There have been a lot of changes recently with the introduction of the Licensed Building Practitioner Programme into the New Zealand building industry. This is a significant change and one that affects both builders and the public who are looking to use their services.
ITM are here to support you with your licensing requirements. We offer regular training events such as our Product Knowledge training sessions where you get a hands on demonstration from 8 of our major suppliers.
We also offer our free bi-monthly trade magazine - Building Business. 1 hour of skills maintenance learning is worth 1 LBP point so make sure Building Business is part of your LBP Skills Maintenance Programme. This magazine is stacked with articles covering key issues. We look at new products, legislation changes and of course we keep you up to date with what's going on in the ITM Fishing Show and the ITM 500.
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Upcoming changes to the Licensed Building Practitioners (LBP) scheme announced today will make ongoing professional development more relevant and potentially less onerous for LBPs, whilst ensuring they remain professionally competent.
The new requirements tie in with the scheme's purpose of giving consumers confidence that the LBPs they employ meet standards and perform building work competently.
Paul Hobbs, MBIE’s Registrar of Building Practitioner Licensing says, “New Zealanders want to know their homes and buildings are properly designed and built by people who are trained to do the job.”
“By moving away from an entirely points-based system in favour of learning outcomes, LBPs can keep up with best practice whilst continuing to give consumers confidence they are qualified and accountable for the quality of their work.”
Under the new scheme, LBPs will be required to do compulsory and elective activities. The compulsory activities will involve reading the LBP News section of MBIE’s Codewords newsletter and identifying two examples of on-the-job learning. LBPs will also do elective activities that are relevant to their work and licence class.
The new Skills Maintenance scheme does not introduce any new activities - it simply makes two existing activities compulsory, with the aim of making the scheme more meaningful and in line with best practice across all seven licence classes.
“The Ministry will road-test the new scheme during the first half of this year, by working with LBPs, building merchants, and trade associations so that any unforeseen issues are resolved before LBPs are required to transition from November 2015” says Mr Hobbs.
“A strong and skilled building and construction sector is vital to New Zealand’s economy and prosperity. These changes will allow the sector to continue to provide the kind of quality and high standard workmanship needed to support New Zealand’s future growth.”
The Registrar administers the LBP scheme which was launched in 2007 to raise standards across the building and construction sector and consumer confidence in the quality of work carried out. Since 2012, it has been compulsory for practitioners who do restricted building work to be licensed or to work under the supervision of a licensed practitioner.
More than 24,000 LBPs have been licensed to date.
The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) has completed its review of the LBP skills maintenance scheme and as a result identified where a number of improvements can be made to the existing framework. The current scheme requires LBPs to earn a set number of points in order to retain their licence, much of which relies on self-directed learning on the LBP’s part. This system has been in place since the scheme’s inception albeit with some slight adjustments over time. The review found that there are some credibility issues with the current scheme, including some LBPs doing activities that are not relevant to their licence class in order to earn the required number of points.. The new framework seeks to move away from an entirely points-based system in favour of a new ‘mixed-model’ approach with the aim of being more meaningful and relevant across all seven licence classes.
The new scheme was developed in consultation with LBPs, stakeholders and representatives from the Building Practitioners Board. It consists of both compulsory and elective activities, which is a departure from the current framework that relies solely on elective activities and gaining enough points to satisfy the respective ‘two-yearly continued licencing requirement’.
The new compulsory activities will consist of:
The LBP News articles will focus on legislative and technological changes. LBPs will only have to read articles that are relevant to their licence class competencies (and underpinning area or areas of practice). LBPs will be required to complete a short quiz to ensure the key points have been understood. The on-the-job learning component recognises that LBPs often learn or upskill as they are working in the design office or out on site and as such the new scheme will look to harness these naturally occurring learning opportunities. For example, designers should look to exploit occasions where they have used an innovative or new design method while trade-based LBPs could cite the use of a new construction method or product by capturing this learning in their respective certificate or record of work.
LBPs will carry on doing a range of elective activities although the amount of time spent doing these activities will reduce by half.
The time spent upskilling will remain largely the same as it is currently. However, one of the primary objectives of the new model is to make LBP learning material more accessible. Hence the advent of LBP News and seizing opportunities for on-the-job learning.
The new scheme can be implemented under the existing LBP Rules so no legislative change has been necessary. MBIE will road-test the new scheme during the first half of this year, so that any issues are resolved before LBPs are required to transition from 2 November 2015.
Further information on the new scheme will be published in upcoming editions of Codewords and in other trade publications in coming months. MBIE staff will also support the roll-out of the new scheme later in the year by partnering with building merchants and trade associations.
Example of one LBP’s transition across to new scheme
More information will be provided over the coming months and remember it’s not about the points, it’s about quality learning outcomes that will ensure you are up-to-date and current in your building knowledge!
By Paul Hobbs - 1 December 2014, Build 145
This article is reproduced with permission from BRANZ and Build Magazine. Click here to read the original article.
IN MY ROLE AS REGISTRAR, I administer MBIE’s licensed building practitioners (LBPs) scheme. I am keen to see it further develop and grow in profile under my stewardship.
More than 23,800 LBPs have become licensed since the scheme’s inception in 2007, and close to 28,800 licences have been issued. This is impressive, since the scheme is relatively young compared with other occupational licensing schemes in New Zealand’s building sector.
My core skills are carpentry and construction. I am passionate about the building sector, in particular, the technical and legislative aspects of the building control system.
My philosophy is to engage and communicate with the different stakeholders in the sector – something I really enjoy. It’s about understanding your audience, making the effort to understand what they want, what they need to know and then deciding how best to deliver this. This is a priority for me.
I think better engagement with and visibility of LBPs will deliver better outcomes for the sector and increase the profile of the LBP brand and the Building Practitioners Board.
Another priority is skills maintenance and developing a skills maintenance programme that better captures the key areas of learning in each licence class. These include technical skills and knowledge, regulator knowledge, workplace safety and professional development.
These areas broadly represent the core skills or competencies an LBP should strive to uphold to maintain current competence in their given licence class.
I am also keen to move away from an entirely points-based system. This has influenced behaviour by creating a focus solely on amassing points and not on quality and relevant learning outcomes.
A review of skills maintenance is currently under way and is due to be completed shortly. MBIE has been working with LBPs to understand how they find the current scheme and to develop a range of possible changes to skills maintenance.
There is already a mandatory requirement to maintain skills, but I think there is a real need to enhance the opportunities for learning on site – what I call naturally occurring evidence. I am an advocate of this type of learning.
Many practitioners would like to have upskilling recognised while on the job instead of having to earn skills maintenance points by attending formal events and learning activities.
The question is how to do this, what it will look like, and how to ensure maximum effectiveness.
There are a great number of opportunities in the LBP area, and I look forward to being involved as the scheme develops.
With 20 years’ experience in the sector, Paul Hobbs has a good understanding of the technical and regulatory areas of building control.
His previous MBIE roles include the position of National Manager of Weathertight Services. Prior to that, he played a role in the Canterbury earthquake recovery work for the Building System Performance team.’
FOR MORE See www.business.govt.nz/lbp.
MBIE have just released a new guide.
In November 2013, Schedule 1 of the Building Act was amended. Schedule 1 details the type of work that does not require a building consent. It clarifies the types of building work that are exempt and who can carry out this work.
Keep up to date with changes to Schedule 1 by reading the latest guidance published by the Ministry: Building Work that does not require a building consent.