Skills maintenance: What you need to know

Posted: 9 December 2016

LBP logo
If you’re a licensed building practitioner (LBP), skills maintenance helps you grow your skills and knowledge and keep up with important changes in your industry.
Licensing class - All

After consulting with the sector, MBIE introduced a new skills maintenance programme, including compulsory and elective activities, on 2 November 2015. When you start (or you may have already started) a new skills maintenance period after that date, you will move into the new programme – so it’s important you understand how it works.

Compulsory activities

The compulsory section of the programme requires you to do two things:

  1. Read the LBP articles in Codewords for your licence class. These articles cover technical and regulatory change, and are published when there is important information related to a specific licence class. Reading the articles for your licence class is compulsory, as is completing a short quiz that will help to reinforce what you have learned.
  2. Use your on-the-job learning as evidence of skills maintenance – the skills maintenance programme recognises that LBPs pick up new skills and learnings in the workplace. For example, you can record new health and safety knowledge gained at work as on-the-job learning.

Elective activities

The elective part of the new skills maintenance programme is the same as before except we’ve halved the number of points you have to earn. You can submit as many hours of learning as you want, but make sure you provide at least the minimum amount for your licence class.

Licence classMinimum hours of learning - elective activities
Carpentry, Foundations, Bricklaying and Blocklaying, Roofing and External Plastering licences 12
Site or Design licence in area of practice 1 15
Site or Design licence in area of practice 2 or 3 18

It’s important to remember that the hours you submit must relate to your learning from the elective activity. For example, if you are teaching an apprentice, you can only claim learning hours for the time you spent teaching where you gained or refreshed your own knowledge. You can’t claim the hours they worked for you.

Licensed building practitioner installing insulation

Keep a record as you may be audited

As part of the new programme, if you are audited you may be asked to provide evidence of your learning, so you should keep a record of the skills maintenance activities you do. This can be done by:

  • logging in to the LBP portal and submitting the information
  • using a third-party provider to log the information
  • keeping a written record of your learning.

You will be notified in advance if you are selected for audit and MBIE will provide you with information to help you understand what is required.


You can find information about possible elective activities and tips on keeping records for skills maintenance on If you have any questions about which programme you are in or what you need to do for skills maintenance, call 0800 60 60 50 or email


1) When does the new skills maintenance programme start for me?

a. 1 November 2015
b. When you next renew your licence
c. When your next skills maintenance period starts after 2 November 2015

2) How many hours of relevant elective learning do I need to do in the new programme?

a. 24 hours
b. Trade licences: 12 hours; Site/Design 1: 15 hours; Site/Design 2&3: 18 hours.
c. Trade licences: 24 hours; Site/Design 1: 30 hours; Site/Design 2&3: 36 hours.

3) What should I do with my skills maintenance evidence?

a. Submit it or keep it in case you get audited.
b. Put it in the rubbish bin.
c. Give it to mum or dad to look after.

4) What are the compulsory activities?

a. Reading the paper and lifting weights.
b. Doing your hair.
c. Reading Codewords and on-the-job learning.
d. Doing 12 hours of elective activities.

Check the answers

This information is published by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s Chief Executive. It is a general guide only and, if used, does not relieve any person of the obligation to consider any matter to which the information relates according to the circumstances of the particular case. Expert advice may be required in specific circumstances. Where this information relates to assisting people: