Performance audits

Performance audits of the building industry are an examination of work carried out by Registered Building Practitioners.

They are designed to:

  • assess compliance of building work with the Building Act 1993 (the Act) and the Building Regulations 2018 (the Regulations)
  • ensure that building work does not pose any risk of injury or damage to people
  • ensure that building work is carried out competently and to a professional standard.

The VBA has two kinds of performance audit programs: a building audit program and a levy audit program.

Building audits

What gets audited?

Building audits can be carried out on any type of work governed by the Act and the Regulations. This includes physical work at a building site, building permit documentation, administrative procedures and practitioner conduct.

Building audits can target work carried out by any registered building practitioner, including but not limited to building surveyors, builders, engineers and draftspersons.

The building audit process

When undertaking building audits, the VBA will:

Set clear objectives

Audits are designed to monitor specific, targeted criteria and have a well-defined scope. These criteria are established by taking into consideration the legislative requirements for the type of building work audited, and the functions and responsibilities of the building practitioner group being audited.

Create an audit checklist

This tool ensures that audits are conducted using a consistent, systematic approach. Checklists are reviewed by industry representatives and tested before being used on a larger scale.

Generate an audit sample

Once the audit scope is determined, VBA uses a range of sources to define the audit sample. Audit samples are, in most cases, randomly generated using a set of criteria to match proportions in the industry.

Undertake the audits

Audits are performed by professionals with the appropriate technical expertise and training to ensure fair and objective assessments. Audits are documented and copies of evidence gathered, ensuring all findings are substantiated and supported.

Analyse the results

Analysis is performed at both an individual level (the audited practitioner) and at a group level (all audits) to extract information that is relevant and meaningful to the practitioner, VBA and industry.
If an audit reveals instances of significant non-compliance, the Building Audit Program can escalate the case via existing VBA compliance processes.

Report on findings

All audited parties receive an audit report that advises them of their level of compliance and, where relevant, equips them with a better understanding of, and opportunity to focus on, areas for improvement.

Inform industry

Insights gathered through individual audits are often applicable to the wider practitioner group. By sharing findings (while maintaining confidentiality), VBA aims to promote voluntary compliance throughout the industry.

For an overview of the VBA's building audit priorities for the 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 financial years, refer to the Building Audit Priorities information sheet.

Building Permit Audit – Findings and actions

The Victorian Building Authority (VBA) has released findings of its state-wide audit of building permit files, conducted to monitor building surveyors' compliance with the Building Act 1993 and the Building Regulations 2018.

The VBA assessed 1000 building permit files at councils against a detailed checklist of items relating to legislated administrative and technical requirements. The audit specifically focused on material the relevant building surveyor (RBS) receives, considers, records and submits to council.

The permit files audited at council were largely compliant across all items tested; an average of eight per cent of items assessed in each file was found to be non-compliant with the legislative framework.
As a result of the audit, the VBA has issued several compliance actions, including encouraging building surveyors and those involved in the building permit process to improve their record management and documentation.

The VBA is committed to taking a leadership role in enacting and supporting improvements in the industry and is engaging directly with industry to communicate the audit's results and share compliance actions.

The VBA is also working with the relevant building surveyors to ensure outstanding issues are fixed and consumers are protected. Any instances of serious non-compliance are being managed through the VBA's compliance processes.

The findings from the audit provide the VBA with a basis for ongoing monitoring of the building permit system. The results will contribute to strengthening the VBA's risk-based audit program by informing future audits, targeting identified risks and monitoring compliance of work undertaken by registered building practitioners.

For an overview of the key findings of this audit and the actions that will be taken, view the Building Permit Audit – Summary of findings and actions information sheet.

Levy audits

Levy audits are conducted by the Victorian Building Authority’s levy auditors. Levy audits are performed on building surveyors who issue building permits (also referred to as reporting entities). Reporting entities can be municipal councils, private lodging organisations or private building surveyors.

The primary aim of levy audits is to ensure building surveyors comply with their obligations to report and submit building permit levies, according to their responsibilities under the Building Act 1993 and the Building Regulations 2018. Levy audits can also assist reporting entities with troubleshooting administrative problems in these aspects.

Find out about Building permit levy