Service Charter

The Victorian Building Authority's (VBA's) Service Charter sets out the standards of service you can expect to receive in your dealings with us. Specifically, this service charter sets out:

  • what services the VBA offers
  • what you can expect when you deal with the VBA (our service promise)
  • what the VBA cannot do for you
  • our service principles
  • how you can help us serve you better
  • how to contact the VBA
  • how you can provide feedback to the VBA.

The VBA is the principal regulator of the state’s building and plumbing industries. We work to ensure all Victorians have access to efficient, competitive and compliant building and plumbing industries.

The VBA's services include:

  • responding to general enquiries from the public about the building and plumbing industries
  • registering, licensing and disciplining builders and plumbers in Victoria
  • issuing owner-builder certificates of consent
  • providing expert technical advice and informed solutions to industry
  • carrying out inspections, investigations and audits to enforce compliance with relevant legislation
  • working with other agencies and regulators to ensure building and plumbing practitioners are compliant and consumers are protected
  • publishing guidance for building and plumbing practitioners
  • monitoring the collection of building permit levies
  • overseeing the work of building surveyors and Victoria’s building permit system.

To find out more about the VBA’s functions under the Building Act 1993 and the Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 2002, visit Building regulatory framework or download a copy our Corporate plan or Annual report.

As Victoria's principal regulator for building and plumbing, the VBA regulates for a quality-built environment in Victoria. The VBA contributes to public health, safety and amenity by overseeing compliance with regulations, legal requirements and professional standards, and by encouraging continuous improvement. We do so in the interests of consumers and industry participants for the benefit of all Victorians.

  • Trusted – As a firm but fair regulator that acts in the interests of all Victorians.
  • Respected – For our knowledge and expertise by industry, co-regulators and the community.
  • Transparent – In the way in which we regulate, how we communicate, how we target the use of our resources and in our results.
  • Responsive – To new and emerging issues through a risk-based regulatory approach, research and innovation.

The VBA's values encompass and reflect the values of the Victorian Public Sector: Responsiveness, Integrity, Impartiality, Accountability, Respect, Leadership and Human Rights. The VBA expresses these values through the way in which we work with all Victorians. We call this the VBA Values in Action.

Our VBA Values in Action:

  • We Problem Solve
  • We Work as One
  • We Deliver

Service charter

Our team is here to help you between 8.30 am and 5.00 pm, Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays).

In working with you, we will:

  • be fair and professional, and treat you with respect and courtesy
  • listen and ask questions to ensure we understand your needs or concerns
  • behave with honesty and integrity
  • be clear about what you can and can't expect from us
  • provide accurate information and advice
  • be responsive and proactive in our dealings with you
  • communicate clearly and directly to address all issues openly
  • take responsibility and address your needs in a timely manner
  • work with you to reach an outcome
  • encourage your feedback, so we can continually improve our service.

Although we will always do our best to assist you in navigating the building and construction system, there are things we cannot do.

These include:

  • providing you with legal, financial or business advice
  • resolving your contractual disputes
  • ordering practitioners or consumers to make compensation payments.

These guiding principles underpin our service standards and outline what Victorians can expect from us. We commit ourselves to being:

Fair and authoritative

In carrying out our duties, we will take care to ensure we understand your circumstances, needs and expectations, and we will strive to ensure fair procedure is always followed. We will be an authoritative source of information on building and plumbing regulation. We will always act within our regulatory authority and only use our powers when necessary and all other options are exhausted or inappropriate.

Accountable and transparent

If you’re unhappy with our services or the results of our actions, we want to hear from you. We are empowered to resolve complaints and concerns as quickly as possible. We explain our decisions, processes and actions clearly to ensure we share information and lessons learned. We may do this by telephone in the case of straightforward matters. However, you can ask us to provide written confirmation of what we have said. We will publish information describing how VBA officers approach their roles and the factors that guide their regulatory decision-making.

Effective and consistent

We will be clear and timely in dealing with you to ensure we manage your needs and expectations, and our statutory obligations. We will explain our role, regulatory approach and powers, so you can understand whether we can meet your expectations and address your concerns. Our service will be consistent and predictable, and will reflect our statutory functions, obligations and powers.

Targeted and proportionate

We will engage the community on issues that affect it. Our work will be targeted to stop activities that put the safety of Victorians at risk. When responding to all enquiries, we will be transparent about how the actions we take will be proportionate to the risk and harm facing Victorians.

Inclusive and respectful

The VBA is here to serve all Victorians. Therefore, everyone will have access to the VBA, including those with disabilities, those from culturally diverse backgrounds and those in rural and remote areas.

To help our team deliver service that meets your needs, we ask that:

  • you treat our staff with professional courtesy and respect
  • consumers provide relevant, accurate and complete applications or complaints, so we can respond quickly and ensure their applications and concerns are processed and responded to in accordance with our service framework
  • practitioners provide relevant, accurate and complete applications, so we can process their requests as quickly and efficiently as possible within the VBA service framework
  • practitioners and consumers respond promptly to information requests so that we can complete any investigations or enquiries in a timely manner
  • all applications are complete upon submission – incomplete practitioner applications will be returned with advice on what is required to move forward
  • we are advised when you need to speak to a staff member who has specific expertise, and
  • we are advised of any language or learning barriers, so that we can tailor our communications to interact with you in the most appropriate manner.

This website is a great place to find general (and specific) information on Victoria's building and construction industries. Before telephoning or emailing us, please check whether the information you need is on our website.

When lodging a form, application or complaint, please provide accurate and complete information, so we can effectively and efficiently respond to your request. You may be required to provide further information after your submission has been received.

Our Service Centre is available to answer your enquiries in person, over the telephone or via email between 8:30 am and 5:00 pm, Monday to Friday (except public holidays).

Email: customerservice@vba.vic.gov.au
Phone: 1300 815 127

The VBA Service Centre is located at:

Victorian Building Authority
Goods Shed North
733 Bourke Street
Docklands, VIC 3008

Practitioner Technical Assistance Line

Our Building and Plumbing Technical experts are available to answer your telephone and email enquiries between 8:30 am and 5.00 pm, Monday to Friday (except public holidays).

Interpreter Service

If you require an interpreter, contact the Translating and Interpreting Service on 131 450. Let them know the name of your language in English and ask the interpreter to call the VBA on 1300 815 127.

Hearing or speech impaired – National Relay Service

If you have a hearing or speech impairment, please contact the National Relay Service (NRS). Then provide the NRS with the VBA telephone number you want to call (usually 1300 815 127). For more information, visit the National Relay Service website. TTY users can also contact the NRS on 133 677.

The VBA is committed to improving our service. Your feedback plays a vital role in letting us know what things we are doing well and where we could improve.

We conduct regular surveys with our clients. You can also contact us at any time to provide feedback on the service you have received.

To provide feedback, you can call us on 1300 815 127, email customerservice@vba.vic.gov.au or send a letter to:

VBA Customer Service
Victorian Building Authority
GPO Box 536
Melbourne 3001

Internal review

Practitioners can request the VBA to conduct an internal review of some of its statutory decisions. These include decisions not to grant a license or registration, and decisions to impose disciplinary action. Only a person directly affected by a decision can apply for internal review. Legislation requires us to make internal review decisions within 28 days of receipt of the application for internal review.

If the VBA makes a decision that affects you, we will advise you of any statutory rights you have to seek a review of that decision.

Find out more about our internal review process.

Your privacy is important to us

The Information Privacy Act 2000 provides a legal framework for the collection, use, disclosure and holding of personal information. Under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act), there may be circumstances where we cannot grant access to information, as it may compromise the privacy of an individual or commercial in confidence of a business.

The VBA's Privacy Policy is available at vba.vic.gov.au/privacy. You can also contact us about privacy-related matters by emailing privacy@vba.vic.gov.au.

Freedom of Information

The FOI Act provides a framework for providing access to government documents, while balancing the protection of essential public interests and the private and business affairs of persons whose information is held by government agencies. The VBA is committed to providing access to the documents that it holds in accordance with the principles and requirements set out in the FOI Act.

Further information and VBA’s FOI application form is available at www.vba.vic.gov.au/legal/freedom-of-information.

You can write to our Freedom of Information Officer via email at foi@vba.vic.gov.au or via mail to:

Freedom of Information Officer
Victorian Building Authority
GPO Box 536
Melbourne 3001

For further information, you can contact our Freedom of Information Officer by calling 1300 815 127.

If you are not satisfied with your dealings with us, you may make a complaint about our practices. You should address your complaint to the VBA’s Complaints Co-ordinator and email it to customerservice@vba.vic.gov.au. We aim to resolve straightforward complaints within 10 business days and more complex matters within 30 business days.

If you are unable to resolve your concerns with the VBA, you can contact the Victorian Ombudsman's office at:

Victorian Ombudsman
Level 2, 570 Bourke Street
Melbourne VIC 3000
Telephone: (03) 9613 6222
Website: www.ombudsman.vic.gov.au
Email: ombudvic@ombudsman.vic.gov.au

If your complaint relates to allegations of misconduct or corruption of VBA officers, it will be dealt with under our Protected Disclosure Procedures and may be referred to the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC). You may also direct a disclosure of misconduct or corruption to IBAC yourself via the following details:

Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission
Level 1, North Tower
459 Collins Street
Melbourne VIC 3000 
Telephone: 1300 735 135
Website: www.ibac.vic.gov.au