Building practitioner registration

The Victorian Building Authority (VBA) is the regulator for building activity in Victoria and is responsible for the registration of building practitioners. There are seven different categories of building practitioner in Victoria.

Each category has specific requirements for:

  • when you must be registered with the VBA
  • the registration classes under each category
  • the work that registered building practitioners can lawfully undertake for each class.

Tell me more about the different categories of building practitioner and their different classes of registration

There are seven different categories of building practitioner you can apply for, including building surveyor.

Building surveyors provide independent oversight of buildings and building work throughout the construction process and upon completion of construction to ensure that buildings are safe for use, accessible and energy efficient.

There are two classes in which you can apply to register:

  • Building Surveyor (Limited)
  • Building Surveyor (Unlimited)

Note that we will also consider applications for Building Surveyor (Limited) from applicants with practical experience restricted to class 1 and 10 buildings. If you wish to be assessed on this basis, indicate this on the application form in the provided location.

Learn more about the registration process for building surveyors.

Building inspectors perform an important role in monitoring building standards in Victoria. They carry out inspections of building work on behalf of the relevant building surveyor.

This category of building practitioner has three classes in which you can apply to register:

  • Building Inspector (Limited)
  • Building Inspector (Unlimited)
  • Building Inspector (Pool safety)

Note that we will also consider applications for Building Inspector (Limited) (limited to inspecting all classes of building up to three storeys in height, excluding buildings with a basement, and a floor area of up to 500 square metres) from applicants with practical experience restricted to class 1 and 10 buildings. If you wish to be assessed on this basis, provide a cover letter with your application form setting out this request.

Learn more about the registration process for Building Inspector

Learn more about the registration process for Building Inspector (Pool Safety)

Quantity surveyors are responsible for estimating and monitoring construction costs for all classes of building and types of construction.

Learn more about the registration process for Quantity Surveyors.

There are three classes of Draftperson:

Building Design (Architectural) - Registered practitioners:

  • Produce plans and documentation for building work
  • Assist with building permit applications and other associated permits
  • Develop plans and documentation to enable builders to tender for construction
  • Work closely with endorsed building engineers to produce compliant designs and drawings to obtain building permits and guide service installation.

This class of registration does not include hydraulic calculations or modelling work.

Building Design (Interior) - Registered practitioners:

  • Are responsible for preparing plans and specifications for building interiors that affect the structure of the building. This class does not include works related to the external elements of the building envelope.
  • May be engaged by a building owner or a builder to prepare plans and supporting documentation (specifications and schedules) to help establish a building contract between the builder and the property owner, and to ensure the design intention is met.
  • May be engaged by the building owner to liaise with the builder on behalf of the property owner to ensure construction decisions are consistent with design intentions.

Building Design (Services) - Registered practitioners:

  • Are responsible for producing working plans, drawings and specifications for the design of mechanical, electrical or hydraulic services for all classes of building and all types of construction.
  • Design services for new buildings, as well as for retrofitting existing buildings or individual floors within buildings.

Learn more about the registration process for Draftspersons.

Project Manager (Domestic) is a class of registration in the category ‘person responsible for a building project’. Those registered in the class of Project Manager (Domestic) are responsible for managing or arranging the carrying out of domestic building work by registered domestic builders. They cannot carry out the domestic building work themselves, or arrange for unregistered builders to carry out the work.

Building surveyors are not able to issue building permits to practitioners registered in the class of Project Manager (Domestic) when they are proposing to perform tasks as the builder. Also, if you are registered as a Project Manager (Domestic), you are not able to enter into major domestic building contracts.

Learn more about the registration process for Project Managers.

A registered erector or supervisor (temporary structures) is responsible for undertaking or supervising the erection, maintenance and dismantling of particular types of temporary structures, including prescribed temporary structures that fall within both classes.

There are two classes in which you can apply to register:

  • Class one: Erector or Supervisor (Temporary structures) (Limited to scaffolding stages and towers)
  • Class two: Erector or Supervisor (Temporary structures) (Limited to tents and marquees).

Learn more about the registration process for Erectors or Supervisors.

Commercial Builder

A registered Commercial Builder is responsible for managing and arranging the carrying out of all components of building work for the construction of commercial buildings and structures. These include class 2–9 buildings and structures, and class 10b buildings not associated with a domestic building, as classified by the Building Code of Australia.

For a complete list of the commercial builder classes, see What is commercial building work?

Learn more about the registration process for Commercial Builders.

Domestic Builder

Domestic building work is work associated with the construction, renovation, improvement or maintenance of a home. Homes are class 1, 2 and 4 buildings, and associated class 10 buildings (see Building classes).

There are 30 classes of domestic building work. For a complete list of the domestic builder classes, see What is domestic building work?

Learn more about the registration process for Domestic Builders

Demolisher

Demolishers completely or partly dismantle buildings and other structures using pre-planned and controlled methods. Their work often combines the structural demolition of load-bearing elements with the stripping of internal fixtures and fittings, services and non-load-bearing elements.

There are three classes of Demolisher in which you can apply to register:

  • Demolisher (Low rise)
  • Demolisher (Medium rise)
  • Demolisher (Unlimited).

Learn more about the registration process for Demolishers.


What's the application process?

The registration process varies across categories and classes. The following diagram outlines the broad process:

The registration process varies across categories and classes.  The diagram outlines the process. Text description as below.

1. Gain knowledge and experience

  • Attain relevant qualifications - Attend VBA information sessions to find out what you need to become registered, and have your questions answered by VBA assessors.
  • Gain required work experience - Start logging your experience form day 1 so you have what you need by the time you are ready to apply

2. Application

  • Prepare and submit your application and supporting documentation

3. Assessment

  • You may be required to complete a interview and/or assessment
  • Provide your insurance details

4. Decisions

  • VBA makes a decision on your application and notifies you of the outcome and next steps


Application form and quick links

To submit your application in a class of Building Surveyor you must include:

  1. A completed application form
  2. A completed technical referee report/s
  3. A completed experience statement
  4. A completed log book
  5. Your evidence portfolio

Application form

Please ensure that you use the correct application form. Using the incorrect form will result in delays to your application. For applications that will be received by VBA:

Technical Referee report, experience statement and Logbook forms:

We strongly recommend you download and use the VBA experience logbook template.

You can detail all your inspection work in the logbook. You can also generate a summary report to keep you on track and help you target areas where you might need further supervised experience.

Keep filling out your logbook as you are gaining experience. This will save you time when it comes to finalising your application.

Use the drop down fields in the logbook to record your specific experience.

Avoid editing the format as it may make the logbook inoperable. The VBA cant fix your log book if you make changes to the format.

How to submit

Once you have completed all documents, upload your full application here.

To submit your application in a class of Building Inspector Unlimited or Building Inspector Limited you must include:

  1. A completed application form
  2. A completed Technical Referee report/s
  3. A completed experience statement
  4. A completed log book
  5. Your evidence portfolio

Application form

Please ensure that you use the correct application form. Using the incorrect form will result in delays to your application. For applications that will be received by VBA:

Technical Referee report, experience statement and Logbook forms:

We strongly recommend you download and use the VBA experience logbook template.

You can detail all your inspection work in the logbook. You can also generate a summary report to keep you on track and help you target areas where you might need further supervised experience.

Keep filling out your logbook as you are gaining experience. This will save you time when it comes to finalising your application.

Use the drop down fields in the logbook to record your specific experience.

Avoid editing the format as it may make the logbook inoperable. The VBA cant fix your log book if you make changes to the format.

How to submit

Once you have completed all documents, upload your full application here.


Building Inspector (Pool Safety)

To submit your application for Building Inspector (Pool Safety) you must include:

  1. A completed application form
  2. A completed Technical referee report
  3. A completed log book
  4. Your evidence portfolio (5 detailed inspections)

Application form

Technical Referee report, experience statement:

You must download and use the VBA experience logbook template.

You can detail all your inspection work in the logbook. You can also generate a summary report to keep you on track and help you target areas where you might need further supervised experience.

Keep filling out your logbook as you are gaining experience. This will save you time when it comes to finalising your application.

Use the drop down fields in the logbook to record your specific experience.

Avoid editing the format as it may make the logbook inoperable. The VBA cant fix your log book if you make changes to the format.

How to submit

Once you have completed all documents, upload your full application here.

Application form

Please ensure that you use the correct application form. Using the incorrect form will result in delays to your application. For applications that will be received by VBA:

Technical Referee report:

Application Forms and Technical referee reports for Commercial Builder Limited classes:

Application form

Please ensure that you use the correct application form. Using the incorrect form will result in delays to your application. For applications that will be received by VBA:

Technical Referee reports:

Application Forms and Technical referee reports for Domestic Builder Limited classes:

Application form

Please ensure that you use the correct application form. Using the incorrect form will result in delays to your application. For applications that will be received by VBA:

Technical Referee report:

Application form

Please ensure that you use the correct application form. Using the incorrect form will result in delays to your application. For applications that will be received by VBA:

Technical Referee report, experience statement forms:

Application form

Please ensure that you use the correct application form. Using the incorrect form will result in delays to your application. For applications that will be received by VBA:

Technical Referee report, experience statement forms:


What do I need to become registered?

Before commencing the application form, review this checklist of what you will need to provide in your registration application:

  • Have you completed the relevant qualifications and competencies?
  • Have you viewed or attended one of the registration information webinars?
  • Do you have sufficient working experience and can you provide evidence of the work?
  • Have you completed the required Experience Statement and Technical Referee report and/or logbook*?
  • Have you completed the Police Check, photo ID and declarations?
  • Have you provided payment details for the application fee?

*Some practitioner classes require verified experience logbooks. See class specific requirements for further information.


A. Application form

  • You will need to fill out the application form, which varies depending on the category and class of registration that you are applying for. Forms should be saved to your computer. Open them in Acrobat Reader, type in the requested details (do not handwrite; it will take longer for us to process) and then print and sign.
  • You will need to provide different information types, including a copy of your qualification, details of your experience and recent passport photos. You may also need to provide supporting documents to your application, for example; technical references, evidence portfolio etc. These depend on the registration you are applying for so make sure you check the requirements which will be listed on your specific application form.
  • If you already have the required insurance for the category you are applying for, it is recommended that you include this as part of the initial application. You will need to provide this before your registration is finalised, so including it with the application form can speed up the process.
  • The application form requires a fee payment, which varies according to the category you are applying for. You can find the relevant application fee on the Building fees page.

*See list of downloads and links below for the different application forms.


B. Supporting evidence of experience

You will need to confirm, and provide evidence, that you have the skills, knowledge and experience to apply for registration. The experience requirements are different for each building practitioner category and each class or component that you are registering for.

We strongly recommend you keep a record of all of the projects that you work on in a digital logbook. For some application categories, a verified logbook is required as part of your application.

Depending on the category and class of your registration and as set out in the application form, you will need to complete:

  • An Experience statement prepared by you as the applicant
  • A Technical referee report prepared by a person who has directly supervised you in performing that building work.

AND/OR

  • An Experience logbook, preferably using the VBA template and signed by all project supervisors.

*See list of downloads and links below for the different templates required as part of your application.


C. Australia Post Police check

As part of your application form, we also require you to undertake a national police check through Australia Post. VBA pays for this police check.

Fill out the Police check for Victorian Building Authority form to get an email invite to our National Police Check Service.


D. Submit your application

By mail

Victorian Building Authority
GPO Box 536
MELBOURNE VIC 3001

In person

Victorian Building Authority
Goods Shed North
733 Bourke Street
DOCKLANDS VIC 3008

You must not make any written or oral statement to the VBA in relation to an application for registration (or for the renewal of registration) that you know, or should reasonably know, is false.


FAQs and reference links

The VBA runs registration information webinars on becoming a registered building practitioner. We recommend that you attend one before submitting your application. You can find upcoming webinars and book into one via our Events page.

Once we have received your application for registration as a building practitioner, we will check you have completed the application form correctly and submitted the required documents. We will return your application if it is incomplete, so please take care to ensure all fields are completed.

If your application is NOT accepted

We will send you a letter to explain what information is missing. Once you have obtained the required information, you can resubmit your application by re-sending:

  • your registration application form
  • all required supporting documents
  • the application fee.

If your resubmitted application is accepted, you will receive an acceptance letter to explain what happens next.If your resubmitted application is still not accepted, you will be notified by letter.

If your application IS accepted

We will send you an acceptance letter to explain what happens next.

Your application is assessed as follows:

The accuracy of your submitted information is confirmed and it is determined whether you have demonstrated the required experience to progress to the next stage.

Your application and supporting documents are reviewed in depth. You may be required to:

  • sit a computer-based open book exam (multiple choice format)
  • plan checking exercises
  • have a face-to-face interview with an accredited competency assessor.

If you are determined to have the required knowledge and experience for registration, you will be requested to provide proof that you are covered by the required insurance.

A recommendation is made whether your application should be granted or not. Throughout this process, we may ask you for further information to help our assessment. Your application may be refused if you do not provide any additional information as requested.

Application outcome

If you provide us with all required information in your application for registration, you can expect a decision about your application to be made within 8 to 12 weeks. If you need to provide us with further information, it will take longer for us to process your application.

Once the decision regarding the application is made, we will notify you of the outcome in writing.

If your application is successful

You will be registered for up to five years and your details will be added to the VBA's Find a practitioner building register.

We will send you a registration card. If you already hold registration in another building class, you will be issued with an updated card.

If you are unsuccessful

We will notify you in writing and outline the reasons why your application was unsuccessful.

You may reapply at a later date. In your subsequent application, you will need to demonstrate that you have addressed the gaps that caused your previous application to be refused.

Dispute the outcome of your application

You have the right to appeal the decision by requesting an internal review.

If you are dissatisfied with the VBA's decision on your registration application, you may apply to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) for a review of the decision. For more information, visit the VCAT website or call VCAT on (03) 9628 9755.

When assessing an application, we need to be satisfied that the applicant is fit and proper to become a registered building practitioner. This includes any partners the applicant may have as part of their business structure.

We establish if someone is fit and proper by;

  • asking you to complete a declaration as part of your application process,
  • requiring a police check,
  • asking you to complete an External Administration Declaration form if you were a director, secretary or influential person for a company that was in external administration at any time within two years before the company went into external administration.

To find out more go to Fit and proper person – external administration.

Your company must be registered as a building practitioner if you want to do any of the following using your company name instead of your individual name:

  • enter into major domestic building contracts
  • be named as a builder on a building permit for major domestic building work, or any other work costing more than (in most cases) $10,000.
  • be appointed as the relevant building surveyor.

If your company is not registered, you will not be able to the above activities using your company's name.

Serious penalties apply for saying, or implying, that you or your company are registered, if this is not true.

If you enter into a major domestic building contract using your individual name, a building permit cannot be issued unless the name on the contract matches the name on the certificate of insurance.

You can register your company in one or more categories or classes of registered practitioner, but a company can only be registered in a particular category or class if at least one of its directors is registered in that category or class.

To find out about registering a company with the VBA, go to Building companies.

No. The Certificate IV in Building and Construction (Building) is not a prescribed qualification under the Building Regulation 2018, nor is it recognised as an equivalent qualification under the Building Act 1993.

If you want to register as a Domestic builder, then your course must be prescribed and accredited under the Education and Training Reform Act 2006. This requirement applies to a diploma, associated diploma or degree in Building and Construction (Building).

The VBA  may consider another qualification either alone or together with any further certificate, authority, experience or examination equivalent to a prescribed qualification.

If your qualification is not prescribed or accepted as an equivalent qualification (such as Certificate IV), we will consider it as part of its broader assessment of your knowledge or experience.

For more information about the prescribed registration qualifications and equivalent qualifications, please see the guide 'What is Domestic building work?' or call the VBA on 1300 815 127.

Yes - if you require an interpreter, please let us know.

From 1 July 2018, if an applicant for registration carriers out business, or intends to carry out business, as a building practitioner or as a member of a partnership, then each member of the partnership (whether registered as a building practitioner or not) is required to satisfy the personal and financial probity required of registration.

Each member of the partnership must complete and submit a partner's declaration. In addition, each partner must submit a national police check via our online service provider and if they have been insolvent under administration or an officer of a company that was in external administration, they will be required to complete an External Administration Declaration form.

For the VBA to grant registration to a company or natural person carrying out business as a partnership, we must be satisfied that each partner is a fit and proper person in regard to the personal and financial probity requirements set out in section 171D and section 171E of the Building Act 1993.

To find out more, go to Partnerships.

The VBA can issue you with a real replacement building practitioner certificate, provided you pay the appropriate fee and we are satisfied that your original certificate has been damaged, destroyed or lost.

Please complete a 'Request for a Duplicate Building Practitioner Certificate (PDF, 359.84 KB)' form and submit it to the VBA.

If you want your company to be issued a replacement building practitioner certificate, please complete and submit to the VBA a 'Request for a Duplicate Building Practitioner Certificate for Company Registration' (PDF, 373.54 KB) form.

On 1 July 2021, the registration of engineers engaged in the building industry transferred from the Victorian Building Authority (VBA) under the Building Act 1993 (the BA Act) to the Business Licensing Authority (BLA) under the Professional Engineers Registration Act 2019 (PER Act).

The PER Act introduced a new engineering registration scheme that is co-regulatory, led by the BLA, supported by Consumers Affairs Victoria (CAV) and the VBA.

Practitioners registered as an individual building practitioner in the category of building engineer under the BA Act, were automatically transferred to a registration and endorsement under the PER Act.

Please head to Consumer Affairs Victoria for more information on engineer registration.