Code of ethics

On 26 October 2021 a code of ethics was introduced by Government for Licensed Building Practitioners (LBPs). There will be a one year transition period before it becomes enforceable.

The code of ethics will ensure high standards are maintained in the industry, while giving the public more confidence that LBPs  are reputable and operate ethically. The majority of LBPs  already meet these standards, but the code of ethics will hold those who do not to account.

From 25 October 2022, the code of ethics becomes enforceable by the Building Practitioners Board.

This provides LBPs  a year to understand their obligations. MBIE has developed guidance which includes explanations and practical examples of how the code of ethics can be applied. Additional resources will become available over the next year.

Summary of the code of ethics

The code of ethics is made up of nineteen standards, sitting under the following four key principles:

1. Work safely

  • Take responsibility for health and safety
  • Report unsafe behaviour by others on a building site
  • Avoid harming the environment.

2. Act within the law

  • Comply with the law
  • Report breaches of the law.

3. Take responsibility for your actions

  • Know what building work you are allowed to do
  • Explain risks to your client
  • Inform and educate your client
  • Be accountable for building work carried out by you, or someone under your supervision
  • Advise clients of any delays as soon as they become apparent
  • Act in your client’s interests
  • Generally, you should follow your client’s instructions, unless the instructions are dangerous, are contrary to contracts or consents, or would mean you would not be acting within the law.

4. Behave professionally

  • Behave professionally
  • Act in good faith during dispute resolution
  • Price work fairly and reasonably
  • Declare and manage actual or potential conflicts of interest appropriately
  • Maintain confidentiality of client details unless there is good reason for sharing information
  • Acknowledge and respect the cultural norms and values of your clients and colleagues
  • Conduct your business in a methodical and responsible manner.


Code of ethics poster

Summary Code of Ethics poster [PDF, 282 KB]

Code of ethics guidance

This guidance document helps to navigate the code of ethics by providing more detailed explanations and practical examples of how an LBP’s behaviour aligns with their obligations.

Code of Ethics guidelines [PDF, 771 KB]

Code of ethics learning module

This learning module is an interactive course to help LBPs understand the requirements of the code of ethics and what their obligations are under the code of ethics.

Learning module(external link)

What the law says

To understand what the law says, see: 

Building (Code of Ethics for Licensed Building Practitioners) Order 2021(external link)

More resources to come

MBIE will develop additional educational resources to help ensure everyone understands what they will need to do.

What happens if the code of ethics are breached?

If LBPs do not comply with their obligations, a complaint can be made against them which may result in disciplinary action by the Building Practitioners Board. Details on these grounds and a complaint form can be found under complaints and past decisions.

The code of ethics is not enforceable by the Building Practitioners Board until 25 October 2022. This means that complaints about someone breaching the code of ethics can only be made if the breach took place from 25 October 2022.