Licensed Building Practitioners Scheme

  • The Licensed Building Practitioners scheme is one of the changes in the Building Act 2004 to encourage better building design and construction. 
  • The scheme promotes, recognises and supports professional skills and behaviour in the building construction industry.
  • The Building Systems Performance branch of MBIE administers the scheme.
  • From 1 March 2012 critical building work that is known as Restricted Building Work, must be supervised or carried out by an LBP (Licensed Building Practitioner).                                                     
                                                                                    Visit the LBP website>>



Reminder to all Licensed Building Practitioners

Please make sure that your building license is current and legal, otherwise you won't be able to practise as a LBP!

If you are building, this affects YOU...

  • Consumers and building practitioners are affected, visit the  LBP website for more information. 
  • See "Build it Right" brochure from MBIE - PDF (543kb)
  • See  guidance documents relating to the different license classes below

The critical factors affecting the building industry are:

  • the requirement to employ the services of a licensed building practitioner from 1 March 2012 to either complete, or supervise restricted building work (see definition below).
  • the requirement to provide a Certificate of Design Work (COW) at building consent application. Architects and designers, read pg 12 and 13 of the design brochure re completing this form.
  • the names of all licensed building practitioners must be supplied to Council BEFORE construction begins. 
    Please note: you will NOT be able to book an inspection until this list has been supplied to Council.
  • If any Licensed Building Practitioner changes during the project, the council must be notified of these changes giving the new LBP's licensing details.
  • the requirement to provide a Record of Work (ROW) from each of the licensed building practitioners involved in the construction, when the project is complete. MBIE Interactive PDF (194kb) or Word doc.

Please note: each category of building practitioner has the Record of Work PDF and Word documents under 'the new process' in the MBIE website (see license categories below)

How do I find out if someone is licensed?

An LBP can be identified either by producing their photo ID license card or by checking their details against the registers.  ALWAYS check their name in the LBP register.


What is Restricted Building Work?   (PDF 651kb)                   

From 1 March 2012, only LBPs will be allowed to carry out or supervise 'restricted building work' (design and construction work that is critical to the integrity of a building).

  • See PDF (above) for a brief summary.
  • Therefore, a residential building consent application that involves restricted building work will need to include the names of LBP's carrying out or supervising that work.

The Government defines restricted building work as including the design and construction of a house or small-medium sized apartments and covers:

  • Primary structure (e.g., foundations and framing) - to ensure the building can withstand vertical and horizontal loads.
  • External envelope (e.g., roofing and cladding) - to ensure the building is weathertight.
  • Fire safety systems (e.g., sprinklers, fire alarms) - to ensure people are adequately protected from the dangers of smoke and fire.

Appropriately licensed building practitioners (LBPs) will be responsible for plans and specifications used in a consent application for restricted building work. See section 45(2)-(4) of the Building Act. For more information about Restricted Building Work, for homeowners visit the MBIE website, for those in the industry, visit license categories, and guidance documents.

See section 45(1)(e) of the Building Act.

Click here for information regarding Owner-Builder Exemptions and Restricted Building Work.


Major amendments to the plans that involve Restricted Building Work     (PDF 75kb)

If you lodge your building consent application for a residential building before 1 March 2012, the project will not involve restricted building work either for the design or for the construction.
If you want to make major amendments (changes) to this building consent after 1 March 2012, where  the changes will involve restricted building work, those changes will need to be designed by a design Licensed Building Practitioner and the construction must be done or supervised by trade Licensed Building Practitioners.
So be organised and be prepared and avoid complications to your project:

  • Talk with your designer, and check that they are licensed in case you have to make changes to plans later on in the project. Check the registers here.
  • At the start of the project make sure that the trades people you engage are licensed, so that you do not have to change trades people if you change your plans.

For more details, read information flyer above (PDF75kb) 

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License Categories & Guidance Documents

A person will be recorded in the register of LBPs because they have satisfied the Registrar of LBPs that they meet the standards for their licence class. See section 286 of the Building Act. There are seven license classes in the LBP scheme:   

Design (Architects, Designers & Engineers)

Licensing class category Guidance document Design process


Licensing class category

Brick and Blocklaying

Licensing class category Guidance document


Licensing class category Guidance document


Licensing class category Guidance document

External Plastering

Licensing class category Guidance document


Licensing class category Guidance document

You can apply to be licensed in more than one licence class but you must be able to demonstrate that you are competent in each class you apply for.

The competencies for the licence classes were developed by industry working groups. They represent the skills and knowledge that a competent person with sound experience in the building construction industry should be able to demonstrate.
The LBP scheme is for competent individuals. Companies and commercial entities cannot be licensed, but the people they employ or subcontract can apply to be licensed.

If your work is covered by one of the licence classes, this is your opportunity to have your skills and experience formally recognised. Visit getting licensed, and read Why get licensed?

To check if your builder / contractor are currently licensed under the LBP scheme, we recommend you search the Public Register by their name.

Architects, Designers, Engineers & Certificates of Work

Please read the MBIE brochure re completing this form, especially pages 12 and 13. The reference to plans and specifications should be the sheet / page number of the plans or specifications, and must be filled in. An "X" in any of the check circles is legally ambiguous. If a head designer does not sign off on all of the RBW elements listed, then there must be an additional CoW to cover these elements. Some examples are:

  • Where an engineer is responsible for the design of the foundations / subfloor; then the engineer must supply a Certificate of Work.
  • Where a CPENG engineer is responsible for any of the design, or review of the design; then a Certificate of Work must be supplied, along with their PS1 or PS2. See also Practise Note 2 (if completing a peer review).
  • Where a non CPENG engineer has done the design of any RBW, then they must provide a PS1; but they also must get a CPENG engineer, or a registered architect, or a design LBP to provide a Certificate of Work that covers their supervision (as a non CPENG engineer is not automatically considered a design LBP because they are not CPENG).

See also the Certificate of Work Guidance on the use of Certificates of Work, Producer Statements and Design Features reports for Chartered Professional Engineers.

If you are an Owner-Builder, and your project is a dwelling (restricted building work), please read the information on  Owner-Builder Exemptions .

Plumbers, Gasfitters and Restricted Building Work

Under the LBP scheme licensed or certified plumbers and gasfitters are deemed to be LBPs and can do the following restricted building work:

  • Brick and Blocklaying
  • External Plastering
  • Roofing.

They are treated as LBPs in these classes but must only complete Restricted Building Work that they have the competency to do. If they do this work they must meet all the obligations of a licensed building practitioner. This includes the following:

  • If they supervise or do any of this work then they must provide the owner will all the LBP details requested in the Building consent application form either at the time of the building consent application or before construction begins (use the LBP notification form). The owner is required by law to provide these details to the Building Consent Authority (BCA). If any of the required information is missing then the BCA cannot accept the application and it will be rejected. If it is rejected then construction cannot start until the required information is provided and approved. No inspections can be booked.
  • If the situation on site changes and the person supervising or doing the restricted building work changes then
    • The leading LBP (plumber or gasfitter doing RBW) must provide the owner and the BCA with a Record of Work (Form 6A) for the work they have done.
    • The BCA must be notified immediately and be provided with the details of the new LBP (use the LBP notification form). Construction cannot resume until the newly appointed LBP has been approved by the BCA. 
  • If a plumber or gasfitter is supervising or doing restricted building work then they must at the completion of their work, provide both the owner and the BCA with a copy of the Record of Work. The record of work must be completed in full and accurately describe the restricted building work that the plumber or gasfitter has supervised or carried out.

Offence under the Building Act 2004    

Undertaking or supervising RBW by a non-LBP is considered a serious offence in that critical building work is being done (without supervision) by practitioners who have not demonstrated their competence. The holder of the building consent or their agent could be prosecuted and face a Court fine of up to $20,000 if they knowingly engaged an unlicensed person to carry out or supervise RBW. A trade LBP who supervises RBW or carries out RBW unsupervised without holding the appropriate licence could:

  • Be prosecuted and face a Court fine of up to $20,000.
  • Also be disciplined by the Building Practitioners Board. A trade LBP may also face the same disciplinary action if they have held themselves out as having the appropriate licence when not actually having this licence.
  • Refer to Deliberate offence committed under Building Act on the LBP website under RBW - Offences and Penalties and New Zealand Legislation:
    • B. Act 2004 Sections 85, 86 and 314                

New Online Record of Work and Certificate of Work forms now available for LBPs

LBPs are now able to complete Record of Work (ROW) and Certificate of Work (COW) forms online.  The new functionally was introduced on 2 November 2015.  Read more.

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Page last updated: 2016-05-23

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