You've all probably heard of a Licensed Building Practitioner, or LBP for short, before. But what exactly is this? In this article we will cover what a Licensed Building Practitioner is, why you need one and how to check that they are in fact, an LBP.
What is a Licensed Building Practitioner?
The definition used on the official LBP website is as follows.
LBPs are building practitioners who have been assessed as competent to carry out building work essential to the structure or weathertightness of residential buildings.
Holding an LBP license means that you are able to carry out or supervise restricted building work.
To become licensed, a building practitioner must show to their assessor that they are competent in four main categories.
- Demonstrating knowledge of the regulatory environment of the building construction industry. This includes the purpose of the Building Act and Building Code, key features of the LBP system and the process for work that needs a building consent.
- Demonstrate knowledge of current building and trade practice. This covers safe working practices on site and environmental issues, preliminary site set-ups and carpentry/construction methods and practice.
- Plan and schedule carpentry work including interpreting working drawings, specifications, programme schedules and quantity lists.
- Finally, the last category is to carry out carpentry work. As you can imagine, this is the largest category and it covers a huge amount of building work.
Furthermore, for an LBP to renew their license they must prove that they have kept their knowledge up to date.
Why do I need an LBP?
The Licensed Building Practitioner scheme was developed to help home owners feel confident in the quality of building work in their homes.
Choosing to use an LBP for your project will ensure that you will have a warm, dry and safe home. In addition, you can be sure that it is built to last.
If your project includes any restricted building work (RBW), you must use a Licensed Building Practitioner. Any work that requires a building consent is regarded as RBW. Likewise, it is considered restricted, if building work affects your home's primary structure, weathertightness or certain fire safety design.
How do I know if my builder is a Licensed Building Practitioner?
There is two very simple ways to do this. The first, ask for their LBP card. An LBP should be carrying it to any job. After that, check that it is indeed the same person in the photo.
However, if you cant verify that your builder is an LBP by their card, you can check them out online. You can find the tool to do this on the LBP website and it is very easy to use. For example, all you need is their first and last name. This should be sufficient to find them on the register. Also make sure to check that their license is active.