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2. Background

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2.1 On 7 October 2010, The Appellant submitted his application to the Registrar to be licensed as a Design/Area of Practice 3 building practitioner. The application was treated as complete and was sent for assessment (under Rule 11) on 12 October 2010.

2.2 Assessment Systems Limited (ASL) reviewed the application and arranged an appointment for a face to face meeting for 2 November 2010. The assessment was completed by an Assessor on 15 November 2010, and a peer review of the assessment was conducted on 24 November 2010.

2.3 The Assessor recommended to the Registrar (under Rule 11) that The Appellant's application for the Design/Area of Practice 3 should be declined, and that a Design/Area of Practice 2 should be granted.

2.4 In regard to the Design (Area of Practice 3) application the Assessor found that The Appellant did not meet the requirements for:

Competency 2: Manage the building design process. Competency 4: Develop design and produce construction drawings and documentation.

After taking into account the recommendation of the Assessor and the requirements of section 286 of the Act, the Registrar decided (under Rule 12) to decline the application for Design/Area of Practice 3, and grant Design/Area of Practice 1.

2.5 In order to become licensed, The Appellant was required to satisfy the Registrar that he met the applicable minimum standards for licensing (under section 286 of the Act). These minimum standards are set out in Schedule 1 to the Rules, in the form of "competencies" which must all be satisfied, as follows:

• Competence 1: Comprehend and apply knowledge of the regulatory environment of the building construction industry. • Competency 2: Manage the building design process. • Competency 3: Establish design briefs and scope of work and prepare preliminary design. • Competency 4: Develop design and produce construction drawings and documentation. In order to be licensed an application must demonstrate that he/she meets all the Competencies of a Licence Class.

2.6 These competencies may be demonstrated by meeting some or all of the performance indicators for that Competency that are also set out in Schedule 1 (Design Competencies) of the Rules. In carrying out an assessment, the Assessor must use the 'Assessor Guidelines' prescribed by the Registrar (see Rule 11(1).

2.7 The competencies address a broad range of skills and knowledge a design practitioner should be able to demonstrate. These address the skills and knowledge necessary for a designer to be able to satisfactorily demonstrate compliance with the New Zealand Building Code. The competencies also address other skills that a competent designer is expected to demonstrate, for example managing the design process of establishing a design brief in consultation with a client.

2.8 The Registrar must take into consideration the Assessor's recommendation before making a decision under Rule 12(2).

Reliance on the Assessor's recommendation does not mean that the Registrar cannot reach a different view about an applicant from the view reached by the Assessor. The Registrar is required to maintain an independent view. In the normal course of events, however, the Registrar will accept a recommendation of an Assessor, unless there are strong reasons for not doing so.

2.9 In making the recommendation to decline the Design/Area of Practice 3 application, the reasons below were recorded by the Assessor.

(a) There was a lack of evidence supplied to cover the Design 3 competencies, and an inability to verify The Appellant's verbal claims of his involvement in a significant design 3 project.

(b) The Appellant provided evidence of one medium sized educational alteration (Design 2) which extended from pre-design through to completion.

(c) There were omissions and errors in The Appellant's processes outlined in the educational project, and an almost complete lack of evidence on the larger rest home project.

(d) The Appellant has no formal qualification, does not belong to any professional body and has very little record of any continued professional development.

(e) The Appellant practises alone and is very much out of touch of many critical aspects of the current regulatory regime (eg The Appellant was unaware of the Construction Contracts Act, and made references to himself being an Architect, very much contrary to the Architects Act 2006 (sic)).

(f) The Appellant's experience would see him confidently cope with Category 2 buildings, but his over confidence and keenness could see him creating problems for more complex Category 3 buildings unless he upskiils himself and can show evidence in the future of overcoming the concerns raised elsewhere in this report.

(g) The first referee ([name redacted]) hinted at areas where his role as the client's property manager has exceeded that of The Appellant, and some areas where The Appellant's documentation was lacking. [name redacted] was somewhat surprised at The Appellant's application for a LBP licence as he had been made to believe that The Appellant was a Registered Architect.

(h) The second referee ([name redacted]) outlined the work The Appellant did for [company redacted] over an 18 month period. He advised that although the buildings involved were Category 3, The Appellant's involvement did not include any formal on-site administration.

2.10 The Registrar based his decision to decline the Design/Area of Practice 3 application solely on the Assessor's recommendation, for the reasons set out above. He did not consider that there was sufficient reason or concern to overrule that part of the Assessor's recommendation.

2.11 The Assessor recommended that The Appellant be granted the Design/Area of Practice 2 licence. The Registrar's reasons for instead granting the Design (Area of Practice 1) licence are outlined below.

" 27. Two parts of the Assessor's report on The Appellant regarding the word' architect' caused me concern: • The first referee, [name redacted] (a property manager), had thought that The Appellant was an architect. •The Appellant is reported as referring to himself as an architect during his meeting with the Assessor.

28. The Appellant has claimed that over a 25 year career as a designer in the building industry, he has been involved with many projects including at Design 3 level.

29. I appreciate that changing circumstances mean that sometimes records and/or key people will not always be available. However, I was concerned that The Appellant appears to have struggled to provide the Assessor with evidence to verify his account of his experience.

30. A key part of Design Competency 1 is the ability of the designer to explain the importance of and operate within the scope of individual competence, and recognise when other expertise is required.

31. The Appellant is reported as lacking formal qualifications, not affiliated

to any professional body, lacking evidence of continued professional development, and working alone.

32. I was concerned that the Assessor noted in his report: • Concerns in some critical areas of insurance, progress claim processes and final certification. • A Code Compliance Certificate had not been obtained several months after practical completion and occupancy of the school, especially as this related to fire alarm, building warrant of fitness and occupancy issues. • There was no evidence of the insurances being put in place, even though blank pro-forma pages from NZS 3910 had been included. This was also the situation with other schedules in the conditions of contract which led to some questioning as to whether the contract was not just too formal. • A complete lack of understanding of and compliance with the Construction Contracts Act.

33. Viewed in the context of the omissions noted in paragraph 32 above, I was concerned that The Appellant does not know what he does not know, and that this lack of self awareness could create risks for his clients.

Summary of concerns

34. If I granted The Appellant the Design/Area of Practice 2 licence recommended by the Assessor, the public would have the right to expect that The Appellant meets the minimum standard of competence for designing complex residential work and commercial buildings less than 10 metres tall (i.e. Category 2 buildings).

35. My concerns around the use of the word 'architect', a lack of corroborated evidence, and indications that The Appellant may not know what he does not know, all raised doubts for me about whether the Appellant meets the competencies for Design/Area of Practice 2."

Last updated 11 May 2015