The year of the Licensed Building Practitioner

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Building reputations and skills for people working in the building sector is one of the aims of the current Building Act Review.
A solid construction sector producing a beneficial impact on New Zealand’s economy is also included in the aims.

The Licensed Building Practitioners (LBP) Scheme is one of the many changes in the Building Act 2004 designed to encourage better building design and construction.
It also aims to give the public confidence that licensed building practitioners working on their homes and buildings are competent, and that homes and buildings are designed and built right the first time.
However, before any of these things can be achieved, New Zealand must have enough LBPs to underpin the changes.

There will be many advantages for the carpenters, tradespeople and designers applying for a licence:
• It is a competency-based scheme where the skills and knowledge already possessed will form the basis of assessment for licensing. In the future, it will become a qualification-based scheme where a formal qualification will be needed to become licensed.
• Being an LBP shows consumers that the holder is competent and highly skilled, and a preferred provider of services.
• Under proposed changes to the building consent system, those who remain unlicensed will be prevented from carrying out some types of work.
• When the Building Act Review as proposed goes ahead, it will provide the foundation for the Productivity Partnership’s (a partnership formed with industry to create a healthy construction sector) work in ensuring a more profitable, productive and stable work stream in the construction system.

This will see practitioners provided with a steady income stream and a long-term career path in New Zealand, and the opportunity to develop their skills and talents.
The construction sector is an essential part of New Zealand’s economy. It employs more than 150,000 people and amounts to between 4% to 5% of GDP.

The building sector is also an important contributor to health, safety and financial security outcomes for all New Zealanders.
Licensing promotes, recognises and supports professional skills and behaviour in the construction industry.
The sector has responded well to the scheme, with thousands already applying to become licensed.

The Department of Building and Housing is making it easy for building practitioners to apply, by holding a series of workshops around the country where expert staff will explain the process, and be on hand to help complete the application form and to ensure that the correct licence class is applied for.
Why should I apply now?

Being licensed now is a wise choice with a definite marketing advantage. Consumers are already choosing formally-recognised professionals to carry out work.
Now that the Licensed Building Practitioners Scheme framework is complete, active promotion of the scheme is under way. This promotion will give further momentum to the scheme.

The Department of Building and Housing is expecting increasing numbers of practitioners to apply, and for more consumers to actively seek an LBP for their building work. Getting a licence now means builders can reap immediate benefits and not miss out on work where a client wants to engage an LBP.
As the economy picks up, the building sector needs to be prepared — and now is the time to get applications in.

Where can I get more information and help?
You can find extensive information on the web site at www.dbh.govt.nz/lbp. If you have a particular question, or would rather talk to someone, call 0800 60 60 50.

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