Owner-builder education

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)).

Education development

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.

Education aims

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.

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