Licensed Building Practitioners Scheme

Within the Building Act 2004 there was a requirement for Licensed Building Practitioners Scheme to be established to try and improve standards within the building industry and make building practitioners more accountable for their actions on site.  From March 2012 the Department of Building and Housing has established that all restricted building work must be carried out or supervised by a Licensed Building Practitioner.

Restricted building work includes:

  • Design and construction of a house or a small / medium sized apartment, primary structure (e.g. Foundations and framing) to ensure the building can withstand vertical and horizontal loads.
  • Design and construction of a house or a small / medium sized apartments external envelope (e.g. Roofing and cladding) to ensure the building is weather tight.
  • Design of fire safety systems (e.g. Sprinklers, fire alarms) for small / medium sized apartments – to ensure people are adequately protected from the dangers of smoke and fire.

The Scheme has been established to ensure people can use buildings safely without endangering their health, and contribute to the physical independence and well being of the people who use them.

Licensed Building Practitioners Scheme establishes that the following trades have to be licensed in order to carry out any restricted building work from March 2012.

Designers – Practice levels 1, 2, and 3


External plasterers

Bricklayers and Block layers

Foundation Specialists


Site / On site supervisors – Practice levels 1, 2, 3

Registered architects and Plumbers as well as Chartered Professional Engineers are deemed to be licensed as they are subject to their own professional body’s code of practice.

The Design license and Site license is split into three practicing categories.  These categories are based on the complexity of the building under design or construction.

These Categories are based on the following:

  • Category 1 buildings – single household buildings with low or medium risk envelope design.
  • Category 2 buildings – single household dwellings with high risk envelope design or any other buildings within a building height less then 10 meters.
  • Category 3 buildings- all buildings 10m or greater in building height except single household dwellings.

 To be granted a Licensed Building Practitioners License you must first satisfy the Department of Building and Housing of your work history, competence, education and supply references from previous clients.  To retain that license the practitioner must demonstrate they have carried out continued professional development, to keep abreast of any amendments or improvements within the building construction industry.

The Licensed Building Practitioner Scheme will not be a quick fix for issues of quality withinNew Zealand’s Building Industry.  It does however ensure that Building Practitioners are accountable for their actions and there are complaint procedures established by the Department of Building and Housing which can result in penalties, fines, suspension, cancellation or a limit of the scope of the license to any practitioner.

If you are thinking of having any building works carried out in the near future then consideration should be given to employing a Licensed Building Practitioner as these have provided sufficient information to the Department of Building and Housing to be deemed capable and competent in carrying out any works prescribed within their license class.

For more information regarding Licensed Building Practitioners check on the Department of Building and Housing website which has a list of Licensed Building Practitioners and establishes their practice level.  All Licensed Building Practitioners are provided with identification cards which include a photograph, registration number and practice level.

Prendos has a large number of Licensed Building Practitioners – Design Practice Level 3 who can design and oversee restricted building works on any building in new Zealand.