Licenses and Qualifications
Updated: Nov 1, 2019
There are so many terms running around at the moment, how do you know your builder has the right qualifications for your Job?
So, to break it down as simple as possible:
Qualified – Has completed an apprentiship (can be any experience level)
Licensed – Experienced and has a Government license to work on Restricted Building Work
Certified – A Member of the Certified Builders Association (must hold qualifications)
Master – A Member of the Master Builders Organisation (no formal qualifications required)
Master Builders and Certified Builders are not actually a Qualification, licence or skill level, they are simply members of building associations. But this also holds merit as you can read below.
Lets go into a little more detail on each classification, starting with the highest class first:
Licensed Building Practitioner (LBP)?
Licensed Building Practitioners (LBP) is a Government Licensing Scheme launched in 2007. Its purpose is to encourage competent building practitioners to build homes right the first time. Practitioners are assessed for expertise and experience as well as qualifications.
Only a LBP can carry out and oversee Restricted building work (work that's critical to make a home structurally sound and weather tight). See more on restricted building work
A Licensed Builder (LBP) is:
An Qualified Builder
Years of experience with a good track record
Proven standard of competency and professionalism
Up to date with changing regulations and standards
Completes mandatory workshops and upskilling
Has been assessed as competent to carry out Restricted Building including Weather tightness and Primary structure work
To keep their License, an LBP must provide ongoing recording of skill maintenance and continue to meet the minimum standard required. If your builder is an LPB, they have all the skills and qualifications to build a New home or complete large renovation.
How do I check if my Builder is Licensed?
ask to see their LBP ID card and check the online LBP register at www.lbp.govt.nz
What is a Qualified Builder?
A Qualified Builder has completed an apprenticeship and gained a National Certificate in Carpentry, usually a NZCEA qualification.
A Qualified Builder is:
Completed their 3-4 years apprenticeship to gain a carpentry qualification
No compulsory ongoing training or knowledge maintenance
Can NOT perform Restricted Building work without supervision
A qualified builder can be very experienced or be straight out of an apprentiship, it all depends on the time the builder has spent in the building industry.
What is a Certified Builder (NZCB)?
New Zealand Certified Builders is a membership organization set up by a group of trade qualified builders in 1998.
It's aim to create a group that would protect homeowners from unqualified builders and unethical practices, as well as support building contractors.
NZCB only accepts qualified building professionals, carrying:
Completed apprenticeship in carpentry prior to 1980 and have remained actively engaged as a builder; or
Trade Certificate (or equivalent), or a National Certificate in Carpentry or Advanced Carpentry; or
Certificate in Building (NZCB); or
Any recognised overseas qualification.
NZCB Members follow a Code of Practice, providing standards for all the stages of the building process. The Code requires NZCB builders to:
Only quote for a project if they have the time to take it on.
Have sufficient insurance cover for the contract.
Provide a 10-year HALO Builders Guarantee.
Arrange a date to return to deal with any defects which may have arisen during the first few months of you living in the house.
NZCB members are also bound by a Code of ethics and Conduct, promoting honesty and integrity, and law and industry standards compliance. NZCB monitors their members and complaints, any misconduct found by the board results in the cancellation of that membership.
NZCB Supports their members and provide specialised insurance, they promote & provide training, workshops and seminars to keep members on top of the ever-changing regulations. See more about NZCB
NZCB Members also offer HALO – New Zealands most comprehensive 10 year building guarantee Click here for more information and comparisons on building Guarantees
What is a Master Builder (RMB)?
Registered Master Builders (RMBA) is also a membership organization rather than a qualification. Aiming to provide their members with the support and services they need to build better building businesses.
Registered Master Builders must meet the following criteria:
A minimum of six years building experience, comprising completion of a carpentry apprenticeship, or
A relevant tertiary building related qualification; and have at least three continuous years as a builder or management of a building business, or
A minimum of eight years continuous building experience, comprising of five years+ as a building contractor or management of a building business, no formal examinations (qualifications) needed.
The RMBA has a Constitution and Code of Conduct, which Registered Master Builders must comply with at all times. They also provide their members with contracts, training and support.
Like NZCB, Registered Master Builders also offer a third party written guarantee on all new homes and renovations,
To become a RMB, the person or company must provide trade references from their accountant, bank, and merchants to prove they are financially responsible and can run a business. They must also provide examples of their work for inspection. Several times a year the RMBA mobile service team will inspect their work.
To sum it up
Most builders are Qualified, but it depends on their training and experience in the industry as to how good they really are, they also can not work on the exterior enverlpoe of the property or important structural work without being supervised by an LBP. Being Licensed with the Government LBP scheme means these builders are competent and experienced and can oversee and sign off all building work.
Certified Builders and Master Builders belong to building Associations that support builders to manage and run their company in a way that complies with regulations and good practice and ethics. They also are supplied decent building contracts and must provide Guarantees on their work.
Do it right and Know your rights
Knowing your rights, the builders legal obligations and responsibilities, how to compare building quotes and how to select the right builder for you will help you ensure a perfect Base to build your house on.