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Building Industry Accreditation Scheme

One comment often raised during discussions on the weathertightness issue is the lack of control over those entering the industry. Licensing or registration is often suggested in response but it is generally accepted that enforced registration would be unlikely to gain approval. The proposed scheme detailed below is a voluntary self regulating accreditation scheme that recognises the skills and experience of participants without hindering the entrance of new people or companies.

Any comments on this proposal would be most welcome.

Summary

Name: Building Industry Professional Accreditation Co-operative

Purpose:

To improve the performance of the building envelope through information sharing and ongoing education programmes.

It is most likely that the focus of the accreditation scheme will expand from the building envelope to buildings in general.

Aims:

a. To improve the level of understanding of water management principles
b. To provide a framework through which existing and future site workers can receive ongoing training
c. To improve the level of co-operation between industry members - the scheme will be based on industry members recognising industry members
d. To improve the information sharing between the various trades and professions working on the building envelope.

Overview:

Background

1. Weather related problems are causing rot in structural components of buildings in NZ and overseas.

2. Problems caused by a combination of factors involving all sectors of the construction industry. These include the following;

a. proliferation of materials and/or systems available on the market
b. increasing complexity of building designs
c. lack of understanding of water management principles
d. lack of moisture control with some systems
e. poor construction practices on-site

3. The proliferation of building systems and materials and increasing complexity of design is placing increased demands on the skill levels of industry participants. Without ongoing training skill levels will fall below levels required.

4. It is acknowledged that the quality of a job is dependent on the skills and experience of the people doing the work. It is not possible, long-term, to inspect quality into work.

5. The Weather-tight Building Steering Group (WBSG) suggested the development of an accreditation scheme to recognise the attainment of the necessary skills, expertise and understanding of weather related issues and how to apply these on-site.

Accreditation Scheme Structure

6. The proposal is to work with and use the existing structures of industry organisations to put in place a system of accreditation that recognises the skills and expertise attained by individual members of the construction industry.

7. The accreditation scheme will be run by a coordinating body - Building Industry Personal Accreditation Co-operative (BIPAC) - made up of participating industry organisations such as NZ Certified Builders Association, Registered Master Builders Federation, Roofing Association etc etc. Individuals can't become members of BIPAC.

8. The scheme will use internet based registers to check on accreditation. BIPAC will use a central site with links to the various accrediting bodies, manufacturers etc. Checking accreditation etc can then be managed through the one site.

9. TA's will be able to use the registers to check the authenticity of Producer Statement authors and will have the ability to bring authors to account (at least in terms of accreditation).

10. Accreditation is a voluntary system of registration (or licensing) of the industry.

11. Individuals do not need to be accredited to work in the industry. The accreditation scheme will however offer a significant marketing advantage over non-accredited individuals as awareness and understanding of the scheme grows.

12. Accreditation can only be given to an individual NOT a company, partnership, or other business relationship.

13. The member organisations of BIPAC will provide all the education and training services necessary for accreditation of their members and other individuals working in their particular area. The member organisations will be the accrediting body, and maintain an up-to-date register of those individuals they have accredited.

14. (For example, the Roofing Association will provide the training needed for those in the roofing industry - whether members of the Association or not. The Roofing Association has access to the necessary expertise and latest product information through their manufacturer members, consultants etc as well as direct access to those installing the various roofing products.

15. Those individuals working in the roofing area that are not members of the Association can expect to pay a higher fee for accreditation than members. This may result in new membership applications)

16. Accreditation does not tie an individual to the body through which they were accredited. They must however remain associated with an organisation that provides accreditation in their particular area.

17. The accreditation scheme will support the guarantees or warrantees offered by industry associations, professional bodies and manufacturers by providing the necessary training to meet their requirements. The scheme itself does not provide a warranty or guarantee over workmanship.

Accreditation

18. Accreditation of an individual will take into account their educational and/or trade qualifications, as well as their level of site experience and skill. It will not be necessary to be trade or professionally qualified (unless required by law) to receive accreditation.

19. Membership of an industry association and/or a trade or professional qualification does not give an automatic right to accreditation. Individuals must still demonstrate the necessary knowledge and skills to receive and maintain accreditation.

20. Accreditation is for a one year period and must be renewed annually. If individuals do not continue to undertake the training required by the accrediting body to maintain their skills accreditation can be refused or withdrawn.

21. To attain and retain accreditation requires an individual to commit to Continuing Professional Development.

22. The accrediting body will have the final say who will receive accreditation. Individuals will have the right of appeal to BIPAC if accreditation is refused.

Education

23. BIPAC is a co-coordinator of the accreditation process and the activities this entails - education and training of the existing and future workforce. BIPAC is not an education provider.

24. BIPAC and the accrediting organisations will produce and maintain a calendar of educational services and events available to industry. These can be accessed by any interested parties through the internet websites.

25. BIPAC will encourage a "blurring" of industry boundaries through training to reduce development of sectors in relative isolation. All designs, systems and materials that make up the building envelope need to work together to succeed. Layering and fragmentation will be reduced as a consequence.

26. This will mean that specific areas of responsibility will be identified and assigned to a particular sector. This information must be communicated to individuals through the accreditation training programmes.

27. The focus of BIPAC will be proactive re-educating individuals where gaps in their knowledge are identified. The accreditation scheme is not aimed at punishing individuals.

28. The content and format of training programmes is the responsibility of accrediting bodies. BIPAC, through the auditing process, will ensure that training programmes are consistent between providers and on-going to ensure the system does not breakdown.

Audit Process

29. BIPAC will carry out periodic audits of the educational services and training programmes of its member organisations to ensure standards are consistently maintained across accrediting bodies.

30. The accrediting bodies will be responsible for the auditing of those accredited. Those audited may be randomly selected, selected as a result of a complaint through the complaint procedures, or through an interface with a TA inspection or checking process. The TA may indicate dissatisfaction with some aspect of the work which triggers a complaint resulting in an audit.

31. Where problems are identified either through the complaints procedure or the audit process, recommendations for additional training in specific areas can be given. Refusal or failure to complete the recommended course of action can result in deregistration.


Complaint Procedures

32. When an individual applies for accreditation they must agree to allow the accrediting body the freedom to investigate complaints received and recommend actions to be undertaken.

33. Complaints procedures can be categorised by degree - at the lower end there are CONCERNS about some aspect of a persons knowledge, and at the other end there are COMPLAINTS based on clear mistakes that need urgent correction.

34. The complaints procedure will initially be handled in an informal way with the individual concerned being approached to discuss the concern or complaint made. Recommendations can be made for additional training or some other course of action.

35. If the individual concerned fails to undertake the recommended action to rectify problems a formal approach requiring action will be made. If this does not work the individual concerned can then be deregistered. The individual has the right to appeal but must indicate why remedial actions were not undertaken. If the appeal is not successful the individual concerned will not be able to apply for accreditation again for the period of one year.

36. Complaints can be triggered by any number on people or causes - the end consumer dissatisfied with some aspect of the work undertaken, the TA's through inspections, checking drawings etc.

37. Complaints can only be considered that relate specifically to the standard of work undertaken. The accreditation scheme does not cover aspects such as ethics, payments, or other contractual relationships. These may be covered by guarantee schemes or warrantees of the various industry associations.

Funding

38. Funding will be needed for the establishment of the scheme and to cover the ongoing running costs.

39. The establishment costs will need to be funded by those organisations that will ultimately receive benefit from the scheme - manufacturers, councils, insurers,

40. Running costs will have to be paid for by those receiving accreditation. Individuals will make a one-off up-front payment to go through an accreditation assessment process, and pay a smaller annual registration fee.

41. The accrediting industry association will charge the individuals the respective fees. A proportion of each will be paid to BIPAC to fund its operations with the remainder being used to run the training programmes, auditing of individuals, the complaints procedures etc.




BIPAC Membership

42. Potential industry members of BIPAC include the following;

  • NZIA
  • IPENZ
  • NZIQS
  • ADNZ
  • DANZ
  • BRANZ
  • BOINZ
  • BIA
  • RMBF
  • NZCBA
  • RANZ
  • WANZ
  • BCITO
  • Universities and Polytechnics
  • Manufacturers and Suppliers
  • Territorial Authorities

 

 
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