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LBP licence classes

Occupational Licensing aims to ensure that people in the building industry are competent and accountable so that homes and buildings are designed and built right first time.

Summary of licences

Licensed Building Practitioners (LBPs) are assessed before getting a licence, and have to keep their knowledge up to date to keep their licence.  They’re licensed for the type of work they do and what they have expertise in.  Here you will find examples of the type of work covered by each licence class.

You must use an LBP to design or carry out restricted building work. An LBP must do or supervise this work.  They must work within the scope of their licence class. 

If you know which type of licence class holder you need, you can search the public register to find an LBP or check which licence they hold and view their licence history, including if they have been disciplined in the last 3 years. 

Check the LBP register on the LBP website.

Design licence

Design work is the preparation of drawings and specifications for buildings which will be constructed or altered.

People (such as architectural designers and draftspeople) must be assessed as being competent to carry out design work in order to become design LBPs.  Check the LBP register to see if your designer holds a current licence in the design class.

New Zealand Registered Architects and Chartered Professional Engineers are automatically treated as LBPs in the design class. This means they can design restricted building work.

The plans and specifications that support your building consent are a very important part of the process. Your builder builds to the plans, and council signs off on them.

LBP designers will have to make decisions for the building project about how compliance with the Building Code will be achieved.

When preparing design plans, specifications and documents for the building consent application, they have to ensure they provide enough relevant information. They also have to detail all restricted building work in the project in a Certificate of Design Work (also known as a CoW). Designers cannot contract out of this obligation.

There are times when more than one designer has worked on a project, in which case all the information must be aligned. When the Certificate/s of Design Work are read together by the council, it should be clear who has done or supervised which parts of the restricted building work.

Providing a design summary

Designers do not have to use or provide a ‘design summary’ for the council but it is very useful and is becoming industry best practice.

A design summary can:

  • help you and the council understand how the design will comply with the Building Code
  • show which parts of the project relate to Building Code Compliance (or to construction, or to contract)
  • give references to design documents and details
  • act as a checklist during construction to show where design plans might need a variation, amendment or a new building consent
  • help reduce the consent processing time and avoid costly delays.

Carpentry licence

The following is an example of the restricted building work someone holding a carpentry licence class can do or supervise.  

Note: there are some overlaps between licence classes, for example someone holding a carpentry licence may also carry out or supervise:

  • construction of concrete foundations and/or pile foundations
  • installation of lightweight profiled metal roofing. 

Foundations and floors

  • prepare site for construction, including taking levels on site and setting building out on site
  • excavate and prepare for footings and slab on ground in accordance with documentation
  • construct and erect formwork for footings, foundation walls and floors
  • fabricate, place and tie reinforcing steel and steel mesh
  • receive, place, finish and cure concrete
  • attend to and check concrete masonry structures.

Construct floor framing

  • install timber sheet flooring
  • install timber strip flooring
  • install suspended beams
  • install pre-cast and pre-fabricated elements
  • excavate and prepare for slab on ground in accordance with documentation
  • construct and erect formwork for floors
  • fix bearers, stringers, bracing
  • pile footing excavations
  • fix sub-floor brace systems.

Walls and columns

  • construct and erect wall framing
  • construct and erect internal linings and bracing systems
  • install pre-cast and pre-fabricated elements
  • erect some exterior claddings
  • construct and erect exterior joinery
  • construct and install penetrations and flashings
  • install facings
  • install scribers
  • install seals
  • form cavities
  • install profiled metal wall cladding.

Roofs

  • construct and erect roof framing (including trusses)
  • install lightweight profiled metal roofing only, including:
    • flashings
    • facings
    • seals.

If they have any specialist sub-contractors working for them, such as window installers or aluminium flashing kit installers, and these tradespeople are not licensed, the carpentry licence holder must supervise their restricted building work. This must be detailed in the Record of Work.

Roofing licence

The following is an example of the restricted building work (construction or installation) someone with a roofing trade licence carry out or supervise:

Concrete or clay tile roof

  • Undertake preparation for installation:
    • determine batten set out
    • set out bottom course
    • set out valley
    • secure and lay underlay
    • install valley trays and flashings
  • pin out roof
  • lay roof underlay
  • fix battens
  • load tiles on to roof and lay in sequence
  • fix tiles
  • fit cut tiles (for valleys and hips)
  • fit top course
  • install roof accessories
  • install flashing
  • install penetrations
  • install other accessories
  • bed and point accessories
  • inspect finished roof and correct defects.

Profiled metal roof

  • Undertake preparation for installation:
    • determine fixing pattern
    • confirm underlay and support, and under flashings
  • load roof materials on to work area
  • mark and pre-drill sheets
  • fix roof cladding
  • install penetrations
  • install accessories
  • measure and install flashings
  • inspect finished roof and correct defects.

Metal tile roof

  • Undertake preparation for installation:
    • determine batten set out
    • set out bottom course
  • pin out roof
  • lay roof underlay
  • install valley trays
  • fix battens
  • load tiles onto roof
  • fix tiles
  • fit cut tiles (for valleys and hips)
  • fit top course
  • nail off to manufacturers’ specifications
  • install roof accessories
  • flash penetrations and other accessories
  • inspect finished roof and correct defects.

Roof or deck membrane

  • Undertake preparation for installation:
    • check substrate (including material, moisture content, falls, fixings, soundness)
    • remove loose material
    • tape plywood joints
    • install accessories - scuppers, substrate vents, overflows, sumps and forming rebates
    • install drip flashings
  • load membrane onto roof
  • arrange membrane orientation and cut to length
  • apply adhesive and lay membrane
  • apply seam tapes to waterproof joints and laps
  • pressure roll membrane and laps, chases and pressure bar flashings
  • finish membrane to upstands
  • flash roof penetrations
  • inspect finished roof and correct defects
  • carry out water test.

Torch on roof or deck membrane

  • Undertake preparation for installation:
    • check substrate (including moisture content, falls, fixings, soundness)
    • remove loose material
    • install accessories - scuppers, substrate vents, sumps and forming rebates
    • install drip flashings
  • load and arrange sheet and lap orientation (including cutting)
  • apply primer and allow to dry
  • apply under flashings
  • torch on membrane to substrate
  • torch and fuse the end and side laps, chases and pressure bar flashings
  • finish membrane to upstands
  • flash roof penetrations
  • apply surface coatings
  • inspect finished roof and correct defects.

Liquid membrane roof or deck

  • Undertake preparation for installation:
    • check substrate (including moisture content, falls, fixings, soundness)
    • remove loose material
    • rectify and fill defects to substrate
    • install accessories - scuppers, overflows, sumps, substrate vents
    • install drip flashings
  • apply primer and allow to dry
  • apply penetration and joint reinforcing strips to substrate
  • apply membrane
  • finish membrane upstands and drip flashings
  • flash roof penetration
  • apply surface coating
  • inspect finished roof and correct defects.

Shingle or slate roof

  • Undertake preparation for installation:
    • install underlays and underflashings, battens and plywood
    • install drip flashings
    • sort and size shingles
  • pin out roof
  • lay roof underlay
  • fix battens
  • load shingles or slate onto roof
  • fix shingles or slate
  • fit cut shingles or slate (for valleys and hips)
  • measure and fit top course
  • flash penetrations and fit flashings
  • inspect finished roof and correct defects.

This restricted building work is listed with regards to the installation of a new roof. Alterations can also fall under restricted building work.

In relation to walls, roofer LBPs can do or supervise the construction/installation of profiled metal wall cladding:

  • determine fixing pattern
  • mark and pre-drill sheets
  • fix wall cladding
  • install penetrations
  • measure and install flashings
  • inspect finished roof and correct defects.

Brick and block laying licence

The following is an example of the restricted building work someone with a brick or block-laying trade licence can carry out or supervise:

Structural Masonry

  • prepare reinforcing steel of correct grade, dimensions, and size according to specifications and drawings
  • lay masonry units, including:
    • prepare mortar
    • select appropriate masonry units
    • lay using the correct bond to leave cores uninterrupted
    • form clean out ports
    • place and tie reinforcing steel according to specifications and drawings
    • prepare cavity and closing off clean out ports
  • place grout into cores and cavities.

Brick veneer

  • lay a limited foundation wall to a maximum height of 1.2 metres
  • ensure openings are flashed and building wrap is fixed
  • lay brick veneer and related masonry units including:
    • select and lay veneer masonry units using the correct bond
    • make provision for clean out ports in first row
    • provision of weep holes according to NZ Standard requirements
    • ensure equivalent vent holes provided in last course
    • screw wall ties according to NZ Standard requirements
  • create control joints
  • lintel installation for openings.

Licensed or certifying plumbers and gas fitters can carry out and supervise fitting and sealing or flashing of pipework through exterior walls, and certain roofing and cladding work in the ordinary course of their work.

External plastering licence

The following is an example of the restricted building work someone with an external plaster trade licence can carry out or supervise:

Solid Plastering

  • check and prepare existing and new solid surfaces for plastering
  • check and prepare frame construction, substrate and reinforcing for plastering
  • apply scratch coat
  • apply flanking coat to prepared walls and soffits
  • apply plaster finishing coat to exterior surfaces.

Proprietary Plaster Cladding Systems (PPCS)

  • for Exterior Insulating Finishing System (EIFS):
    • check framing, flash, measure, cut and fix substrate
    • check substrate, apply base coat and reinforce
    • apply a proprietary levelling plaster to a solid substrate
    • apply finishing coats to prepared proprietary plaster cladding substrates.

This restricted building work is listed with regards to the installation of a new external plaster system. Renovations can also fall under restricted building work.

Foundations licence

The following is an example of the restricted building work someone holding a foundation trade class licence can carry out or supervise:

  • Excavate and prepare for footings and slab-on-ground in accordance with documentation including:
    • prepare and carry out excavations taking into account position, size, line, level and depth
    • apply damp proofing material (membrane or emulsion)
    • place graded hardfill.
  • Construct and erect formwork for footings, foundation walls and floors including:
    • formwork constructed to line, level, plumb and height
    • erect and dismantle temporary formwork support systems.
  • Fabricate and place reinforcing steel and steel mesh including:
    • bars
    • mesh
    • stirrups
    • inks.
  • Prepare to place/pour concrete including:
    • damp proof membrane confirmed.
  • Receive, place, finish and cure concrete including:
    • concrete placed and compacted
    • concrete finished and cured.

LBPs with a foundation licence are also able to do the following restricted building work in relation to the construction and alteration of concrete or timber pile foundations:

  • space piles at specified intervals
  • place piles to line, level, height and plumb
  • receive, place, finish and cure concrete including:
    • concrete placed and compacted
    • concrete finished and cured
  • fix bearers, stringers and bracing
  • pile footing excavations
  • fix sub-floor brace systems.

Site licence

A site LBP is recognised as a competent professional in their chosen field.  They coordinate and oversee construction.  However, site LBPs are unable to supervise restricted building work and cannot issue Certificates and Records of Work.

Supervising restricted building work

When it comes to restricted building work, supervision means providing control, direction and oversight of the work to an extent that ensures the building work:

  • is performed competently
  • complies with the building consent.

If you're an LBP who is supervising restricted building work, you don't need to be on-site at all times. However, you must supervise sufficient aspects of the work in order to take responsibility for the work’s Building Code compliance.

You may face disciplinary action and fines, and you are putting your trade licence at risk if the work you supervised is found to be sub-standard.

Related information

Issuing Code Compliance Certificates Information for building officials relating to Records of Work

Guidance on the use of Certificates of Work, Producer Statements and Design Features Reports by Chartered Professional Engineers under the Restricted Building Work regime. 

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: