Home building licensing in NSW


The following is a brief history of home building licensing in NSW:

  • the Building Licensing Act 1971 came into force in 1972 and required all builders to be licensed
  • licences for various trades introduced 1977, further trades introduced 1978
  • the Plumbers, Drainers & Gasfitters Act 1979 took effect in April 1980
  • the Builders Licensing Board and the Plumbers Board amalgamate to become Building Services Corporation (BSC) in 1987
  • the Home Building Act 1989 (most provisions) took effect in November 1989
  • the Building Services Corporation Act 1989 took effect in 1990
  • the BSC takes over electrical licensing in March 1990
  • renewal fees abolished for qualified supervisor certificates in March 1990
  • the Department of Fair Trading replaces the BSC in 1996
  • NSW Fair Trading established the Home Building Service in 2003 as part of the Government's response to the recommendations of the Campbell Inquiry.

Role of licensing

The role of licensing in the home building industry is to:

  • Issue authorisations to applicants who meet the requirements of relevant home building legislation
  • Provide expert technical advice on licensing matters to the industry
  • Maintain the public register

Licensing statistics

  • Fair Trading processes over 100,000 home building licence applications, renewals and variations each year.
  • Over 200,000 licensees hold over 300,000 authorities.
  • Approximately 82 percent of licensees have taken up the three-year renewal option and approximately 18 percent of licences renewed for one year option.
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