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Australia : Local builders receive notice about new licensing exam.

Builders across the ACT who have been the subject of substantiated complaints or disciplinary action will this week receive letters reminding them that from next year mandatory tests may be required at renewal for builders across the A, B and C Classes.

With a high failure rate already seen for builders seeking a C Class licence in the ACT (the entry test requirement was introduced in 2016) it also provides notice for builders to brush up on their skills and knowledge.

Minister for Regulatory Services Gordon Ramsay said builders should consider the letter as a letter of notice and take steps to lift their performance and skills to ensure they are delivering quality, compliant and safe buildings in the ACT.

Its part of the Governments reform program to extend exams to all class A and B applicants. In April 2018 the ACT Government also advised industry that mandatory tests would be introduced for a number of licence holders seeking renewal, he said.

In the second half of this year all new applicants seeking an A, B or C class licence will be required to sit and pass an examination before obtaining a licence. The examination will test a number of areas including an applicants ability to apply the National Construction Code to practical scenarios that may be encountered by a licensed builder.

In addition, from 2019 examinations will be applied to licence renewals, requiring licence holders to sit and pass an examination to renew their licence. A particular focus will be those licensees who have been subject to substantiated complaints or those that come to the attention of government through compliance activities.

Our message to industry is clear: lift your game or do not build in the ACT.

For both the entry and renewal tests if a builder fails two attempts, they are out. This is significant because since the commencement of the C class builder licence examination in 2016, 48 per cent of those who have sat the examination failed on their first attempt, and 44 per cent failed on their second attempt.

So builders should take this seriously and start taking steps now to get ready having said this, if they are actively building in the ACT you would hope they would have no issues in demonstrating their knowledge.

Minister for Planning and Land Management Mick Gentleman said the tests announced under the reform program have been welcomed by industry as one of a range of Government reforms to improve the practices and skills in the building industry, and to increase the standing and confidence in the sector

These regulatory changes support the raft of improvements already under way and strike the right balance between supporting a high performing industry sector, as well as sending a clear signal that the ACT is open for business, growth and development but to a high standard, he said.

Over the next 18 months other changes will include documentation guidelines for people preparing building approval applications for complex buildings, including apartment buildings; new training courses on the ACTs building regulatory system and building approvals; codes of practice for builders and building certifiers; and development of a new auditing system from building approvals and building projects.

The government is clear in its message, building quality and practices must be improved and we will continue to work with the industry to support this outcome for the Canberra community.

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Publication:Mena Report
Date:Jun 29, 2018
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