Qualified, licensed and certified NZ builders: understanding the differences
It's important to understand the key differences between the three main types of qualifications builders can have in New Zealand.
Building or renovating a property can be a significant investment, both financially and emotionally. It is essential to ensure that the builders you engage with have the necessary skills and experience to deliver quality work that meets your expectations.
In New Zealand, qualified builders, Licensed Building Practitioners (LBPs) and builders accredited by the New Zealand Certified Builders Association (NZCB) have met certain standards of competency and professionalism. However, there are some key differences between the three qualifications that are important to understand.
What is a qualified builder?
A qualified builder is someone who has completed a recognised building qualification, such as an apprenticeship or a diploma in building, typically through a registered training provider. This qualification indicates that the builder has gained the necessary theoretical knowledge and practical skills to work in the building industry. To become a qualified builder in New Zealand the minimum requirement is to attain the National Certificate in Carpentry Level 4. This qualification involves a combination of on-the-job training and theory work and typically takes 3-4 years to complete. It is designed to equip builders with the necessary knowledge and skills required to work competently in the building industry.
However, a qualification alone does not necessarily mean that the builder is licensed or registered to carry out building work.
What is a licensed builder?
To become a Licensed Building Practitioner (LBP) in New Zealand, builders must be registered with the Building Practitioners Board and hold a current LBP license in the relevant category of building work they intend to undertake. LBPs must have a certain level of practical experience and pass a written assessment to demonstrate their technical knowledge in their area of practice. The LBP scheme was introduced in New Zealand to ensure that builders are competent to carry out certain types of building work and can provide homeowners with added assurance that their work will comply with the Building Code.
What is a certified builder?
On the other hand, a certified builder in New Zealand is a builder who has been accredited by the New Zealand Certified Builders Association (NZCB) after meeting certain standards of competency and professionalism. To become a certified builder, the builder must have a certain amount of practical building experience and pass a rigorous assessment process that includes both practical and theoretical assessments. The NZCB accreditation process assesses builders' competency and professionalism across a range of building practices, including site management, health and safety, and customer service. To maintain their NZCB accreditation, builders are also required to meet ongoing training and development requirements.
A licensed + certified builder will provide you with the best assurance
While both LBP and NZCB-accredited builders have demonstrated a certain level of competency and professionalism, an LBP license indicates that the builder has been assessed as competent in a particular area of building work and is authorised to carry out that work. In contrast, an NZCB accreditation indicates that the builder has met a broader range of competency and professionalism standards across all areas of building work. Both types of builders can carry out building work, but engaging a certified builder may provide greater assurance of quality and professionalism.
Ultimately, choosing the right builder for your project will depend on your specific needs and requirements. It's essential to do your research and choose a builder with the right qualifications, experience, and reputation to deliver quality work that meets your expectations.