The Community has raised concern over the
confusion of the roles of Private Certifiers in the Development Control process.
The following information outlines the roles of both Council and a Private
Certifying Authority where appointed.
In 1998 the NSW Government amended the
Environmental Planning and Assessment Act to allow applicants to appoint persons
other than the Council to certify the construction of their development.
Previously only the Local Council had this responsibility.
Private Certifiers are accredited
professionals who issue certificates for development under the Environmental
Planning and Assessment Act. Accredited Private Sector Certifiers are able to
check that development proposals comply with required technical standards and
regulations. They are required to be accredited under a scheme managed by the
Building Professionals Board which is part of the Department of
The power of a Private Certifier in general is as follows;
issue construction certificates, certifying (among other things)
compliance with the Building Code of Australia (BCA);
issue compliance certificates specifying that conditions of
consent have been satisfied or that work complies with the plan and
specification, or nominating the classification of a building under the BCA;
issue complying development certificates, certifying that
nominated development proposals comply with standards and criteria in Council's
Local Environmental Plans and Development Control Plans; and
act as a Principal Certifying Authority (PCA), responsible for,
among other things, issuing occupation certificates specifying that buildings
are safe to occupy.
carry out mandatory building inspections
To be accredited, the certifier must demonstrate his/her
qualifications and experience, agree to abide by the scheme's code of conduct
and complaints handling mechanisms, undertake continuing professional
development, and provide evidence of his/her public liability insurance.
When accredited, a certifier is given a unique number, which is used on all documents to identify the certifier. A certifier must be re-accredited each year by the Department of Planning.
When an applicant appoints a PCA they assume
the role of Council and as such take responsibility for the site. They lodge
with Council the Construction Certificate once they are satisfied that the
applicant has met all the requirements of the Development Consent.
receives complaints in relation to the conduct of a builder and/or compliance
with Development Consent conditions. It is the role of the PCA to investigate
and respond to these complaints.Upon receipt of any complaint the
Environmental Services Division follows this procedure ;
identify the PCA and advise them in writing of the nature of the
complaint and the complainant's contact details.
the complainant is also advised in writing of the name and contact
details of the PCA. Further to this they are advised of the contact details of
the Building Professionals Board if they wish to lodge a complaint against the
In relation to better informing the Community of the
roles of the PCA, Council has implemented the following;
Will include a standard letter with the current documents that are
forwarded to all objectors following the determination of an application. This
letter will advise the following:
Outline the Construction Certificate and Building Inspection
Advise of the role of a PCA if appointed and the authority of
Advise of the process if they have concerns regarding the conduct
of a Builder and/or possible breaches of Development Consent conditions
Provide contact details to lodge a formal complaint in relation to
the conduct of a PCA.
In summary if you have any concerns in relation to the conduct of
a Private Certifying Authority (PCA) you should contact The Building Professionals