On-the-job learning for Licensed Building Practitioners

Posted: 12 June 2020

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On-the-job learning was included as part of the LBP skills maintenance requirements in 2015. We recognised that many LBPs learn best by doing, and that elective skills maintenance activities don't capture learning on the job.
Article is relevant to LBP licence classes: All

Sometimes LBPs struggle to think of ideas for on-the-job learning, especially if they have been working with the same products and techniques for some time. While learning to use a new product or technique is a great example of learning, it’s not the only area of learning that is relevant.

Consider the range of skills LBPs need

LBPs require a range of skills and knowledge to carry out their work effectively. Here are some areas relevant to LBPs you may wish to consider for skills maintenance:

  • Regulatory knowledge – knowing your legal responsibilities, applying for building and resource consents, staying up to date with changes to the Building Code, participating in consultations.
  • Technical knowledge and skills – new products and techniques, putting theoretical knowledge into practice, learning from mistakes, refreshers, looking up standards and other technical guidelines.
  • Health and safety – learning safer methods of working, participating in site inductions, using new types of PPE or equipment with improved safety features.
  • Professional skills – managing contracts, liaising with clients, managing resources, supervising workers.

Some LBPs spend less time directly on the tools – for example, if they are undertaking more management or oversight type roles. It is a common misconception that these LBPs will struggle to complete on-the-job learning. However, LBPs overseeing projects will still need to maintain their regulatory knowledge, manage health and safety on site and hone their professional skills.

LBPs working in senior positions often supervise contracts, people and resources on the job. This type of work is relevant to their LBP professional skills and can be used for on-the-job learning examples.

Understand the difference between elective activities and on-the-job learning

Sometimes it is less clear if learning should be classified as an elective activity or on-the-job learning if it was completed while at work. For example, you might take a first aid course as part of your employment.

The on-the-job learning component of skills maintenance is designed to capture learning that doesn't fit under an elective learning activity, as it occurs organically while you are on the job.

A good rule of thumb is to consider listing the learning as an elective activity first, and then if it doesn't fit, consider including it as on-the-job learning. For example, a first aid course is structured training, so it would fit as an elective activity.

Record your learning

To record your on-the-job learning, you don't need to write a whole essay, but you do need more than one sentence. For us to understand the value of your on-the-job learning, you need to briefly cover the following:

  • Summary of the project or job and your role
  • What you learned
  • How this will improve your ability to work as an LBP.

You can also attach any relevant documents, such as plans, photos, records of work, specifications and meeting notes. It may be easier to fill in the record when you do the learning, so it is still fresh in your mind rather than waiting until your skills maintenance record is due.

The easiest way to add an on-the-job learning example to your skills maintenance record is to submit it to MBIE directly via the LBP portal online. Alternatively you can download the record of on-the-job learning form and send it in the post. There are also industry providers who offer tools to assist LBPs in collating their skills maintenance record, but you need to ensure these records are passed on to MBIE when your record is due.

Codewords issue 77 (Build magazine issue 157) has more information about on-the-job learning, or you can check out some further examples on the LBP website.

Useful links:

LBP portal to submit your skills maintenance record

Record of on-the-job learning form to send in the post

Codewords issue 77

Some on-the-job learning examples


1. How many on-the-job learning records do you need to provide for each skills maintenance cycle?

a. At least two in total.
b. Two per licence class you hold.

2. A senior builder has been supervising and providing technical guidance to an apprentice. Can the senior builder also use this activity for on-the-job learning?

a. Yes, if they think the experience has improved skills relevant to their licence class, such as supervision and managing staff.
b. No, as they were not doing the building themselves.

3. Completing a first aid course should be ?

a. Elective skills maintenance hours.
b. On-the-job learning.

Check 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: