Sometimes LBPs struggle to think of ideas for on-the-job learning, especially if they have been working with the same products and techniques for some time. This article identifies some of the activities that qualify under this category and provides guidance to help determine what else might apply and how best to record it
While learning to use a new product or technique is a great example of on-the job learning, it’s not the only area of knowledge that is relevant.
IDENTIFY ON-THE-JOB LEARNING
LBPs require a range of skills and knowledge to carry out their work effectively. Here are some areas you may wish to consider for skills maintenance:
- Regulatory knowledge – knowing your legal responsibilities, applying for building and resource consents, staying up to date with changes to the Building Code, participating in consultations.
- Technical knowledge and skills – new products and techniques, putting theoretical knowledge into practice, learning from mistakes, refreshers, looking up standards and other technical guidelines.
- Health and safety – learning safer methods of working, participating in site inductions, using new types of PPE or equipment with improved safety features.
- Professional skills – managing contracts, liaising with clients, managing resources, supervising workers.
Some LBPs spend less time directly on the tools – for example, if they are undertaking more management or oversight type roles. It is a common misconception that these LBPs will struggle to complete on-the-job learning. LBPs overseeing projects will still need to maintain their regulatory knowledge, manage health and safety on site and hone their professional skills. LBPs working in senior positions often supervise contracts, people and resources on the job. This type of work is relevant to their LBP professional skills and can be used for on-the-job learning examples.
ELECTIVE ACTIVITIES VERSUS ON-THE-JOB LEARNING
Sometimes it is less clear if learning should be classified as an elective activity or on-the-job learning if it was completed while at work. For example, you might take a first aid course as part of your employment. The on-the-job learning component of skills maintenance is designed to capture learning that doesn’t fit under an elective learning activity, as it occurs organically while you are on the job. A good rule of thumb is to consider listing the learning as an elective activity first, and then if it doesn’t fit, consider including it as on-the-job learning. For example, a first aid course is structured training, so it would fit as an elective activity.
RECORD YOUR LEARNING
To record your on-the-job learning, you don’t need to write a whole essay, but you do need more than one sentence. For MBIE to understand the value of what you are recording, you need to briefly cover the following:
- Summary of the project or job and your role.
- What you learned.
- How this will improve your ability to work as an LBP.
You can also attach any relevant documents, such as plans, photos, records of work, specifications and meeting notes. It may be easier to fill in the record when you do the learning, so it is still fresh in your mind rather than waiting until your skills maintenance record is due.
The easiest way to add an example of on-the-job learning to your skills maintenance record is to submit it to MBIE directly via the LBP portal online. Alternatively, you can download the record of on-the-job learning form and send it in the post. There are also industry providers who offer tools to assist LBPs in collating their skills maintenance record, but you need to ensure these records are passed on to MBIE when you apply to renew your LBP license.
This article is an excerpt from Codewords Issue 95. Reading Codewords articles that are relevant to your licence class is a mandatory requirement for Licensed Building Practitioners. These questions can be answered through the LBP portal, online at underconstruction.placemakers.co.nz or recorded on the magazine, then provided at the time of renewal.