Builders may have to upskill to meet higher standards under the overhaul of the Building Act

Scores of builders, maybe hundreds, may have to complete more training under the proposed overhaul of the Building Act.

As part of the act's review the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment has proposed a major revamp of the licensed building practitioners (LBP) scheme where about 25,000 people, many builders, hold licences.

Reassessments of skill levels for all licensed building practitioners, new training, and having to pass a fit and proper person test are on the cards in MBIE's proposals.

Importantly, it also wants to expand the scheme to require commercial construction companies to have LBPs to supervise other building staff and that might require another 12,000 LBPs. At present the scheme is only for homes and small to medium apartment buildings.

To expand the scheme may be a big ask in an industry where the competency level for an LBP was deliberately set low when it started in 2007 because the industry was concerned it might lose too many experienced builders.

Higher standards expected of licensed building practitioners in the future

The LBP scheme is the main way of ensuring the construction workforce is competent, skilled and held accountable, MBIE says.

LBPs are building practitioners who have been assessed as competent to carry out and supervise restricted building work, which is work essential to the structure or weathertightness of residential buildings.

Under the Building Act 2004 only an LBP is licensed to carry out or supervise restricted building work.

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