Terminology And Compliance

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Useful Terminology and Compliance Information

Complying Development Certificate

A Complying Development certificate is an alternative to a DA and can be utilised for most residential building developments under NSW planning policy. A Complying Development certificate is issued if a proposed development complies with relevant planning controls and building controls under the Building Code of Australia (BCA). Direct Building Approvals can issue Complying Development certificates for most residential building developments ranging from new houses, alterations/addition, Granny flats, swimming pools & out buildings.

The NSW government introduced neighbour notifications for a period of 14 days prior to the approval of a Comply & Development certificate. The certificate must be obtained before any building work commences, including site works such as demolition and excavation.

Apply for a Construction Certificate

If you have development consent after submitting a DA to council, you need a construction certificate before you can start building work. A Construction Certificate confirms building plans comply with the BCA, are ‘not inconsistent’ with the development consent. You will also need to insure compliance with relevant conditions of the development consent. Accredited certifiers and councils can issue construction certificates. A construction certificate (or complying development certificate) must be obtained before building work commences. Without one, you cannot obtain an occupation certificate at the completion of building work.
Find out about Inspections

In addition Recent Legislative Changes have allowed for , Houses to be approved under CDC.


at the commencement of the building work. The intention of this inspection is to establish that site works, in preparation for the building, are in place and in accordance with both legislative and approval (conditions of consent) requirements of Council.


prior to covering any stormwater drainage connections. Primarily this inspection requires the certifier to view the stormwater connection to the street, easement, detention basin or other means of stormwater disposal. The inspection does not include linework associated with effluent disposal or water supply but should include the stormwater line to the connection point.


after excavation for and prior to the placement of footings. The method of construction will determine when or if this inspection is necessary.


prior to pouring any in-situ reinforced concrete building element, this refers to slab on ground, core filled block work, suspended slabs and the like.


prior to the covering of the framework for any floor, wall, roof or other building element. Generally this is prior to lining the structure and ideally after all services and installations (ie air conditioning, plumbing, wiring) have been installed but permits external cladding, veneers or roofing.

Wet Area

prior to the covering of waterproofing in any wet areas. Wet areas include bathrooms, ensuites and laundries.


after the building work has been completed (inc. driveways & landscaping) and prior to any occupation certificate being issued in relation to the building. Should the structure not be completed and occupation is sought an PART occupation certificate may be considered.

At least two days before work starts, the BDC must inform you about the inspections required and you must inform your builder. The builder will make arrangements with the BDC for inspections to be carried out as needed. The BDC may not be able to issue certificates for completed work if inspections are not undertaken.

Failure to comply will result in the inability to occupy the building work.

We have established a record for providing a reliable, efficient and competitive service throughout the construction phase of your development, together with a competitive price.
Occupation Certificate

What is an PART/WHOLE Occupation Certificate?

An occupation certificate certifies that the building or nominated part of the building is suitable and safe to be occupied. The occupation certificate must be obtained from the principal certifying authority (BDC) prior to the occupation of a new building or part of a building and also prior to commencing any change in the building’s use.

Prior to issuing an occupation certificate, the BDC must be satisfied that the construction works satisfy certain legislative requirements, such as the Building Code of Australia and that the building or nominated part of the building is suitable for occupation. Key considerations are structural adequacy, fire safety and the health, safety and amenity of future occupants of the building

What other obligations does a PCA have?

Your BDC a public official and has responsibilities and a duty of care in relation to the advice they provide and action they take. Their work must satisfy the requirements of NSW planning legislation. Your BDC is subject to a code of conduct and auditing by the NSW Fair Trading, as well as anti-corruption provisions and the standards required of public authorities under NSW legislation. Your BDC is required to avoid conflicts of interest and can only exercise their functions if covered by professional indemnity insurance.

What work will my PCA do?

Your BDC will:

The BDC, or another accredited certifier approved by the BDC, will undertake certain mandatory inspections of the work at different stages during construction – the required inspections should be set out in the agreement you have signed with the BDC. Your builder must advise the BDC when the building work reaches the stage where the inspections need to be undertaken. The BDC should advise you and the builder of any issues identified during an inspection.

The BDC may require compliance certificates or expert reports at different stages of construction (for example, a structural engineer’s certificate for building footings). While they may rely on these certificates when issuing an PART or WHOLE occupation certificate, they, or another certifying authority agreed to by the BDC, must always undertake mandatory inspections on site.

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