Skills maintenance points to remain very accessible

0
202

Once you become a Licensed Building Practitioner and you have gained recognition of your expertise, you will be able to undertake restricted building work when that is implemented next year.

However, to stay licensed you need to undertake some “skills maintenance”.
Skills maintenance points show that practitioners are staying on top of their game and are aware of new developments in the construction sector.

Some people are a bit worried by this, but it is not as daunting as it seems. Trade merchants and industry associations have been putting in a lot of work behind the scenes to develop activities, and there is already a lot of choice available.
LBPs can choose the type and style of activities that best suit their needs and the requirements of their licence.

List of approved activities
To help with skills maintenance the registrar has approved a list of activities that gain points. Further details are available on the Department of Building and Housing (DBH) web site at
www.dbh.govt.nz/LBP-approved-activities-by-registrar.

The things you do don’t have to be on the list approved by the registrar, provided they are relevant, and keep you informed about things such as changes to the Building Code, building materials and design technologies, or managing a project.

This can include:
• reading trade-related information,
• attending short courses,
• attending trade sessions or conferences,
• on-the-job training,
• formal study, and
• supervising an apprentice or trainee.

To retain your licence you need to earn 24 points over two years for a trade licence, 30 points over two years for Site 1 and Design 1, and 36 points over two years for Site 2 and 3 and Design 2 and 3.
One point is equal to one hour of activity so the requirements are not that rigorous.

For example, reading the new Pink is Tough Timber Treatment for Enclosed Framing booklet put out by the DBH is worth six skills maintenance points.
Licensed Building Practitioners registrar Mark Scully says some people who call the DBH are a bit worried about skills maintenance, but find that they are already doing things to keep up to date without seeing this as “skills maintenance”.

“It’s often just another way of framing what you are already doing, and maybe extending that a bit,” Mr Scully says.
Every year the registrar contacts LBPs to confirm that they have been practising and want to remain licensed.

And every second year the registrar will ask LBPs to confirm that they have met the two-yearly skills maintenance requirements to remain licensed.
Practitioners can ask for their licence to be suspended temporarily if they are not currently working in the industry.

Further information about skills maintenance requirements is available at www.dbh.govt.nz/LBP-skills-maintenance.

Responsibilities of an LBP
Once you are licensed you must:
• not act incompetently or negligently,
• keep your details on the LBP register up to date,
• have a current identification card, and show it to people if they ask to see it,
• reply to the registrar’s annual contact with you,
• pay the annual fee and board levy, and
• demonstrate your current competence by continuing to practise in the relevant field, and by undertaking skills maintenance to keep skills and knowledge current.