Licensing changes will make it easier for qualified tradespeople


20,000 expected to be licensed by 2012

From 15 Feb 2010, qualified builders and tradespeople will find it faster, easier and cheaper to get licensed, with most qualified applicants being able to save around half the current assessment fees.

The streamlined application process for qualified people was launched by Minister of Building and Construction Maurice Williamson in Auckland recently.
Applicants will need to provide evidence of qualifications, supply references and proof of identity, and complete a short, easy form. And, because the process is simpler, the application can be fast-tracked.

Last year, the Government finalised the policy framework for licensing, providing certainty for the construction sector.
Decisions included detailing what building work will be restricted to LBPs, a workable exemption for do-it-yourselfers, and proposals to streamline and simplify licensing to reduce cost and complexity.

It is expected that almost 20,000 building practitioners will be licensed by 2012.
Streamlining the LBP scheme is part of the Government’s Better Building Blueprint package of initiatives that will make it easier and cheaper for New Zealanders to build good quality homes and buildings.

The Better Building Blueprint measures will help New Zealanders build homes and buildings more easily, but not at the cost of building quality. Getting practitioners licensed is an important part of the mix.

Streamlining the application process
Before being licensed, applicants need to prove their competence for the work they take on. If qualifications and references show an applicant’s competence, they will require less assessment than someone without formal qualifications or proven experience.

The existing application process is still available for competent people without trade qualifications.
LBP Registrar Mark Scully says the changes simplify the scheme, without compromising standards.

“The streamlined assessment process means competent builders and tradespeople who completed training or qualifications now get recognition for their effort.”
Other streamlining measures come in during April 2010, include a single site and a single design licence based on straightforward building categories.
Applicants will provide evidence for the area of practice that best matches their experience. Once licensed, LBPs are expected to do only the work they are competent to do.

This approach allows people to gradually increase their skills and experience over time. That’s good news, particularly for those who are self-employed. It means they can improve their skills and take on bigger work over time, without having to worry about working outside the scope of their licence, or getting a new one.
Active promotion of the scheme to consumers gets under way this year. Builders and tradespeople who are licensed will have a definite marketing advantage.

Mr Scully says increasing numbers of practitioners are expected to apply, and more consumers will actively seek an LBP for their building work.
“A robust licensing scheme means consumers can have confidence that their homes are built right, first time.”
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