Debut graduates Lisa and Adele make history
13 July 2021

Lisa Sandrey and Adele Patchett have made history at Future Skills Academy as the first graduates of the NZ Certificate in Building Regulatory Environment. The pair worked tirelessly for more than 12 months to complete the programme while employed by Hurunui District Council in Amberley, North Canterbury. Their considerable efforts included devoting many hours of spare time to their studies, says Kerry Walsh, Hurunui District Council Building and Property Manager. “The NZQA NZ Certificate in Building Regulatory Environment was considered a valuable tool for our building administration team members, so it was an easy decision to enrol both Adele and Lisa on it,” he says. “Both Adele and Lisa benefitted from the qualification enormously and I feel it has helped with their day-to-day work as they are now more aware of the wider requirements and rules around the built environment.”

Adele is hitting the books again after landing a technical role as a building officer cadet at the Building Consent Authority. She is studying with Future Skills Academy the Level 6 Diploma in Building Surveying, a requirement of her new position. “With the shortage of fully qualified building officers in New Zealand, we need to start looking at customer services and administration staff for options to train as building officers,” says Kerry.

Adele used to work in early childhood education before having a family. She opted to study at Future Skills Academy to gain a technical qualification when she became a Code of Compliance processing officer for the Building Consent Authority. She praises the support from her tutor Pete and enjoyed the face-to-face block course at Hurunui District Council. “The Level 4 course gave a really good coverage of the Building Regulatory Environment, particularly BCA items. It gave me a broader knowledge of the reasons why we do what we do.”

Colleague Lisa also came to Future Skills Academy from a background in early childhood education. In 2003, the Christchurch resident studied for a nanny qualification at Rangi Ruru Early Childhood College but continued to work in retail for the next nine years as well as achieving the Level 3 NZ Retail Certificate. Her role in the BCA’s building team involves administration tasks such as issuing Project Information Memorandums, consents and Code of Compliance Certificates. “Future Skills Academy gave me a great understanding of how legislation affects the decisions of the technical officers when working on consents and how I can better support the team with my role,” she says.

Lisa urges people thinking of enrolling at Future Skills Academy to “just go for it. “The tutors have been amazing and you are always supported on your learning journey.” A highlight of the programme was meeting students from other councils during in-person sessions of the final block course: “Being able to discuss how other councils do things and bounce ideas off each other during the course was super helpful,” she says.

Outside study, she loves classic cars. Lisa and husband Brendon own an orange 1966 Valiant Safari V8 station wagon.

The NZ Certificate in Building Regulatory Environment (In employment) and the NZ Diploma in Building Surveying (In employment) programmes are free for students. Learners’ fees and compulsory costs are funded by the Government’s Targeted Training and Apprenticeship Fund. For more information about the programmes, go here:

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