Licensed Building Practitioner
What are LBPs?
Under the Building Act 2004 the Department of Building and Housing established in November 2007 the Licensed Building Practitioner Scheme.
This scheme sets out a regulated process where skilled and/or qualified building practitioners are required to demonstrate their ability to meet industry consulted competencies in order to obtain the status of being a Licensed Building Practitioner (LBP). The scheme has seven licence classes:
- External Plasterers
- Bricklayers and Blocklayers
- Foundation specialist
- Site (These are on-site supervisors or managers)
Registered Architects and Plumbers as well as Chartered Professional Engineers are also deemed to be licensed.
Why use an LBP
The Licensed Building Practitioner logo confirms for consumers that the building practitioners they are engaging have been assessed as technically competent in their licensed field.
To retain their licence, an LBP is also to provide the Department with a record of training and activities such as reading industry publications or attending seminars they have undertaken as a means to ensure that their knowledge of their trade stays current in order to retain their licence.
From 1 March 2012 changes to the Building Act 2004 mean that building work (including design work) that relates to either the structure (load-bearing walls; foundations etc) or moisture penetration (roofs; cladding etc) of homes including small to medium sized apartments will be classified as ‘Restricted Building Work’ (RBW).
Restricted Building work, which also includes the design of fire safety systems for small to medium apartments, is deemed to be building work critical to the integrity of a building and therefore required to be carried out by competent, appropriately licensed building practitioners.
From 1 March 2012 it is an offense for an unlicensed person to carry out or supervise restricted building work and it is an offence to knowingly engage an unlicensed person to carry out or supervise restricted building work.
How to find an LBP
Our user-friendly, online public register of LBPs will enable you to find a suitable LBP for your building work, or determine whether a person you are dealing with is licensed. You will also be able to identify if an LBP has been disciplined within the last 3 years.
Registered Architects are already “deemed” to have a Design licence, and do not need to apply to be an LBP because of their existing registration. Similarly, Chartered Professional Engineers Link to the Chartered Professional Engineers website. are treated as if they are licensed in Design and Site.
What should I know before engaging an LBP?
An LBP can be identified either by producing their photo ID licence card or by checking their details against the public register.
Before undertaking any building project homeowners should ensure they are fully aware of their responsibilities. Read more information for homeowners and consumers.
If you do not want to manage the building project yourself then you may want to consider engaging a Site licensed building practitioner.
A Site licence shows competency in organising and managing building projects including demonstrating knowledge of the regulatory requirements of the building and construction industry; showing technical knowledge of construction methods and practices; managing personal and providing technical supervision.
If you are currently undertaking a building project then now is the time to check that the designer you are using is either licensed, or a registered architect or a chartered professional engineer. Whilst Restricted Building Work does not apply until 1 March 2012, it may take many months from the time you engage a designer until your building consent plans are submitted. If your designer is not licensed on 1 March 2012 any design work that includes Restricted Building Work may either not be able to be submitted or will need to be checked by a Licensed Designer; Registered Architect or Chartered Professional Engineer – potentially adding to the build costs.
What if my LBP gets it wrong?
Anyone can make a complaint to the Building Practitioners board if an LBP has:
- been convicted of a serious offence that reflects on their fitness to be an LBP
- done work negligently or incompetently
- done Restricted Building Work that they are not licensed to do
- carried out or supervised work that does not comply with a building consent
- held themselves out to be licensed in an area they are not
- not provided the memorandums necessary for Restricted Building Work
- obtained their licence dishonestly.
The Building Practitioners board is unable to award compensation or reparation to a complainant however is able to:
- cancel an LBP’s licence
- suspend an LBP’s licence for up to 12 months
- restrict the type of work that an LBP can do or supervise
- order that an LBP be formally reprimanded
- order an LBP to do training
- fine an LBP up to $10,000