When you need a certifier

If you need a construction certificate or a complying development certificate, you need to apply to your council or an accredited certifier.

You also need to engage a principal certifying authority before work starts. Your principal certifying authority may be your local council or a certifier— the choice is yours.

Who engages the certifier?

Only the person with the benefit of development consent (usually the property owner) can engage a principal certifying authority, and must sign a written contract with them before any work starts.

Your builder is not allowed to do this on your behalf, and you are not obliged to engage a certifier suggested by your builder.

Find out what a certifier does or read the guide to the building approvals process to understand what you need to do at each stage of construction.

Councils and certifiers issue a range of 'development certificates'. This is a broad term – you may be more familiar with related terms such as 'building approval'.

There are different development certificates for each type and stage of development. Your council or certifier can give you advice about which certificates you need.

  • Construction certificates state that work completed in accordance with approved plans and specifications will comply with legislative requirements.
  • Complying development certificates state that proposed development is complying development and (if carried out as specified) will comply with relevant development standards and legislative requirements.
  • Occupation certificates authorise the occupation and use of a new building, or a change of building use for an existing building.
  • Compliance certificates confirm that work or designs comply with specified standards.
  • Strata certificates authorise the registration of a strata plan, strata plan of subdivision or notice of conversion.
  • Subdivision certificates authorise the registration of a plan of subdivision under the Conveyancing Act 1919.

Swimming pools and spa pools

From 29 April 2016, if you plan to sell or lease a residential property with a swimming pool, you must have the pool barrier inspected by your local council or a certifier in category A1, A2, A3 or E1.