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Building strong industry foundations through practitioner registration

Melbourne, Australia, city skyline with many buildings under construction against a blue sky with light clouds.

There are many areas of life in which we rely on the expertise of others.

When we visit a doctor, for example, we put our health and safety in the hands of that person and confidently rely on the qualifications and skills that enable them to fulfil that role. In doing so we are really relying on a system of registration that is underpinned by minimum standards of education, competence and experience.

So when it comes to buildings it stands to reason that a building’s fitness for purpose should be ensured by the quality of education, competence and expertise of those people responsible for its design and construction. Not only because for most people, building ownership often represents the largest financial commitment of their lives, but also because buildings should ensure the health and safety of the people who live and work in them.

While all states and territories register building practitioners as part of their compliance and enforcement systems, the categories that are registered differ and there are acknowledged gaps in the minimum competencies and accountability of practitioners with key responsibilities. The first two recommendations of the Building Confidence Report (BCR) aim to address this.

Discussion paper: National Registration Framework for Building Practitioners

Working within the ABCB, the BCR Implementation Team has developed a draft National Registration Framework (NRF) for Building Practitioners, which is detailed in a discussion paper currently out for public consultation. The proposed approach aims to strengthen the effective application of building regulations, including the NCC, by ensuring that core activities are undertaken by appropriately skilled people.

The NRF aspires to achieve national consistency in the registration of building practitioners across jurisdictions. If subsequently adopted by the States and Territories, this will result in significant economic benefits, including the streamlining of education so that courses are compatible nationwide and more financially viable for educational institutions. It also aims to improve the efficiency of the registration process through avenues such as mutual recognition.

Ultimately, a NRF would serve to underpin all efforts to improve public confidence in the building industry.

Extensive preliminary consultation was undertaken to assist in the development of the NRF, and the BCR Implementation Team, through the ABCB, is now seeking your comment on the proposed Framework. Comments on the discussion paper are open until 11:59PM AEST Sunday 23 August 2020, through the ABCB Consultation Hub.

Your input can go a long way to shaping the improvements that are needed for a higher functioning industry into the future.

If you have any questions on the proposed NRF, please contact the BCR Implementation Team.

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