Education and Training


Education Member Rebate Program

Due to the wide distribution of members across the prairies, the north and NW Ontario, member rebates are available to offset the cost of travel and expenses to attend these courses. Please note that courses must be paid in full by course date, and rebate forms sent to the WRLA office no later than 30 days from course completion date.


Click here for complete 2014 Education Rebate information

Click here to download the 2014 Education Course Rebate Form

Click here to download the 2014 Travel Expense Rebate Form




WRLA Manual Estimating Program

The program is structured on a progressive basis, starting with Estimating Fundamentals - Decks and Garages, Estimating for Residential Construction and ending with a Advanced Estimators Forum. There will be an exam and certificate awarded at the end of each level. Upon completion of the three core courses the student will be awarded a "Professional Estimator" certificate.

October 20 - 23 - Leduc, AB Click here to register online now!

November 3 - 6 - Winnipeg, MB Click here to register online now!

Level 1: Estimating Fundamentals - Decks and Garages (2-day course)

Course outline:

  • Applying math to estimating - thought processes
  • Estimate vs. Quotation
  • Dimensional lumber and basic building material components
  • Decks.
  • Understanding roofs and pitch
  • Detached garage material estimating
  • Understanding hip roofs or hip roof basics.

A step-by-step workbook is included and is yours to keep for future reference.

There will be a examination at the end of this course.

Level 2: Estimating for Residential Construction (2-day course)

To participate in this course, you should have completed the Estimating Fundamentals or should have experience with small project estimating at the customer service counter, or job-site experience in residential construction.

Course Outline:

  • Quotations vs. EstimateEDUCATION1
  • Disclaimers
  • Structural Specifications
  • Math Skills Review
  • Understanding roofs
  • Calculating waste factors
  • Reading and understanding blueprints
  • Getting started with your "take-off"
  • Checklist of building materials for take-off
  • Foundation, Beam, Floor system, Stairs, Exterior walls, Interior walls, Roof system
  • Exterior finish and Interior components
  • Qualifying your customers
  • Estimating strategies
  • Estimating tables and charts
  • A step-by-step workbook is included and is yours to keep for future reference.
  • There will be a examination at the end of this course 

Level 3: Advanced Estimating (1-day course) 

To participate in this course you must have completed Estimating for Residential Construction.

Advanced house estimating covers various advanced scenarios that an estimator will encounter in the field. This course gives the student estimators an open forum to discuss “tricky” house plans and general concerns in the field. Practical exercises will be completed on the various sections for hands on training purposes.

A step-by-step workbook is included and is yours to keep for future reference. There will be a examination at the end of this course. 


Principles of Yard and Warehouse Operations

A one day course to focus on the principles to successfully operate a building center yard or warehouse. 

Learn the key principles of; professional leadership, efficient inventory management and logistics, customer service, staffing management, yard layout, equipment and safety elements.

There is a recognition of the different yard sizes in the discussions and each participant will be challenged to create the steps necessary to move  forward in their setting.

November 7, 2014, -  Holiday Inn, Aiport West, Winnipeg, MB

Click here to register online now


Plumbing & Electrical Seminars with Bob Sutherland

The purpose of these “how to” seminars is to increase the product knowledge and comfort level of anyone in a position of having direct contact with customers in the store. Having knowledgeable, trained staff working for you will allow your business to provide even better exceptional customer service. 

Click here to register online now! October 22 & 23, 2014 in Winnipeg



NRHA Training Program 

The WRLA has partnered with the North American Retail Hardware Association to provide the Independent dealers in Western Canada added product knowledge and training courses.

All courses are available online for employees to take according to their own schedules. What you get with your NRHA Membership: As a member of the NRHA you have unlimited access to a number of valuable training and information resources provided through the members-only portion of These include:

NRHA's Basic Training Series

NRHA's new Basic Training Course in Hardware Retailing and Basic Training Course in Building Materials Retailing are comprehensive product knowledge training programs that include coursework, testing, instant grading feedback and a complete progress report for each student enrolled from your business. You get a fully administered training program up and running with very little effort. And, best of all, you can train an unlimited number of students at no additional cost. These courses are designed to help both new and existing retail sales associates gain the confidence they need to be successful on the sales floor or out in the lumber yard.

Click here to download the "How to get started with Product Knowledge Training in your Store"


Click here for complete details on NRHA Training and "Three Pennies for Profit" video

Click here to watch NRHA Videos


Retail Business Management Studies Program

Click here for detailed information

  • Module One - Management Skills - The Manager's Toolkit 
  • Module Two - HR Management - Unraveling the Mystery of People Management 
  • Module Three - Financial Management 
  • Module Four - Inventory Management
  • Module Five - Strategic Marketing 
  • Module Six - Purchasing


Installed Sales

Installed Sales is becoming more prominent in many retail operations. It offers a viable alternative to the reduction in margins, which the industry has seen in the last few years. In order to successfully evaluate Installed Sales and its feasibility for your company, it is necessary to understand: personnel structures, systems and policies, organization and management, advertising and promotion.

This full day, educational workshop, addresses these core issues and more. Research shows the home improvement and remodelling markets now equal or exceed new home construction in many areas. Consequently, a vast, less volatile market is waiting for aggressive dealers. Additionally, many new home builders are looking for a dealer who offers their products installed. This has proven to ease the search for qualified sub-contractors, provides stable pricing and quality installations. These trends have resulted in many retail dealers offering installation services to their customers, both retail and new construction.