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Licensed Building Practitioners (LBPs)Kaupapa kaihanga whai raihana

If you need building or renovation work done on your home, you should check if it’s ‘restricted building work’ (RBW). If it is, you’ll need to work with a licensed building practitioner (LBP) to ensure its structure, weather-tightness, and fire safety systems are up to scratch.

When do you need an LBP?

If you’re thinking of getting building or renovation work done on your house or apartment, you need to check if it’s ‘restricted building work’ (RBW). If it is, you’ll need a licensed building practitioner – or LBP – to do it or it must be done under the owner builder exemption.

Restricted building work involves the building’s structure, weathertightness, and design of fire safety systems.

Because this work is so important, it’s only allowed to be done by licensed building practitioners (LBPs). LBPs are assessed before getting licensed, and have to maintain their skills to keep their licence.

Restricted building work, and the requirement to use LBPs to do it, was brought in on 1 March 2012 (through changes to the Building Act 2004).

Hiring good professionals to help you can be crucial to the whole building experience. Licensed building practitioners (LBPs) have undergone a robust application process, including a written application, verbal testing by proficient assessors, and referees’ confirmation of their work. They keep up with the changing industry and undergo continuous skills maintenance.

Build it right. Go to www.building.govt.nz for advice and guidelines on building regulations and to find licensed building practitioners.

What are LBPs?

Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (the Ministry) administers the register of Licensed Building Practitioners.

As of 1 March 2012 residential structural and envelope building work that is known as restricted building work, must be supervised or carried out by a LBP.

Consumers and building practitioners are affected, visit https://www.lbp.govt.nz/ for more information.

A person is recorded in the register of LBP after they have satisfied the registrar of LBP that they meet the standards for their licence class. See Section 286 of the Building Act.

There are seven license classes in the LBP scheme:

  • Design.
  • Site (these are on-site supervisors or project managers).
  • Carpentry.
  • Roofing.
  • External Plastering.
  • Brick and Blocklaying.
  • Foundation.

You can apply to be licensed in more than one license class but you must be able to demonstrate that you are competent in each class you apply for. See licensing publications on the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment website for more details.

Registered architects, plumbers and chartered professional engineers are also treated as being licensed to do or supervise certain elements of RBW.

The competencies for the license class were developed by industry working groups. They represent the skills and knowledge that a competent person with sound experience in the building construction industry should be able to demonstrate. The LBP scheme is for competent individuals. Companies and commercial entities cannot be licensed, but the people they employ or subcontract can apply to be licensed.

If your work is covered by one of the license classes, this is your opportunity to have your skills and experience formally recognised.

To check if your builder/contractor is currently licensed under the LBP scheme, we recommend you search the Public Register by their name https://lbp.ewr.govt.nz/publicregister/search.aspx.

Managing building projects

If you do not want to manage the building project yourself then you may want to consider engaging a Site LBP.

A Site LBP shows competency in organising and managing building projects. This includes having up to date knowledge of regulatory requirements, technical knowledge of construction methods and practices, managing personnel and providing technical supervision.

When you undertake a building project make certain that your designer is licensed or is a registered architect or a chartered professional engineer.

Design work that includes RBW may not be submitted by an unlicensed person and will need to be checked by a licensed designer; registered architect or chartered professional engineer.

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