Becoming registered to work on class 2 buildings - Design and Building Practitioners

From 1 July 2021, Design and Building Practitioners working on class 2 buildings need to register under a new Compliance Declaration Scheme.

This new registration scheme is part of a reform program to restore confidence in the residential construction industry and make sure that apartments being built are trustworthy. Find out more about the Design and Building Practitioners Act on our website.

Changes for Design and Principal Design Practitioners

Changes for Building Practitioners

On this page you'll find information on:

Who needs to register?

Design and Building Practitioners working on class 2 buildings, or buildings with a class 2 part, need to register to declare certain designs or building work, and lodge documents on the NSW Planning Portal.

This affects you if you meet ALL of these requirements:

Both individuals and organisations can register as Design, Principal Design or Building Practitioner under the Compliance Declaration Scheme. Find out more about body corporate registration.

Registration lasts one, three or five years from the date you lodge your application onto Service NSW.

Who doesn't need to register?

Only the person who will be declaring or lodging documents needs to register.

For example, one designer might sign off on designs from a team of designers. Only the person signing off and declaring the design needs to register. Not every designer needs to register.

Similarly, only the head Building Practitioner or principal contractor needs to register to make a building compliance declaration, not every subcontractor and tradesperson.

Before you register - mandatory online modules

Before you register, you must complete and pass two online learning modules on the Construct NSW Digital Learning Platform:

Keep your module certificates as proof of completion, you will need these when you register.

How to register

From 1 July 2021, you can apply to register on the Service NSW website.

Remember - you only need to register before you need to declare or lodge a document. This may not be on 1 July.

We’re aiming to make the registration process as easy as possible.

To register, you will need:

  • to be working on class 2 buildings or buildings that include a class 2 part; if not, you don’t need to register
  • proof of identity
  • a police check – Name and Date of Birth
  • a copy of your degree, postgraduate degree, diploma or NVR* course certificate and/or transcript
  • to provide certain details about the experience you are relying on and will need the name and contact details of a referee(s) who can validate this experience
  • if you hold an existing licence in your field of work, make sure those licence details are up to date and match your proof of identity documents

* National Vocational Education and Training Regulator Act 2011

For current registration fees, please visit the Design and Building Practitioner Registration fees page.

Working while your application is being assessed

If you apply for registration between 1 July and 31 December 2021, you will be 'deemed' registered. You will receive a registration ID and you can keep working while we assess your application. If your application is successful, your registration ID will stay the same and you can continue working.

If you apply for registration after 31 December 2021, you will need to stop declaring and/or lodging documents while you wait for your application to be assessed and approved.

Transitional arrangements

From 1 July 2021, the lodgement of declared designs for class 2 buildings is a new requirement under the Design and Building Practitioners Act 2020 and Regulations.

The new rules mean building work can only start when all ‘regulated designs’ have been declared for compliance with standards and lodged online via the NSW Planning Portal.

What does this mean for my current projects?

If you have not started building work under a particular complying development certificate or construction certificate before 1 July 2021, this applies to you. This applies regardless of whether your construction certificate or complying development certificate was issued before or after 1 July 2021.

If you have started building work before 1 July 2021, the new rules do not apply to the work that has started under that construction or complying development certificate. However, the designs you have relied upon will still need to be lodged. Any subsequent building work started on another certificate after 1 July 2021 will need to comply with the new rules.

For projects where building work has started under a construction certificate or complying development certificate before 1 July 2022, there is a transitional period for projects where building work is carried out in the first 12 months, allowing building work to be carried out after lodgement of the regulated designs and declarations for the particular construction or complying development certificate, rather than the entire building. This staged lodgement can continue for the life of the project.

Where designs have been prepared before 1 July 2021 by a practitioner who is not eligible for registration, those designs will need to be reviewed and a certificate provided that they comply with the Building Code by a registered Design Practitioner. The Design Practitioner can provide the Certificate even if they were not involved in supervising or coordinating the design.

All design and building work on a construction certificate or complying development certificate from 1 July 2021 (including staged development projects) will need to comply with all requirements under the Design and Building Practitioners Act 2020.

From 1 July 2022, the transitional period ends. For projects where the first building work was carried out after 1 July 2022, all regulated designs will need to be declared before any building work can start at all, including where the designs were prepared before 1 July 2021. By enabling a holistic view of design, we are improving industry practices at the start of the building process.

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