Private Certifiers and Development Control


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 Principal Certifying Authority where appointed.


Private Certifiers are professionals who are authorised by the NSW government to carry out certain regulatory functions related to building and construction in accordance with the Building and Development Certifiers Act 2018 (NSW). They are licensed/accredited by NSW Fair Trading and appointed by property owners and developers to undertake assessment and inspection of building work to ensure compliance with relevant legislation, including the Building Codes of Australia (BCA) and the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (NSW) (EP&A Act).  

Private Certifiers can also undertake assessment of certain types of development under the complying development provisions for low-impact development, such as minor home renovations and small-scale commercial projects. However, larger and more complex development applications generally need to be assessed by Council.  

Roles and Responsibilities

The role of a Private Certifier is to oversee the development and ensure compliance with the various regulatory requirements related to building work, including the BCA and relevant planning and environmental legislation. The Private Certifier is responsible for issuing Construction Certificates, Occupation Certificates, and Complying Development Certificates for building work, and for ensuring that all relevant approvals and permits are obtained before construction work begins. 

In addition, a Private Certifier is responsible for carrying out regular inspections of the building work during construction to ensure that it is being carried out in accordance with the approved plans and specifications, and that it meets all relevant building standards and regulations. The Private Certifier may also require a builder to stop and rectify any non-compliant building work. Failing to comply with a direction issued by a Private Certifier may result in the Council taking control to enforce compliance.