New mandatory standards for building rectification

Minister for Better Regulation and Innovation

The NSW Government has released a comprehensive practice standard that outlines how building certifiers must undertake their role to ensure compliance with the law.

Minister for Better Regulation, Kevin Anderson said the standard helps all registered certifiers turn the requirements under the Building and Development Certifiers Act and the Environmental Planning Assessment Act into practice.

“For too long, the practice of many certifiers has been sub-standard – with the release of this Guide we’ve drawn a line under that. From today there can be no excuses; these new standards clearly outline the approach Certifiers must follow in their work and what must be done to comply with the law,” Mr Anderson said.

The standard has been developed in consultation with a panel of experts, chaired by Michael Lambert, and covers areas including fire protection, wet areas and waterproofing, occupation certificates, and ensuring the final building is consistent with the development consent.

The Guide is already being used to assist certifiers working on projects that are being audited under the new powers that were under the Residential Apartment Buildings (compliance and enforcement powers) Act 2020.

The standard will be reviewed and updated prior to the 1 July 2021 commencement of the Government’s game changing building reform agenda underpinned by the Design and Building Practitioners Act 2020.

“This is a living document that will be updated regularly to ensure it continues to be relevant and fit-for-purpose,” Mr Anderson said.

The standard works to clarify certifiers’ professional obligations as public officials, enhancing accountability and responsibility. Contravening the standard is a breach of a condition of registration for a certifier and if that breach is detected as part of an audit, disciplinary action will be taken by NSW Fair Trading.

“The new rules are not optional – we will be enforcing the implementation of the legislation, and will take disciplinary action if a breach is detected,” Mr Anderson said.

“We appreciate the efforts of practitioners in the industry who’ve engaged with the government throughout this reform process, and look forward to their positive contribution to a new era in construction in NSW.”

The first Practice Standard will initially apply to certifiers working on residential apartment buildings, where the majority of problems and complaints have been received.

Further Guides will be developed for other classes of buildings including class 1 dwellings.

The Practice Standard for registered certifiers is available on the Fair Trading NSW website.

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