Registered certifiers assess and determine applications for development certificates for building and subdivision work. They are regulated by Fair Trading.
Certifiers are public officials and independent regulators of development. They are required to uphold the public interest. They don’t work for builders or developers.
A certifier can only issue a development certificate if all legislative requirements are met.
Most certifiers are qualified building surveyors who can issue development certificates for building work, be appointed as the principal certifier, and carry out inspections.
Other types of certifiers include swimming pool inspectors, engineers, strata, and subdivision certifiers.
Types of development certificates
Different certificates apply to each type and stage of development. Ask your council or a certifier about your needs.
The Planning Portal has information about different types of certificates.
Certifiers also issue certificates under legislation for swimming pools, and strata.
Appointing a principal certifier
If your development needs approval, you must appoint a principal certifier. This can be a registered building surveyor, your local council or a registered body corporate (certification company).
Your builder isn't allowed to appoint the certifier or influence your choice of certifier.
The certifier isn't a project manager or site supervisor. The builder is responsible for building in accordance with the approved plans and for the work of subcontractors, and the applicant is responsible for meeting the conditions of development consent.
You must enter into a contract with the certifier before any certification work is carried out. The contract must be accompanied by one of the following information sheets about the role of certifiers and your responsibilities as the applicant:
- Building surveying/inspection (includes principal certifier appointments) information sheet
- Swimming pool certification information sheet
- Fire safety certification information sheet
- Subdivision and strata certification information sheet
- Engineering certification information sheet
Assessing development compliance
The principal certifier carries out mandatory inspections during construction and may request additional documentation to determine if the work complies with the development consent and legislative requirements.
If a non-compliance is brought to the certifier’s attention, they must issue a written direction to comply. If non-compliance continues, the certifier must refer the matter to the council.
After the final inspection, the certifier will issue an occupation certificate if all requirements are met. The Planning Portal has more information about occupation certificates.
Talking with the certifier and builder reduces the chance of a minor concern becoming a major problem.