The Role of a Registered Certifier

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What is a Registered Certifier?
A Registered Certifier is the holder of a certificate of registration issued under the Building & Development Certifiers Act 2018 and regulated by NSW Fair Trading (formerly Building Professionals Board).
Registered Certifiers are public officials under the ICAC Act 1988 and the Public Interest Disclosures Act 1994, and are public authorities under the Ombudsman Act 1974. Registered Certifiers have public official functions requiring them to act in a public official capacity. Public Officials must act in the public interest, to the benefit of society, the public and the community as a whole.
A Certifier for a development may be a Council or a private Registered Certifier.
What do Registered Certifiers do?
Registered Certifiers carry out certification work which includes:

The determination of applications for any development certificate including Construction Certificates, Complying Development Certificates, Compliance Certificates & Occupation Certificates;

The exercising of the functions of a Certifier (including Principal Certifier) as specified in section 6.5 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979, including the carrying out of mandatory critical stage inspections for building works;

The inspection of swimming pools under the Swimming Pool Act 1992 and the issuing of Certificates of Compliance under that Act;

The exercising of any function of a registered certifier under the certification legislation or under any other Act or Law;

Any other work of a kind as prescribed by the regulations.

As independent regulators and public officials, Registered Certifiers do not work for the builder, and are required to act in the public interest.

Registered Certifiers are required to:

What Registered Certifiers do not do?

What is an Interim/Final Occupation Certificate?

The principal building contractor or owner builder is responsible for the construction works including compliance with the development consent & Building Code of Australia. Quality control is also the responsibility of the principal contractor, owner builder or project manager.
What is a Principal Certifier?
A Principal Certifier (formerly known as Principal Certifying Authority or PCA) is the Registered Certifier who has been appointed to inspect the ‘building work’ at various critical stages of construction, to monitor compliance with the development consent.
A Principal Certifier is required to be appointed where ‘building work’ requires a Construction Certificate or Complying Development Certificate.
The Principal Certifier can only be appointed by the person with the benefit of the development consent (ie. the land owner), and must be appointed before building work commences on site.

A Principal Certifier:

Ensures that the necessary approvals are in place;

Ensures that any pre-conditions of the development consent are met;

Conducts the mandatory critical stage inspections throughout construction;

Issues the Occupation Certificate at completion.

The Principal Certifier for a development is the only person with the authority to issue an Occupation Certificate at completion of building work, providing that the development is safe for occupation & consistent with the development consent.
We are authorised to carry out the role of Principal Certifier for residential building work (Class 1 & 10 buildings).
The importance of engaging an independent Registered Certifier
Registered Certifiers, including the Principal Certifier can only be appointed by the person with the benefit of the development consent (ie. the land owner).

Registered Certifiers cannot be engaged by a builder (unless the builder is also the owner of the land).

If you are a property owner and in the early planning stages of preparing to build your dream home, you should carefully consider appointing an independent Registered Certifier.
It is important to have a discussion with your builder as early as possible about who you will be engaging as the Principal Certifier for your development. Remember, it’s your choice!

To ensure that you select the right Certifier for your development, you should always:

The Home Building Act 1989 includes a provision (cl.11C) that a holder of a contractor license must not unduly influence (or attempt to unduly influence) a person with whom the contractor entered a contract, in the appointment by that person of a Registered Certifier to carry out certification work with respect to work to be carried out under the contract. Clause 11C also sets out the circumstances in which a building contractor is taken to have attempted to unduly influence a person in the appointment of a Registered Certifier.

For more information about your right to engage the Registered Certifier for your development – Contact Fair Trading NSW.

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