Assessment agent appointed for LBP scheme

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A Lower Hutt-based company, Assessment Systems Limited (ASL), has been selected by the Department of Building and Housing to be its assessment agent for the Licensed Building Practitioner scheme.

ASL is part of a group of companies that specialises in regulatory assessment in New Zealand and Australia.
Once the scheme is implemented, specified core work on homes and buildings will need to be supervised or carried out by Licensed Building Practitioners, so that homes and buildings in 

New Zealand are designed and built right the first time. Voluntary licensing begins in November this year.
Licensed Building Practitioners will be required to demonstrate that they meet national competency standards within a series of occupational classes.

The Department of Building and Housing is currently developing licensing criteria and will manage the licence applications made by building practitioners.
ASL has been engaged to manage the assessment of applications, using assessors with industry experience to make recommendations to the licensing scheme’s registrar for final decisions.

The assessment criteria will include applicants’ work history and project records, client testimonials where possible, feedback from technical referees and applicants’ understanding of the responsibilities of the licences they are seeking. Qualifications will not be mandatory.

Building and Housing Department deputy chief executive Bruce Girdwood says given how important the assessment process will be, ASL’s appointment is a significant step in the licensing scheme’s development.

“The licensing scheme will assist in developing confidence in the building professionals that undertake core work on homes and buildings, and formally recognise the expertise of skilled people in the building sector,” Mr Girdwood says.

“Experience and a good track record will be critical requirements for gaining a licence. Assessment will not be based on a rigid tick-the-box formula and formal qualifications will not be required.

“Competent practitioners already in the building sector will not be required to re-train, and should have little difficulty gaining a licence to undertake core building work. Property owners should have increased confidence in the competence of practitioners performing important work on their homes and buildings.”

ASL chief executive Mike Lynskey says ASL’s experience in assessment in the aviation sector provides a good starting point for assisting the introduction of building practitioner licensing, in partnership with the Department of Building and Housing.