VBA out in force in 2021

In a year of unprecedented change, the VBA maintained a firm but fair regulatory presence.

In the 11 months to the end of November, 988 investigations were carried out, with more than 230 separate sanctions issued against practitioners.

The VBA’s Proactive Inspections Program inspected 13,251 permits between January and November 30. This led to the VBA sending 925 notifications to plumbing practitioners, requiring a response to the compliance risks found.

The Plumbing Audit Program conducted 12,476 audits, drain inspections and follow-up visits, with 1,562 of these completed virtually.

During 2021, the VBA issued 171 Show Cause Notices.

VBA Regulatory ActivityFigure 1: A summary of 2021 VBA Regulatory Activity (January - November).

The VBA completed the discipline process for 41 cases where builders had failed to call for mandatory inspections, reinforcing a key procedure for integrity of buildings.

Some other key enforcement outcomes include two builders who had their registrations cancelled for work that was seriously dangerous or below the expected standard, while a builder who procured registration by fraud and another who engaged in "licence lending", undertaking domestic building at a site which he owned while only having commercial registration, had their registrations cancelled.

A builder who failed to pay his subcontractors and demonstrated a very poor understanding of the requirements for building permits, was the subject of multiple actions during the year.

By proactively inspecting building and plumbing work during construction, we:

  • engage with industry to build trust.
  • educate building practitioners and plumbers as the construction industry evolves.
  • ensure building practitioners and plumbers meet their responsibilities and functions under the Building Act 1993 (the Act), Building Regulations 2018 and Plumbing Regulations 2018 and that their work complies with the Act and Regulations.