The NSW Government has been continuing its effort to foster public confidence in the building and construction industry with the Building and Development Certifiers Regulation 2020 (the Regulation) which came into effect on 1 July 2020. The Regulation accompanies the earlier Building and Development Certifiers Act 2018 NSW (the Act).
The Regulations and the Act are the new statutory regime that replaces the former Building Professionals Act 2005 (NSW) and imposes requirements for the registration of registered certifiers, introduced Code of Conduct standards. A summary of these reforms is detailed below:
- Building certifiers will no longer be accredited but must be registered and authorised to carry out certification works. All registered certifiers will be required to undertake annual education and training. There will be different classes of registration based upon, qualifications, experience and knowledge.
- The introduction of a new Code of Conduct for certifiers. A failure to comply with the code may expose certifiers to a maximum penalty of $11,000 for an individual and $22,000 for a body corporate.
- Building certifiers will be subject to new conflict of interest provisions. These provisions effectively prohibit a certifier from providing professional services in relation to design and compliance (under the Building Code of Australia), as well as acting as the principal certifier on the same development and broadens the scope of what will be considered a conflict of interest for certifiers.
- The Act introduces more stringent requirements for professional indemnity insurance. All building certifiers will need to be adequately insured, hold a valid professional indemnity insurance and ensure their policy is in compliance with regulations against any liability to which they may be subject, as a result of carrying out certification work. A 12-month transition period will be permitted to allow registered certifiers to meet the changes in insurance requirements.
The real impact of the Regulations and the Act may include:
- some initial difficulty for certifiers to adjust to the new changes;
- longer lead times for certification in the short term, which may create delays for builders in existing projects; and,
- increased costs in certification generally.
If you require more information on any of the above items discussed, please do not hesitate to contact Coleman Greig’s Building and Construction lawyers, who are highly experienced and are able to provide expert, tailored advice – no matter the complexity of the matter at hand.