Since 1 July 2002, a person in NSW seeking a permit to undertake owner-builder work valued at more than $20,000 has been required to meet education requirements approved by the Director General (Home Building Act 1989 section 31 (2)(d)).
From 1 October 2010, the Course in Owner-builder Compliance (91509NSW) was the required education for owner-builders.
The need for a standard course had been prompted by at least 5 deaths on NSW owner-builder sites since 2006. In addition, investigations by NSW Fair Trading and SafeWork NSW had found owner-builders to be non-compliant with their responsibilities under the law.
Similar requirements apply in Queensland where an accredited course is required to be completed by prospective owner-builders.
From 1 July 2015, the education requirement has become five units of competency from the Construction, Plumbing and Services Training Package (Owner-builder education requirement). This is nationally recognised training.
Building and construction are high-risk activities. The education requirement helps prepare those owner-builders who are not trade trained, to discharge a range of legal responsibilities, including workplace safety and construction in accordance with approved Council plans.
The education is aimed at:
- improving safety onsite for workers
- supporting the certification of construction
- equipping owner-builders with useful knowledge and skills
- helping owner-builders avoid contractual disputes.
Since 15 January 2015, all owner-builder permit applicants have been required to hold a current general construction induction card or a SafeWork NSW Statement of Training.