Last updated: 10 April 2017
Building consent authorities must have a system to identify employees and contractors who are competent to provide technical leadership.
The objective of the regulation
Regulation 13 of the Building (Accreditation of Building Consent Authorities) Regulations 2006 (the Regulations) requires a building consent authority (BCA) to have a system to identify employees and contractors who are competent to provide technical leadership. This is intended to ensure that technical leadership is provided by those with the necessary skills, and that technical leaders effectively and competently support building control officials (BCOs) who perform building control functions.
Regulation 13 also requires that technical leaders are given the powers and authorities they need to perform their role. This may include the power and authority to perform building control functions, or the authority to sign off technical elements of policies, procedures or system, or technical matters related to consents.
Regulation 13 is available on the Legislation website.
MBIE’s guidance on meeting the accreditation requirement
Checklist for regulation 13 outlines the minimum criteria for compliance.
The policies, procedures and systems required by regulation 13 must, at minimum cover the requirements detailed below. If the accreditation requirements are met through a BCA’s parent organisation’s management system or delegation framework, the accreditation body will require access to that system for the purposes of an accreditation assessment.
In order to achieve the requirements of regulation 13, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) recommends (but does not require) that a BCA link its appointment of technical leaders into to its forecast workflow and the capacity and capability map required by regulation 8, its work allocation system required by regulation 9, and the competency assessment system required by regulation 10 of the Regulations. For example:
- if few complex consents are forecast or there are no planned reviews of policies, procedures and systems, a BCA may choose to enter into an arrangement with another BCA for technical leadership
- after reviewing its employee and contractor capacity and competencies, a BCA may choose to contract a private organisation to provide technical leadership and peer review of a policy rewrite related to fire safety system requirements.
A prospective technical leader’s competency for the role must be established. The competency assessment must include:
- evidence collection
- assessment of the evidence
- a record of outcome.
The competency assessment may be made through requesting, reviewing and assessing a combination of the technical expert’s:
- length of experience in their relevant discipline
- work undertaken in the relevant discipline
- feedback on past performance in the relevant discipline
- formal competency assessment (if any)
- professional references from suitable peers
- professional registration, memberships or affiliations.
Ultimately, the BCA should be satisfied that any technical leader will support its performance of building control functions consistent with all relevant legislation. A BCA may benefit from using a template or checklist to collate the information and evidence needed to satisfy itself of the competency of any technical leaders. This would help ensure any decisions and the reasons for them are recorded along with the required decision.
Of note, regulation 10 requires a BCA to have a system for determining the competency of prospective or current employees performing building control functions. Regulation 12 requires a similar approach to contractors. If a technical leader is performing any or all of the building control functions defined in regulation 3, then regulation 10 or 12 also applies (as relevant to the nature of the technical leader's employment relationship). The technical leader will need to have their competency assessed for any building control functions they perform. This is in addition to the determination of their competency to provide technical leadership (although the assessments can be combined).
Powers and authorities
To comply with regulation 13(b), a BCA must have a system for granting any required powers and authorities, and recording those powers and authorities, to its technical leaders. This can be achieved through including any relevant powers and authorities in:
- the technical leader’s job description and recording them in the relevant delegation framework
- a formal notification made to the technical leader by way of letter or email.
MBIE recommends that technical powers and administrative authorities are recorded on the BCA’s organisational structure (even if the leader or expert is not performing a building control function). This will have the additional benefit of providing clarity to all employees or contractors who may need to engage a technical leader. But, this is not an accreditation requirement.