Proposed changes to Building Certification laws in Queensland
The Queensland Department of Housing and Public Works is currently considering changes to the building certification regime.
Under Queensland’s current model, customers can seek certification services from a range of licensed and accredited private building certifiers or from
their local government. Certifiers can be engaged directly by owners or by builders, but in most cases they are engaged by the builder. Certifiers
can also set their own fees at present. Builders typically use the same certifier from project to project due to their relationship with the certifier,
confidence in the certifier’s competence and the competitiveness and predictability of the certifier’s fees.
What are the proposed changes?
- Builders would no longer be able to lodge building applications for certification. Rather, the application must be lodged by the property owner with
- Introduction of the “Cab Rank” certification system, namely:
– the QBCC will choose who will certify the works (rather than the builder or applicant)
– it will create more of an equitable distribution of certification jobs amongst licensed certifiers
– the introduction of a minimum standardised fee structure
- Enforcement action is to be taken by local government only, not by certifiers.
- The certifier who provides the building approval must be the same certifier who undertakes the mandatory inspections (ie must physically go to site)
- Restrictions on who can become a QBCC licensed certifier
- Cadets cannot conduct inspections unless they are supervised by the licensed certifier who issued the building approval
- An increase of technical auditing of building certifiers by the QBCC
- The ability for owners to request additional inspections and a final inspection if issues arise between the certifier and the builder
- The QBCC must approve the disengagement of the certifier after mediation
- The introduction of mandatory preliminary inspections for all building works
- The introduction of new mandatory inspections for fire separation in duplexes and townhouses; and
- Certifiers to be based no more than 200km from the building work they certify.
- The need for builders to familiarise themselves with the new system for obtaining building certification and to adjust their administration processes
- There may be delays in obtaining certifications due to the introduction of the “cab rank system” and having to wait for the chosen certifier to become
available rather than selecting a certifier who is immediately available; and
- The introduction of the standardised fee structure which may see an increase in the costs of certifications.