All Ages

NZ Diploma in Building Surveying (Level 6)

Build a career as a building consent processing officer, building inspector or property inspector. 

There is a high demand in councils throughout NZ for capable building professionals who are up-to-date with current regulatory direction, code compliance requirements and building construction practice. 

Now is a great opportunity for anyone wanting to make a difference in the quality of new houses, renovations and building practices in Auckland.

Gain the skills and the qualification to meet Regulation 18 of Building (Accreditation of Building Consent Authorities) Regulations 2006. 

Enrol in the Future Skills' NZ Diploma in Building Surveying (Level 6) to enhance your competency and employment opportunities in this fast‑moving sector. 

Highlights of this programme

  • Hands-on project based and workplace-like learning environment 
  • Regular visits to live work sites 

  • Aligned to the building control regulatory requirements 
  • Small class sizes 
  • Fit part-time study around work 
  • Industry experienced teaching staff 
  • Friendly learning environment 
  • Study in Auckland CBD 

Apply online or phone us to find out more information.

Gain a Level 6 qualification in approximately 2.5 years:

NZ Diploma in Building Surveying (Level 6)


YEAR ONE  -  90 credits


Regulatory Environment (Level 5)

30 credits

Building Construction, Materials and Systems (Level 5)

15 credits

Plan Processing - Small Buildings (Level 5)

15 credits

Building Code and Acceptable Solutions (Level 5)

30 credits

YEAR TWO  -  90 credits

BCA Environment (Level 5)

15 credits

Site Inspections (Level 5)

15 credits

Judicial Proceedings (Level 6)

15 credits

Plan Processing - Large Buildings (Level 6)

15 credits

Building Code - Large buildings (Level 6)

30 credits­

 YEAR TWO (HALF YEAR)  -  60 credits

Other Statutory Provisions (Level 6)

30 credits

Final Site Inspections (Level 6)

30 credits

General Admission – Academic and English Requirements
Applicants must have:

  • a minimum of 50 NCEA credits at Level 2 or above, including 12 credits in English or a related subject at level 2 or above, and a minimum of 10 Numeracy credits at Level 1 or above,
  • or be able to demonstrate equivalent knowledge or skills.

The following are deemed to provide equivalent knowledge and skills:

  • a maximum total of 16 in best 4 Sixth Form Certificate subjects including English or a related subject, or
  • completion of a trades qualification at Level 3 or above using English as the language of instruction, or
  • completion of the New Zealand Certificate in Building Regulatory Environment (Level 4)

Special Admission
Applicants must have:

  • Attained the age of 20 years on or before the first day of the semester in which study for the diploma is to commence; AND
  • Provided sufficient evidence of aptitude or appropriate work or other life experience that would indicate a successful outcome in the qualification. This can be provided with written evidence, an interview, referee checks or a combination of these. 

Special Admission applicants for whom English is an additional language (EAL) may be required to provide evidence that they have an appropriate level of English proficiency for diploma study at level 6. The English language requirements for international students are a guide to the language level requirements of this programme. For acceptable evidence refer: http://www.nzqa.govt.nz/assets/Providers-and-partners/Registration-and-accreditation/acceptable-evidence-of-English-language-proficiency.pdf.

A score result in the Otago Polytechnic Internal English Proficiency Test, equivalent to that required for international students is deemed as sufficient evidence of competency.

Those EAL students who are identified as at-risk learners may be required to undertake supplementary tuition in English language to ensure success.

Provisional Admission
Applicants aged under 20 years who do not meet the entry requirements but who can demonstrate a reasonable chance of success through other educational attainment and/or work/life experience may be eligible for provisional entry at the discretion of the Academic Director or designated nominee.

Selection Criteria
If there are more applications than places available, candidates will be prioritised based on the level of industry experience and academic achievement with greater priority given to people with relevant industry experience and people who have completed the NZ Certificate in Building Regulatory Environment (Level 4). An interview will normally take place to ascertain and or confirm industry experience. Alternatively, referee checks may be used. 

This programme is aimed at anyone planning to launch a career in the building and construction industry. Job opportunities include working as:

-       Building Inspectors
-       Consent Processing Officers
-       Building Surveyors


Part-time: $4,755 per year

Student loans and allowances are available for eligible students who meet the StudyLink criteria.

001Michelle Johansson

Lecturer and Programme Manager

Michelle has taught Building Systems at Unitec for several years and has presented at conferences and guest lectured to universities and industry on the subject of green building systems and materials.

She has had her own architectural practice, and worked as a senior project architect / associate for large commercial practices in Auckland and London including Jasmax, Babbage and Tse Architects.   Major projects have included an apartment retail complex on Ormiston Road, an apartment building in the CBD, Te Wharehou O Tuhoe in Taneatua and Wanganui Hospital new build and major redevelopment.   Te Wharehou O Tuhoe is a civic building for the Tuhoe iwi and is aiming to be certified as a Living Building.  It was built to Living Building Challenge standards (the most stringent green rating tool in the world) and part of Michelle’s role was to research and document all of the architectural materials for compliance as non-toxic and responsibly sourced.  At Jasmax she was a member of the Jasmax design technology advisory team providing technical building guidance to staff throughout New Zealand.

She has acted as a consultant  to Masterspec to write green preliminary sections, BRANZ and MBIE on Fire Code Review panels, NZGBC Material Credit review panel, Auckland Council review of MUD waste collection tool, the Sustainable Business Network for the development of CEMO (Circular Economy tool),  for manufacturers applying for the Living Building Challenge Declare label (Firth, Golden Bay Cement) and for clients of green building projects.

She was awarded a Living Building Hero award in 2015 for her work in helping to establishing Declare and the Living Building Challenge in NZ.  She is a Living Building Ambassador and a Green Star Accredited Professional.  Her passion is giving people the knowledge and understanding to be able to specify non-loxic, responsibly sourced building materials .

arrow graphEmployment forecast to grow by 48,000 workers per annum to 2025

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) has today released the report Medium to Long-Term Employment Outlook: Looking Ahead to 2025

The report shows employment is forecast to grow by 1.9 per cent annually, which will add an estimated 48,000 workers on average per annum to the workforce over the next 10 years. MBIE’s Labour Market Trends acting manager, Amapola Generosa, says demand for highly-skilled workers will be the strongest over the medium to long-term.

Read more: http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/BU1702/S00817/employment-forecast-to-grow-by-48000-per-annum-to-2025.htm


jeff fahrensohn inspects a new building1Top 5 secrets to passing building inspections

If you're planning a building or renovation project for your home, it’s likely you will need to get an approved consent before beginning work. 
The process of gaining a consent and following through to obtain a Code of Compliance Certificate at the end can be time-consuming and complex, especially if you haven't done it before. 
Jeff Fahrensohn, Manager – Inspections for Auckland Council’s Building Control team, says there are some simple things you and your builder can do to save time and money on building inspections.

Read his top five tips: http://ourauckland.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/articles/news/2016/10/top-five-tips-to-help-you-pass-a-building-inspection/


56481932 l 620x310

Auckland building inspectors in hot demand

Auckland Council says it urgently needs dozens of new qualified building inspectors.
The Council is feeling the strain of the building boom and is at risk of being snowed under by the soaring number of new buildings under construction.
Manager of Building Inspections Jeff Fahrenson is hoping a new Diploma in Building Surveying programme will help fill this gap. 
"There has been a 15 per cent rise on inspection numbers required last year, and another 14 per cent rise predicted this year, so you can image in just that two-year period we are going to be out-numbered," Fahrenson said.

Read more: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11702070


auckland housing construction building getty imagesDelays in Code of Compliance Certificates expected to increase

One Auckland couple is concerned the delays have already started before the housing crisis building boom has begun. Elizabeth Witton is waiting for the council to provide a Code of Compliance Certificate on her new build home in Albany.
The process is meant to take up to 20 working days, but Ms Witton's been told it will be longer. She said the council did its final checks on the property on August 3rd.
"Before that when we were sussing out exactly what was going on, the council actually said we can't do within 20 days. We're too overworked. It's likely to be 30."
Ms Witton said people are demanding more houses be built in Auckland to deal with the housing crisis.

Read more: http://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/news/national/delays-in-code-of-compliance-certificates-expected-to-increase/

Interview with Jeff Fahrensohn, Auckland Council Building Control, Manager - Inspections

Why would you recommend studying for the NZ Dip Building Surveying?
Being involved in an exciting time in Auckland’s growth can bring some great rewards for a person who gets satisfaction out of helping Auckland become the world’s most liveable city. Knowing you are an integral part of creating new communities and contributing to the ever changing cityscape is a legacy which our inspectors are very proud of.

What career paths are available for graduates?
Consent processing, building inspections and Code compliance assessors have numerous options open to them and we see the professional and career development of our people as an important component of building high performing teams. The ability to move into specialist positions such as fire design, competency assessment, training, quality assurance and auditing comes naturally to a lot of people after spending time gaining the experience in the job. There is also the natural career progression for inspectors and processors to become seniors progressing to team leaders, area managers, regional managers and general managers. On top of this, Council offer a diverse range of other career paths in other units such as engineering, project management, environmental protection and subdivision planning. On top of this, there are always special projects going on which staff are encouraged to be involved in which help shape the way we work and the future direction of building control. An example of this is where we collaborate with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment on changes to building codes, regulations and other legislative changes. 

Do you have to have prior experience as a builder or plumber to get a job in Building Control?
No, we currently have a very successful graduate program which has developed highly skilled inspectors and processors. To date we have put through 5 graduates every year for the last 3 years and have doubled our grad intake next year to 10.

What particular attributes are your looking for when you employ building inspectors and consent processing officers?
People skills is hugely important plus the ability to solve issues and make sound decisions using pragmatic and risk-based reasons. Great attitude and team fit play a huge part of our recruitment program.

What makes a good building inspector?
Having an open mind particularly when dealing with issues which are not always black and white. Building is never an exact science and curve balls are always being thrown where the design changes or other knock on effects influence changes which need to be assessed onsite. The ability to handle change and learn new things will help as our industry is constantly changing from ever evolving legislative, product, and technology changes

What was your career path (did you start off with an apprenticeship for example)?
I started off as an architectural draughtsman and moved into building. I was self-employed as a design and build company. Moving to Auckland, I took the opportunity to join Council as an inspector as a way of getting a foot in the door in Auckland. What started as a temporary move became my career.

What in particular has made this a rewarding career for yourself?
Standing in the middle of a new subdivision with communities using new parks, schools and families living in what were once open fields can give you a feeling of being part of growing a better Auckland. We see ourselves as the guardians of a quality built environment which generations of Aucklanders can rely on.   

What are the starting salaries for building inspectors and consent processing officers? What salary expectations are reasonable for someone 5 years from graduation?
Approximately $60,000 starting salary and moving up incrementally. Generally after 3-4 years inspectors and processors have increased their competencies to demand around $80k. From this point they can start to contest senior positions as they become vacant. This would push them into mid $90ks.  

What does the future look like for the building control sector?
The current building boom is forecast to continue for at least the next 5 years in Auckland however when you look at the population growth forecasting, there will be a lot of building for quite some time. In fact, we can expect the rest of NZ to experience unprecedented building growth over the next 10 years at least.

Do you see most graduates as being employed by the private or the public sector?
Auckland Council has approx. 130 inspectors, 120 processors and 20 CCC assessors. Councils are the main employers but the private sector is growing every year. The ability to branch out to disciplines such as house pre-purchase inspections or dilapidation reporting provides more opportunities. 

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