Carpentry Qualification Review — an update

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In September and October 2006 the Building and Construction Industry Training Organisation (BCITO) held 15 consultation forums around the country to give industry stakeholders the opportunity to step back and take a good look at the National Certificate in Carpentry — prior to the formal review taking place this year.

Some of the desired outcomes of the project were to ensure that the BCITO fulfils its leadership role in the industry as the standard setting body, to maintain the delivery of a current carpentry qualification that meets the needs of the industry, and that it continues to improve the capabilities and upskill the industry’s workforce.

A wide cross section of industry stakeholders attended the forums throughout the country, from past and present employers and apprentices, to assessors, provider representatives, regulatory agencies and standard setters.

The BCITO commissioned specialist research company CBA Consulting Group to facilitate the forums to guarantee consistency of data collection. Participants worked together in groups and recorded their feedback to a series of questions in answer booklets.

The information was collated and a report and executive summary was prepared and reviewed by a subcommittee of the BCITO Carpentry National Advisory Group (BCNAG).
After reviewing the report and executive summary, the subcommittee made recommendations to the BCNAG. The members of the National Advisory Group met to review the committee’s recommendations and have agreed to make a number of changes, in preparation for the full review of the carpentry qualification in 2007.

Some of the recommendations or changes made by the group include:
 increasing the areas in the qualification around regulatory requirements, codes, compliance and licensing,
 further consultation with the commercial sector to ensure the qualification is still meeting their needs,

 a higher consideration of numeracy and literacy skills is required for those entering the qualification and those already completing it,
 that the National Certificate in Carpentry remains intact as the national standard for carpenters and not be split to reflect the different areas of work or sectors that carpenters work in,

 that the BCITO investigate ways in which they can encourage apprentices to maintain an up-to-date knowledge of new materials, products and changes to the regulatory regime,
 modification of some specific practical unit standards to reflect commercial and residential scenarios, and
 acknowledgement of structural steel and steel framed construction within the qualification.

This year the recommendations in their entirety will be incorporated into the full review of the carpentry qualification which will include a detailed study of the unit standards and resource material.

Regional focus groups will be held in April to achieve this, and if anyone would like to be a part of one, please get in touch with your local BCITO office.
A national summary of findings and recommendations was distributed to all attendees of the forums last year. Copies are still available, and if you would like to receive one please contact 

Pauline Sutton, Qualifications Development Manager atpauline.sutton@bcito.org.nz. Alternatively, the documents can be viewed on the BCITO web site at www.bcito.org.nz/news/bcito.