Immediate suspension

Under the Building Act 1993 (the Building Act), a practitioner's registration can be suspended if:

  • the VBA reasonably believes that a specified ground for immediate suspension exists, or
  • the VBA considers immediate suspension to be in the public interest.

One of the specified grounds is that the practitioner is no longer covered by required insurance. In this case, we have no discretion and must proceed to immediate suspension.

Other grounds for immediate suspension (whole or partial, and at our discretion) include the practitioner:

  • being insolvent
  • being convicted of a serious offence involving fraud, dishonesty, drug trafficking or violence
  • not having a registered building practitioner as a director, if the practitioner is a company
  • not complying with the conditions of registration.

Public interest considerations include building work affecting people’s health and safety or posing a serious risk to property, and repeated disciplinary breaches.

We will provide the practitioner with a show cause notice setting out the basis and reasons for the immediate suspension without delay after the suspension notice is given to the practitioner.

If you have been issued with an immediate suspension notice, you should read the Immediate suspension practitioner guide. It will help ensure you are fully aware of your responsibilities, what to do and where to get further information or advice.

Frequently asked questions

The term ‘reasonable belief’ is not defined in the Building Act, but requires a decision maker to believe, at the time of making a decision, that the basis for the decision is reasonable and is not based on a mere belief or assertion. It will involve the decision maker objectively taking into account all known considerations.

The VBA must, by written notice given to the practitioner, immediately suspend the registration of the practitioner if it forms a reasonable belief that the practitioner has ceased to be covered by the required insurance.

We may, by written notice given to the practitioner, immediately suspend the registration of the practitioner if there is a reasonable belief that a ground for immediate suspension exists.

Immediate suspension is not a criminal matter, but a practitioner may be immediately suspended for being convicted of an indictable offence involving fraud, dishonesty, drug trafficking or violence.

Yes. A practitioner may apply for a review of a decision to immediately suspend their registration through our internal review process or by the Victorian Civil Administrative Tribunal (VCAT).

See Internal review for further information.

The prescribed grounds for immediate suspension relate to matters that pose a serious risk to the safety of individuals, the public or property, and therefore suspension must be immediate.

An immediate suspension takes effect when the notice of decision is given to a practitioner.

Yes. We will follow an immediate suspension with a show cause notice to commence disciplinary action against the practitioner’s registration.

See Show cause process for further information.

An immediate suspension continues for the period specified in the suspension notice unless it is revoked by the VBA, or is set aside on review by following internal review or review by the VCAT.