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Regulatory Policy Statement

The VBA’s Regulatory Policy Statement (accessible version) explains how the Authority delivers on its role within the building and plumbing regulatory system.

We regulate industry to improve consumer outcomes. Effective industry regulation enables consumers to enjoy a safe and quality built environment.

We are transparent and clear about what is acceptable and what is not and the consequences of non-compliance.

What we do

The VBA:

  • Provides oversight of practitioner capability through effective and efficient registration and licensing processes.
  • Monitors industry compliance with building and plumbing standards through proactive inspections and audits.
  • Uses enforcement powers when appropriate to achieve compliance and acts in the public interest.
  • Applies intelligence and data, including research and analytics, to better inform our regulatory strategy and approach.
  • Uses and shares our technical knowledge and expertise to improve the regulatory system, and to support builders, plumbers and other practitioners in the delivery of positive consumer outcomes.

Being a Trusted Regulator

The VBA prioritises its resources and regulatory effort on those areas which pose the greatest risks of harm to consumer outcomes.

We commit to:

  • Focusing on consumer outcomes through our regulatory activities
  • Communicating clearly how we regulate practitioners and our expectations of all practitioners
  • Using our regulatory tools effectively and in a timely manner
  • Taking corrective action – including removal of practitioners from the industry – to improve the safety and quality of the built environment.

Prioritising our effort

The VBA directs its regulatory actions to where the potential harm to consumers is greatest, and where our regulatory powers can have the most impact.

Examples include targeting specific practitioners, undertaking directed regulatory interventions on a specific harm and conducting research or educating industry on current or emerging areas of harm.

Our compliance approach

Industry and the community expect a fair and proportionate approach to regulation that is tough on those who compromise the health and safety of consumers or building occupants via enforcement action but reduces the regulatory burden on those doing the right thing.

This is the essence of our ’harms-based approach’ to regulation. The VBA uses enforcement actions where there is a safety or non-compliance risk, or where a practitioner has a history of poor performance.

Data and intelligence-led

The VBA uses intelligence from a range of sources to help focus efforts. This includes internal data from audits and inspections, industry tip-offs, other agencies and consumer reports.

We also use a practitioner’s history to inform our regulatory focus and response to any non-compliance.

Our tools and powers

Our tools range from providing education services to help practitioners maintain competency as well as sanctioning and disciplinary powers to directly address poor practitioner behaviour.

We are gearing up to use our full suite of powers more often. This means that the VBA will, where necessary:

  • Use Directions to Fix and rectification notices to require practitioners to remedy noncompliant work
  • Seek maximum penalties to reinforce our expectations and change practitioner behaviour
  • Use our registration, licensing and disciplinary powers to remove those practitioners from the building and plumbing system who put consumers at risk.

Find out more about the VBA's regulatory priorities.