Important changes to LBP skills maintenance

Changes to LBP skills maintenance take effect on 2 November 2015.

Skills maintenance requirements are set to change

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) has completed its review of the LBP skills maintenance scheme and as a result identified where a number of improvements can be made to the existing framework. The current scheme requires LBPs to earn a set number of points in order to retain their licence, much of which relies on self-directed learning on the LBP’s part. This system has been in place since the scheme’s inception albeit with some slight adjustments over time. The review found that there are some credibility issues with the current scheme, including some LBPs doing activities that are not relevant to their licence class in order to earn the required number of points.. The new framework seeks to move away from an entirely points-based system in favour of a new ‘mixed-model’ approach with the aim of being more meaningful and relevant across all seven licence classes.
The new scheme was developed in consultation with LBPs, stakeholders and representatives from the Building Practitioners Board. It consists of both compulsory and elective activities, which is a departure from the current framework that relies solely on elective activities and gaining enough points to satisfy the respective ‘two-yearly continued licensing requirement’.

The new compulsory activities will consist of:

  • reading LBP News (part of MBIE’s Codewords newsletter), and
  • identifying two examples of on-the-job learning over the two-year skills cycle.

  The LBP News articles will focus on legislative and technological changes. LBPs will only have to read articles that are relevant to their licence class competencies (and underpinning area or areas of practice). LBPs will be required to complete a short quiz to ensure the key points have been understood. The on-the-job learning component recognises that LBPs often learn or upskill as they are working in the design office or out on site and as such the new scheme will look to harness these naturally occurring learning opportunities. For example, designers should look to exploit occasions where they have used an innovative or new design method while trade-based LBPs could cite the use of a new construction method or product  by capturing this learning in their respective certificate or record of work.
LBPs will carry on doing a range of elective activities although the amount of time spent doing these activities will reduce by half. 

The time spent upskilling will remain largely the same as it is currently. However, one of the primary objectives of the new model is to make LBP learning material more accessible. Hence the advent of LBP News and seizing opportunities for on-the-job learning.  
The new scheme can be implemented under the existing LBP Rules so no legislative change has been necessary. MBIE will road-test the new scheme during the first half of this year, so that any issues are resolved before LBPs are required to transition from 2 November 2015.

Further information on the new scheme will be published in upcoming editions of Codewords and in other trade publications in coming months. MBIE staff will also support the roll-out of the new scheme later in the year by partnering with building merchants and trade associations.

What do I need to take on board now?

  • LBPs will be required to transition into the new scheme on the date of their next two-yearly skills maintenance anniversary that follows 2 November 2015 (an example of how this will work is provided below)
  • The new scheme does not introduce any new activities, it simply makes two existing activities compulsory, namely on-the-job learning and reading the Codewords.

Example of one LBP’s transition across to new scheme

What are the perceived benefits of the new scheme?

  • It is based on other successful skills maintenance models and will prove more meaningful over coming years
  • The mixed model approach means LBPs will no longer be responsible for sourcing all their skills maintenance material as is currently the case
  • A 50% elective component still remains in place so LBPs can still gain points from attending seminars, conferences, reading industry publications and attending workplace safety training and the like which are relevant or of interest to them       
  • On-the-job learning will feature as a mandatory requirement so the everyday work activities can be captured and used for skills maintenance.  

What do I have to do from here?

More information will be provided over the coming months and remember it’s not about the points, it’s about quality learning outcomes that will ensure you are up to date and current in your building knowledge!

All the best for 2015,

Paul Hobbs
Registrar Building Practitioner Licensing