How to complain about a certifier

Anyone can lodge a formal complaint with the Building Professionals Board about an accredited certifier, but this should only be done if all other options have been exhausted.

First, take the time to talk to everyone involved and see if you can resolve the issue. The Building Professionals Board may dismiss your complaint if we consider there was a satisfactory alternative means available to resolve the matter. Read roles in enforcement to find out more about your options.

The certifier has a responsibility to consider the matter and advise what action he or she may take to resolve it. Any discussions and agreements should be documented. You can also contact the Board for advice— talking about the matter might uncover alternative ways to resolve it.

The Board can only investigate complaints against certifiers, whether they are employed by a council, a private business or a body corporate. The Board has no power to investigate complaints against companies, except an accredited body corporate that employs individual certifiers. The Board also has no power to investigate a builder, tradesperson, or anyone who is not an accredited certifier.

A formal complaint must be made using the complaint form and include supporting evidence.

Even if the Board decides to investigate your complaint, and it is proven, we do not have the authority to order building work to cease or unauthorised work to be rectified. This power lies with your local council.

Most of the complaints received by the Board are ultimately dismissed. This is mainly due to lack of evidence or because the complainant thought a certifier was responsible for a matter that was actually beyond the authority of a certifier.

Read about roles in enforcement to understand the enforcement powers of the Board, certifiers, councils and other bodies.

Who can lodge a complaint?

Anyone can lodge a complaint with the Building Professionals Board about the professional conduct of a certifier or an accredited body corporate.

If the Board investigates your complaint and it is proven, we may take one or more disciplinary actions as listed under disciplinary decisions.

How to lodge a complaint

You must provide the following in writing:

  • the certifier's name (and company name if applicable)
  • a description of the matter
  • the sequence of events (times, dates and locations)
  • supporting information such as:
    • the development consent or complying development certificate, and associated plans
    • the construction certificate and associated plans
    • photographs
    • correspondence or records of phone conversations
    • surveys
    • relevant local planning instruments
    • documents relating to the occupation certificate, subdivision certificate or strata certificate.
  • the complaint form referencing any supporting information.

Send your complaint to bpb-investigations@bpb.nsw.gov.au

Read more about the complaints process to understand what happens next.