Building Activity Management System (BAMS)
Learn the basics of BAMS
We have developed an online learning module to help building surveyors and their administration staff learn the basics of BAMS.
Take the short course now to learn how to use BAMS.
We’ve also prepared a BAMS user guide for building surveyors (PDF, 10169.87 KB). It’s a valuable how-to manual for using the new online system.
Building permit number, levy and reporting changes
Important changes to Victoria’s building permit and levy laws commenced on 1 July 2019, amending the Building Act 1993 (the Act) and the Building Regulations 2018 (the Regulations). Further changes to the Act will introduce a cladding rectification levy on 1 January 2020.
As of 1 July 2019:
- the Victorian Building Authority (VBA) must issue a building permit number before a relevant building surveyor can issue a building permit
- owners have a duty to notify the VBA of revised final costs of work
- the VBA has new powers to re-assess a levy after issuance of a building permit; and
- revised mandatory monthly reporting duties apply under regulation 47 of the Regulations and repeal of regulation 46 (monthly levy reporting) of the Regulations.
To assist in the implementation of these reforms, the VBA developed an online platform, known as the Building Activity Management System (BAMS).
- accepts applications for building permit numbers (BPNs)
- processes levy payments
- issues BPNs
- accepts mandatory monthly reports from relevant building surveyors; and
- accepts amendments to BPN records and building permit details.
From 1 January 2020:
- an additional building permit levy component to fund cladding rectification work will apply to building work in metropolitan areas with a cost of works of at least $800,000 and a classification of 2 to 8 under the National Construction Code
- the VBA will be responsible for calculating the total building permit levy payable; and
- owners will no longer be required to notify the VBA of revised final costs of work for staged permits.
Set up a BAMS account
To set up a BAMS account and receive your login details, download the relevant form below.
- Private Building Surveyors (PDF, 2036.71 KB)
- Body Corporate Building Surveyors (PDF, 2042.34 KB)
- Municipal Councils (PDF, 2044.6 KB)
- Private Lodging Organisations (PDF, 2042.62 KB)
Email the completed form to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Requesting a building permit number
Under section 18AA of the Act, an RBS must give the VBA the information needed to start the BPN application process. Once the VBA has received all information and payment of the levy, the VBA has five days to issue or refuse to issue a BPN.
Building surveyors will need all required information before applying for a BPN. There are a number of required fields and, depending on your answers to the required fields, you may need to provide information for several ‘conditionally required’ fields. For example, if you have advised us that someone else will pay the levy, details about the nominated payer are considered ‘conditionally required’.
Individual BPN applications will be submitted through BAMS via a single online portal, while multiple applications will be made in bulk through a CSV file upload. After the levy payment has been made (via credit card, debit card or BPAY), the RBS will be notified of all issued BPNs via email. The RBS can then issue the building permit to the applicant.
Management of staged building permits within BAMS
For staged building permits, you must apply for a BPN for each stage. BAMS allows building surveyors to input their own Project ID/ Name during the BPN application process. This Project ID/Name field will be used for all stages for the one project and acts as the identifier to group the staged permits.
Updating information after the building permit has been issued
Building surveyors are required to ensure the building permit is up to date by providing the VBA with information following the issuance of the building permit. This information has been categorised into prescribed events and amendments.
Updating the building permit number record and notification of amendments to a building permit’s details
Building surveyors are required to ensure the BPN record is up to date by providing the VBA with information following the issuance of a building permit.
The BPN record should be updated whenever there are new details that relate to a BPN application, corrections to existing data are supplied, or when there have been amendments to a building permit's details.
Updates can be done at any time and should be completed through the online portal or by uploading a CSV file. An example of this is where there has been a change of builder or owner.
If you submit updates via the bulk upload process, you will use the same CSV file template as the BPN application.
Reporting prescribed events relating to building work (regulation 47)
Over the course of construction, an RBS is required to report to the VBA ‘prescribed events’ under regulation 47 of the Building Regulations 2018.
An RBS will need to report up to 22 prescribed events, depending on the type of building work. Examples of a prescribed event include:
- issuance of a building permit
- final inspection; and
- mandatory notifications, such as completion of framework.
Prescribed events must be reported to the VBA within seven days after the end of each month when the event occurred. If you submit prescribed events via the bulk upload process, this is done using a different CSV file template to BPN applications/updates.
The first prescribed event that is reportable to the VBA is the issuance of a building permit. At this stage of the process, the RBS is expected to complete two activities:
- Notify the VBA of the issuance of a building permit.
- Update the BPN record by providing any outstanding optional and/or conditional fields that were not provided with the BPN application. This information will be provided using the update/amend process.
Advising the VBA of the final cost of work (205KA)
Variations to building work during the life of a permit are likely to result in the cost of work increasing or decreasing from the amount initially estimated, which may increase the amount of levy the VBA is entitled to collect.
- Once a building permit is issued, the owner must monitor the cost of work and maintain records of the cost of work.
- This duty falls to the owner or, if the variation related to an amendment of a building permit, the applicant for the building permit. From 1 January 2020, owners are only required to report on increased costs of work for non-staged permits.
- Notification is required within 28 days of becoming aware of the revised final cost.
- Where the owner or applicant fails to notify the VBA of a variation to building work, or where false or misleading information relating to the cost of building works has been provided, a penalty levy may apply.
Notification for staged permits
Owners do not need to notify the VBA of any changes to the cost of building works completed using a staged permit. This is because an application for a staged permit must specify the contract price for the whole of the building work. In addition, the RBS must advise the VBA of the estimated cost for the whole of the building work and the work for which the staged permit is sought. This will enable the VBA to record accurate costs for the whole of the building work when an application is made for each permit of a staged permit.
Things to consider when using BAMS
- BAMS works best in Chrome or Firefox. Please consider installing either of these browsers.
- Consider which application method suits your business – single portal or bulk uploads.
- If you decide to use the bulk upload method, determine how frequently your team needs to upload the BPN application CSV file (e.g. daily, twice a day, once a week).
- Consider whether you will request the applicant to pay the levy and whether any internal processes need updating.
- If you will pay the levy on behalf of the applicant, ensure you have one of the payment methods available – BPAY or credit card.
How BAMS impacts you
|Industry group||High-level impacts relating to BAMS|
Working with the industry
BAMS enables building surveyors to apply, amend and report on building permit information using two methods:
- CSV file upload – BAMS will only import CSV files with the correct formatting prescribed. Using this method, you can apply for one or more building permit numbers.
- Online Portal Application – BAMS enables online applications to apply for one building permit number at a time.
For building surveyors uploading CSV files, it is suggested that you either have a third-party software provider or an in-house provider who can ensure the CSV file is correctly formatted, so that it validates with BAMS.
Please refer to our Frequently Asked Questions for general information about the Building Activity Management System.
- For general BAMS enquiries, please email BAMS@vba.vic.gov.au.
- BPN Industry Support Line – 1300 241 104
- Online training module
- BAMS Building Surveyor User Guide (PDF, 10169.87 KB) (updated on 11 February 2020)
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Overview of the Building Activity Management System (PDF, 2705.32 KB)
- BAMS Technical Specifications Spreadsheet (XLSX, 53.26 KB) (updated on 11 February 2020)
- Sample Application and Amendments CSV file (CSV, 5.05 KB) (updated on 11 February 2020)
- Sample Prescribed Events CSV file (CSV, 0.43 KB)
- BAMS template – CSV generator (XLS, 871.5 KB) (updated on 11 February 2020)
- Transitioning to BAMS (PDF, 1104.36 KB)
- Amending and updating a building permit record (PDF, 456.25 KB)
- Reporting prescribed events (PDF, 601.19 KB)
- Information for councils – How the VBA will advise BPN information from 1 July 2019 (PDF, 300.95 KB)
- Information for homeowners and applicants (PDF, 313.5 KB)