Registrar’s update — RANZ How-to Guides and skills maintenance


By Building Practitioner Licensing registrar Paul Hobbs


I was recently asked about ways the Roofing Association of New Zealand (RANZ) How-to Guides can be drawn on for fulfilling Licensed Building Practitioners’ (LBPs’) skills maintenance requirements.

I’ve explained below how you can use these for the elective and the on-the-job learning aspects of the LBP scheme.


Elective activities

Elective activities are best thought of as those activities that relate to improving LBPs’ knowledge or understanding of a task or method of construction, or a regulatory setting.

Reading the How-to Guides are just that, and count towards the elective component of LBPs’ skills maintenance, so it’s important that you draw on any reading you do.

As suggested in the name, elective activities are activities you choose to do, and could include reading trade magazines or technical guidance material, much like the RANZ How-to Guides.

As well as elective activities, skills maintenance also includes compulsory activities such as on-the-job learning and reading the mandatory Codewords articles.

Reading general technical content is valid learning. Most Roofing LBPs require 12 hours of elective activities over a two-year skills maintenance cycle, and the RANZ How-to Guides may be used to fulfil a portion of this requirement, depending on how much time is spent and what is learnt from them.


On-the-job learning

Another part of LBP skills maintenance is on-the-job learning. This relates to the actual on-site application of new learnings.

The step-by-step How-to Guides produced by RANZ represent a means of completing an elective learning (by reading the How-to Guides) and on-the job-learning, which is when the work is physically carried out.


The learning process

For example, two to three hours could be gained by referencing the How-to Guides during a two-year skills maintenance cycle. As a flow on, two examples of on-the-job learning could be captured when you first implement the learning on site.


Can I use this article as an elective activity?

While this article is not a mandatory read, you can use it as an elective activity, and you can record the time you’ve spent reading it in your  skills maintenance diary.

In practice, it is likely to be easy to capture and record the combined time spent reading a particular publication rather than record time spent on an article-by-article basis.

Please note that you may record your skills maintenance online through the LBP portal or through a third party, such as an industry developed app, web site or on paper.

As you’ll know, the building industry is changing constantly and rapidly. One of the benefits of skills maintenance is that it enables licensed people to keep current on rule and technical changes that may affect them.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment regularly creates and publishes “mandatory read” articles on regulatory, technical, and health and safety practices as part of the LBP skills maintenance programme.

These articles feature in Codewords, and are tagged with the relevant LBP icon they relate to.

With respect to the mandatory reading for roofers, you can log in to the portal at, and the mandatory articles will be presented to you in your “dashboard”, along with the quiz to complete.

Ensure you’ve done them all, either in the portal or through another method mentioned above. This’ll make it easy to relicense when your skills maintenance is next due.


This article was first published in the Spring 2017 issue of Rooflink, the journal for members of the Roofing Association of New Zealand, and is reprinted with the permission of RANZ.

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