Changes to building and development certifier laws

On 1 July 2020 the Building and Development Certifiers Act and Regulation commenced as the new legislation that regulates certifiers (building surveyors, certain engineers, swimming pool inspectors, and strata and subdivision certifiers).

For details download the presentation.

Key changes include:

Improvements to registration

  • Certifiers will be ‘registered’ rather than accredited. Your existing accreditation continues until your expiry date, so just renew when you normally would.
  • The new online certifier register will provide more detail about each certifier.
  • Some accreditation categories are merged into registration classes – refer to the comparison table.
  • Multi-year registration is available for up to 5 years.
  • Building inspectors (former A4 certifiers) may only inspect performance solutions, under supervision of the principal certifier.
  • Building surveyor – restricted (class 1 and 10) (former A3 certifiers) will be permitted to certify performance solutions, and pools with a performance solution for P2.2.4 of the BCA. To do so, you must first apply to vary your registration to certify performance solutions
  • Existing council accredited certifiers whose accreditation limits them to working for a council must continue complying with this condition, which will be applied when you apply for renewal. To work as a private certifier, you must apply and meet the requirements in the Regulation.
  • A registered body corporate cannot carry out any certification work if it doesn’t have a suitably qualified directorThis means a director whose individual certifier registration is in the same (or higher) class of registration as the body corporate itself.
  • The CPD Guidelines explain the changed continuing professional development requirements.

Assistance with insurance availability

  • The permitted cladding exclusion has been amended to reflect market offerings.
  • Fair Trading will have power to require information from insurers about insurance policies.

Compliance obligations

Improved enforcement mechanisms

  • There are new offences, such as for licence lending.
  • Fair Trading has broader powers to investigate and audit certifiers, and to investigate any breach of the legislation, by any person.
  • There are now broad grounds for disciplinary action rather than references to unsatisfactory professional conduct and professional misconduct.
  • There are new powers for Fair Trading to suspend a certifier’s registration until a monetary penalty is paid, and to issue public warnings about certifiers.
  • The statute of limitations is extended from two to three years.
  • The Home Building Act has been amended to make it an offence for a builder to influence the applicant’s choice of certifier.

Arrangements for accredited fire safety practitioners

Accredited practitioners (fire safety)is the new name for competent fire safety practitioners.

These are currently the only type of ‘accredited practitioners’ who do ‘regulated work’.

Other types of work may in future be required to be done by accredited practitioners.

Read more about the changes for fire safety and accredited practitioners.

Common questions about registration

My application was lodged, but not yet determined, by 1 July. Do I need to apply again?

No. Your application is now considered as an application for the equivalent registration under the new legislation, and assessed accordingly. For most applications, the outcome will be the same because registration criteria were largely carried over from the old legislation.

Refer to Schedule 1, cl 4 of the Building and Development Certifiers Act for savings provisions and Schedules 1, 2 and 3 of the Regulation for information about the registration classes and the qualifications, experience, skills and knowledge requirements.

More information

Visit the NSW Legislation website to read the new laws in full:

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