Feedback sought on building sector licensing rules

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Building and Construction Minister Clayton Cosgrove wants to hear from people in the building sector on key aspects of the Licensed Building Practitioner Scheme, which is due to be introduced initially on a voluntary basis in November this year.

Occupational licensing, which will help ensure people in the building sector are competent and accountable for their work, is part of the Government’s suite of reforms to help ensure homes and buildings are designed and built right the first time.

The scheme will create 13 occupational licenses for builders, designers and other skilled professionals in the building sector.
A recently-released consultation document outlines proposed licensing standards for designers, site leads and carpenters — these being the first licenses that will be issued.

The document also covers assessment processes and requirements for retaining a building practitioner licence over time.
Mr Cosgrove says he wants to hear from the designers, builders and other skilled professionals who, later this year, will need to decide whether or not to apply for licenses.

“The rules that will apply to the granting of occupational licenses in the building sector need to be practical. They need to fit the realities of how the sector works,” he says.
“Already, extensive consultation has taken place with the industry, which has contributed substantially.
“Now we need to go wider, so that everyone with an interest in this can have input.”

Mr Cosgrove says assessment will be based on an applicant’s work history and project records, client testimonials where possible, feedback from technical referees and the applicant’s understanding of the responsibilities that go with the licenses being sought.
He says applicants will need to demonstrate their skills, competence and client satisfaction in order to gain a licence.

“Skilled people already in the building sector are certainly not going to be sent back to school. Potential applicants will not be assessed on any rigid tick-the-box formula.
“Experience and a good track record will count. People in the sector who know their trade or profession and take pride in their work should not have trouble getting a licence.”

The consultation document is available on the Department of Building and Housing web site at www.dbh.govt.nz or by calling 0800 606050.
The deadline for submissions is March 26, 2007.

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