workers, foremen and supervisors. Over the years, the scope of training provided by CITI expanded rapidly.
In 1999, when the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) was formed with the merger of the former CIDB and the former Building Control Division of the Public Works Department (PWD), CITI continued to play its role as the industry training centre under the management of the new BCA. In 2001, CITI formally launched its first diploma programme in construction engineering to provide school leavers an alternative education and career option. Shortly after, a series of other diploma programmes and specialist diploma programmes followed. CITI also developed joint diploma programmes with some renowned technical institutions in China to provide a bridge for the construction industry between the two countries.
In the mid 2000, with the rapidly expanding construction sector and the new government initiatives to transform Singapore into a global city of excellence, the training needs of the industry escalated. The demand for more and higher value-added training for the practising professionals as well as senior and middle management personnel in construction-related companies took on a new dimension. In response to this new challenge, CITI was re-structured and renamed as BCA Academy of the Built Environment in 2007 to gear itself for an expanded scope of professional education.