A3 certifiers and alternative solutions

A3 certifiers must not issue certificates for a development that uses alternative solutions to comply with the BCA.

A3 certifiers can avoid potential problems by:

  1. not entering into any contract for PCA work if the proposed development will use alternative solutions, and referring the applicant to an A1 or A2 certifier who can act as the PCA
  2. refusing to issue an occupation certificate if an alternative solution (contrary to the approved plans) is put in place during construction*, and advising the applicant they need to either comply via the deemed-to-satisfy provisions, or find a replacement (A1 or A2) PCA
  3. if the procedure in the above dot point isn’t followed, issuing a notice of intention to issue an order to comply with the development consent or to cease work
  4. if appropriate, reporting the builder to NSW Fair Trading.

Under Schedule 1 of the Building Professionals Regulation, A3 certifiers can ONLY issue a complying development certificate, construction certificate or occupation certificate for class 1 and 10 buildings if the building meets the BCA performance requirements by complying with the deemed-to-satisfy provisions (not by any alternative solution).

The Building Professionals Act 2005 sets a maximum penalty of $33,000 for issuing a certificate if not authorised to do so.

*Note on the second dot point above: the applicant will also need to obtain a modified construction certificate (and potentially a modified development consent) or a modified complying development certificate, before the work is carried out.