If you're undertaking building work or planning to subdivide land in NSW, you're responsible for obtaining certificates to show the work complies with relevant legislation and other standards. This ensures development across NSW is safe, is of the highest standard, and meets industry standards and the Building Code of Australia (BCA).
Your local council can advise the certificates required for your development. Certificates are issued by either local councils or accredited certifiers - both are experts on technical standards and regulations, though neither is responsible for supervising builders.
You can decide whether to appoint the local council and/or an accredited certifier as your certifying authority. The full list of council accredited certifiers and private accredited certifiers is here.
You may also wish to look at the Board's guides as you make your decision:
Working with your certifying authority
Once appointed, your certifying authority will inspect and approve - or 'certify' - building and subdivision work. They do this by making sure:
- detailed plans and specifications for proposed work comply with relevant building standards and development consent requirements
- important building elements such as fire safety systems are installed to the required standards
- the completed building or subdivision work is safe and healthy to occupy or use.
The certifying authority can issue construction certificates, compliance certificates, complying development certificates and strata certificates.
If work requires a construction certificate or complying development certificate, a principal certifying authority (PCA) must be appointed BEFORE work commences. The PCA will inspect building works during their construction to allow them to issue occupation certificates and subdivision certificates.
Certifiers are accredited under the specific categories in the Building Professionals Board's Accreditation Scheme depending on their skills, knowledge and expertise.
Each certifier carries a certificate of accreditation that shows their category of accreditation, the extent of their authorisation, the types of certificates they can issue and whether they can operate as a PCA.
You have the right to make a complaint about the work of an accredited certifier: find out more here.