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Consultations 2014

Proposal to integrate registration examinations into the Level 4 NZ Certificates


The Board resolved to consult on the proposal to integrate registration examinations into the Level 4 NZ Certificates, at its meeting on 17 June 2014. Consultation occurred between 23 June 2014 and 15 August 2014. This was undertaken by way of direct notification to tradespeople, Info Brief and the website.

The Board considered the submissions at its meeting on 9 September 2014 and has decided to approve the proposal in prinicple. final approval will not be given until the New Zealand Qualifications Authority has confirmed the proposed new qualifications.

There were 86 submissions received. Submissions were received from Master Plumbers, Gasfitters & Drainlayers NZ Inc, Plumbers, Gasfitters and Drainlayers Federation of NZ and 84 individual submitters.

The submissions are summarised below.

The Federation submission:

Yes we agree with the concept and the theory behind the proposal in so far as having a National Certificate that does not equate to registration is the equivalent of waving a wet bus ticket around in the air. The Federation have concerns about the standard and methods of delivery of the training required to get trainees to the registration level.

Training supplied to the industry by The Skills Organisation is pitiful and is not providing consistency throughout the country. Trainees are ending up with huge gaps in the skills taught. The fact is that the “purchased” training equates to assessment only and that the training is effectively all in the workplace. Not every employer does everything and so there will undoubtedly be gaps in the knowledge of apprentices which effectively puts them and the consumers at risk.

The level four qualification and Registration is not the end of a trainees apprenticeship as although they are deemed qualified, they can’t do anything unless under supervision. It is a situation of no supervisor - no legal authority to work.

There appears to be a situation where there is belief the appropriate stands of training will be supplied and met. The industry has been down this track before which lead to conflict between the ITO and the Board when standards were not met and it took Ministerial intervention to bring an uneasy peace between the organisations.

We also have concerns that trainees wanting to reach Certifying Status are being abandoned as we will have in place two separate systems for becoming qualified. One will be reliant on The Skills Organisation setting the standard of training to reach registration and the other is reliant on the Board setting the standard for the Certifying exam. There is again a huge gap in what is provided to the trainee.

So yes we agree with the concept but have reservations that the appropriate standards will be reached.

It will provide the opportunity for the apprentice who has completed their national certificate to apply for their full license to the advantage of the industry.

MPGD believe that having a more structured approach for apprentices to move them into a full-license is a benefit to the industry, and will reduce non-license practicing plumbers in the marketplace. This will further encourage apprentices to complete their training and register as a licensed tradesman plumber.

This submission represents the views of Master Plumbers, Gasfitters and Drainlayers, NZ Inc.>

Master Plumbers submission:

MPGD agrees with the proposed submission because it will further strengthen the professionalism of the industry and offer the apprentice the opportunity to complete their trade training in a timely manner.

Individual submissions (84)

44 submitters supported the proposal and 40 submitters opposed it.

The principal points made in individual submissions opposing the proposal (where there are multiple submissions on the same issue) were:

  1. Submission: That the exam must be retained to maintain standards in the industry or that its absence will dumb down the industry.
    Comment: 26 submissions were made to this effect.

  2. Submission: Concern about the Skills Organisation having a greater role in the examination.
    Comment: 3 submissions were made to this effect.

  3. Submission: Concern about industry training and standards generally.
    Comment: 9 submissions were made to this effect. This matter is beyond the scope of this particular consultation.

Consideration of the submissions

The numbers that supported and opposed the proposal were almost even. However, most of the submissions in opposition seemed to be founded on a misunderstanding of the proposal. The common theme in these submissions was that the submitter did not want the examination to be discontinued or run by anyone other than the Board because of fears that this would dumb down the industry. The reality is that the examinations would continue in their existing format under the proposal so it can be assumed that the concerns in these submissions are addressed.

Supporting information:

Other Information

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