Building Act changes that may affect you

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Further changes to the VBA's powers and functions under the Building Act 1993 are scheduled to come into effect on 1 September 2016. Some of these changes may affect your obligations under the law.

Find all the information about how these changes relate to your work as a building practitioner generally or a building surveyor specifically, by visiting the VBA Reforms portal.

The changes that will come into effect on 1 September 2016 include: 

  • The Building Practitioners Board (BPB) will be abolished and the functions and powers of the BPB will transfer to the VBA, including registering building practitioners, issuing certificates of consent to owner-builders, and supervising and monitoring practitioners' conduct and capacity to practise.
  • Applicants for registration will need to meet the requirements of a new 'fit and proper person' test that will replace the existing 'good character' test.
  • All practitioners will be registered for a period of five years. Practitioners will be required to renew their registration at the end of this five year period if they wish to continue to practise.
  • Practitioners who were registered prior to 1 September 2016 will be required to transition to the new five year registration period. This transition will occur over a number of years and practitioners will be advised when their registration is coming up for renewal.
  • Practitioners may surrender their registration when they exit the industry.
  • The disciplinary process will change from an inquiry to a 'show cause' process.
  • The VBA will have the power to:
    • impose conditions on registrations
    • accept enforceable undertakings from practitioners
    • suspend a practitioner's registration pending the outcome of disciplinary proceedings.
  • Practitioners will have access to a new internal review process.
  • Builders will be prohibited from appointing private building surveyors for domestic building work.
  • Owner-builders will be required to undertake an online assessment about their knowledge of the duties and responsibilities of an owner-builder before certificates of consent can be issued.
  • An individual owner-builder will be eligible to apply for a certificate of consent once in a five-year period (unless the application relates to an existing home).
  • Details of owner-builder projects will be published on a public register.

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