A Guide on Building Certifiers

Posted on: 18 March 2019

A building certifier is an individual that provides approvals for building works. He or she also inspects building works to ensure that they meet the required standards. Building certifiers are a viable alternative to seeking building approvals from your local council. This article discusses the work of building certifiers and how they should relate with clients. 

How to find a building certifier

There are various classes of building certifiers, which means you need to find out whether a certifier is qualified to inspect and approve your construction works. Also, ask your certifier if he or she is licensed to issue development certificates. The certifier should be state-accredited and affiliated to a professional certifiers' association. Due to the nature of their work, certifiers should have professional indemnity insurance. 

When should you hire a building certifier?

Not all construction works require approvals. Minor repairs and small installations, such as decks and sheds, do not need any authorisation. You should hire the certifier before you commence construction works. In such a way, the certifier is involved in the planning and construction phases. 

What is the work of a building certifier?

Below are some of the roles of the building certifier.

  • Assesses and approves building plans
  • Conducts critical stage inspections to verify the structural integrity of the building and ensures compliance with minimum requirements regarding fire safety, pest control and sewerage
  • Issues certificates of inspection to the builder
  • Issues enforcement notices for noncompliant structures
  • Conducts a final inspection to verify that the building is safe for human occupation

Exemptions

Your certifier is not responsible for ensuring that the contractor follows the recommended plan. As such, you cannot ask the certifier to supervise building works. A certifier cannot also inspect construction works in which he or she has an interest in. For example, a certifier cannot certify construction works in his or her own home. 

Reporting

If you have a conflict with your certifier, you should notify the building professional's board. Attach evidence such as photographs, building plans and subdivision certificates when delivering the complaint. However, you should try all mechanisms of solving the dispute before going to the board.

Notice of Engagement

The notice of engagement is a contract between you and the certifier. The document is sent to your local council to inform them that you have ongoing construction works and you have hired a particular certifier. 

A building certifier approves building plans and inspects construction works to ensure that the builder abides by the building code. Always deal with licensed and qualified certifiers. 

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