About Licensed Building Practitioner (LBP) and other acccreditations

October 24th, 2013

If you’re thinking it’s time to get building or renovation work done on your home, you’ll need to check if it’s ‘restricted building work’ (RBW). If so, make sure you’re employing a licenced building practitioner (LBP) to do the job.

LBP’s may include designers, carpenters, brick and blocklayers, roofers, external plasterers, site and foundations specialists who have been assessed to be competent to carry out work essential to a residential building’s structure, weather tightness and design of fire safety systems.

Because this work is so important, it’s only allowed to be done by licensed building practitioners (LBPs). LBPs are assessed before getting licensed, and have to maintain their skills to keep their licence. A LBP is licensed in a similar fashion to licensed plumbers, electricians, architects and engineers.

Restricted building work can only be done or supervised by tradespeople who have proven they are properly skilled – licensed building practitioners (LBPs).  It is an offense for an unlicensed person to carry out or supervise RBW. It is also an offense to knowingly engage an unlicensed person to carry out or supervise restricted building work.

It’s RBW if it affects:

  • the primary structure (construction or alteration) – all the structural elements of the building that contribute to resisting vertical and horizontal loads
  • external moisture management systems (construction or alteration) – the building elements and systems which prevent the ingress of external moisture and help control moisture within the building fabric
  • fire safety systems (design) – the building elements intended to protect people and property from fire

It’s not RBW if it:

  • doesn’t need a building consent
  • doesn’t involve work to the home’s primary structure, weather tightness or design of fire safety systems

Licensed Building PractitionerIf you’re an owner-builder or considering DIY, check the LBP website so you know what’s expected of you.

What to look for when hiring a Licensed Building Practitioner (LBP)

If you are the homeowner it is your responsibility to make certain that the people you are using are licensed to do the work.  First of all, verify they’re licensed. Don’t take their word for it.  Ask to see their photo ID and check their details against the public register.

Check their licence class; licence status; status reason and suspension history.  If there is a suspension history – check the suspension end date to ensure the licence is current. By law, a non-licensed person can’t carry out RBW (unless they’re supervised by a LBP) or supervise RBW.

It’s worthwhile noting that LBPs should only undertake work that they are confident doing. A LBP licensed in Carpentry may be permitted to work on any category building (the degree of difficulty measured in category 1, 2 or 3) but might only have the confidence or experience in category 1 and that is where they should confine their work. It is up to the LBP to make sure he or she has sufficient skills and knowledge.

Hiring good professionals to help you can be crucial to the whole building experience. Licensed building practitioners (LBPs) have undergone a robust application process, including a written application, verbal testing by proficient assessors, and referees’ confirmation of their work. They keep up with the changing industry and undergo continuous skills maintenance.

As well as verifying their credentials it’s important to check their online reviews and contact previous customers for feedback.  For the most up to date information and lesiglation, visit the LPB website.

Electrical Work

For all electrical work that exceeds 32 volts a.c. or 100 volt d.c. a tradesperson must be registered by theElectrical Workers Registration Board. You can check registration details here.

Plumbing Work

For sanitary plumbing (most plumbing work involving pipes), gasfitting and drainlaying jobs, you are legally required to choose a certified plumber, gasfitter or drainlayer, or have the job supervised by one. You can check who is certified here.

If you don’t have time to check prior, and the tradesperson is required to be licensed, you should ask to see an ID license card, and take note of their license number. If they are licensed they are required to carry this with them.

Simply selecting a registered tradesman may not be enough to guarantee great work, so unless you’re doing a  small job, it’s important to get 3 quotes. The best source of recommendations are satisfied customers. Use Builderscrack to post a job and check out genuine reviews left by other homeowners.

We also display whether or not a tradesman is licensed under the schemes above, so you can proceed with confidence when receiving quotes, but we do recommend checking this yourself also for peace of mind before engaging a tradesperson.

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