Transfer of function

A Private Building Surveyor (PBS) may transfer their functions to another PBS or a Municipal Building Surveyor permanently or for a fixed period under section 80C of the Building Act 1993 (the Act). You do not need the VBA’s consent to do this.

As a PBS, you may wish to transfer your functions for reasons such as taking extended leave, relocating your business, ill health or retirement.

Requirements for transfer of functions

  • The transfer of functions must be initiated by the PBS.
  • The person who appointed the PBS cannot initiate a transfer. If an owner wishes to terminate the appointment of a PBS, they must seek consent from the VBA. See Ending the appointment of a private building surveyor.
  • To transfer their functions to another PBS (or a Municipal Building Surveyor), there must be agreement by the person who appointed them and the new building surveyor.
  • A transfer may only occur where the new building surveyor is registered in the appropriate category and there is agreement from the person who appointed the original PBS and the new building surveyor.

Transfer of functions process

If your transfer relates to a single site, please follow the process below.

To transfer building surveyor functions, the transferring building surveyor must:

  1. Gain consent to the transfer from both the new building surveyor and the person who appointed the original building surveyor.
  2. Complete the Authority to Transfer form - single site transfers (PDF, 199.2 KB) and provide it to the new building surveyor.

The new building surveyor must:

  1. Complete their section of the Authority to Transfer form.
  2. Log on to BAMS and select ‘Transfer of Function’.
  3. Select the Transfer of Function button.
  4. Complete the online form and upload the completed Authority to Transfer Form.

Shows the BAMS Transfer of Functions sequence

Image of the Transfer of Functions form.

  1. Select ‘Next’ and a case will be created and assigned to a VBA staff member.

Image of the successful submission of the Transfer of Functions form.

The transfer of building surveyor functions takes effect on the latest of:

  • the date a copy of the Transfer Form is given to the VBA
  • the date a copy of the Transfer Form is given to the relevant Council
  • the date specified in the Transfer Form on which the transfer is to take effect.

If your transfer relates to two or more sites, please follow the process below.

To transfer building surveyor functions, the transferring building surveyor must:

  1. Email the VBA at transfers@vba.vic.gov.au to request a Transfer List. This list will contain the details of all open building permits that have been previously reported to the VBA via the monthly levy return process. This list will be assigned to the private building surveyor who made the request, so they can identify the permits subject to a transfer.
  2. Gain consent to the transfer from both the new building surveyor and the person who appointed the original building surveyor.
  3. Complete their section of the Authority to transfer form - multiple site transfers (PDF, 156.82 KB).
  4. Provide the Transfer List and completed Authority to Transfer Form to the new building surveyor.

After receiving the Transfer List and Authority to Transfer form, the new building surveyor must:

  1. Complete their section of the Authority to Transfer form.
  2. Log on to BAMS and select ‘Transfer of Function’.
  3. Complete the online form and upload both the Transfer List and completed Authority to Transfer Form.
  4. Email the Transfer List and completed Authority to Transfer Form to the VBA at transfers@vba.vic.gov.au.
  5. Provide a copy of the completed Authority to Transfer Form, as well as details of the relevant building permits and appointments, to the relevant council, builder, owner and/or agent.

BAMS – Transfer of Function form

The new building surveyor will need to check with the relevant Council as to their notification process.

The transfer of building surveyor functions takes effect on the latest of:

  • the date a copy of the transfer form is given to the VBA
  • the date a copy of the transfer form is given to the relevant Council
  • the date specified in the transfer form on which the transfer is to take effect.

Directions from the VBA to transfer functions – 80D(1)

The Act allows the VBA to direct a registered building surveyor who has employed or engaged a person to act as a PBS to transfer all functions under the Act or the Building Regulations to another PBS employed or engaged by the registered building surveyor.

We may direct a registered building surveyor who has employed or engaged a person as a ‘designated building surveyor’ to transfer all functions being carried out by the designated building surveyor to another designated building surveyor employed or engaged by the registered building surveyor.

The Act specifies the circumstances that will allow us to direct the transfer of building surveyor functions. These include:

  • suspension or cancellation of the registration of the employee building surveyor or designated building surveyor
  • circumstances where the employee building survey or or designated building surveyor
    • has died
    • is in prison
    • has become a represented person
    • has become insolvent under administration
    • in the opinion of the VBA is incapable of carrying out the work because the building surveyor is mentally or physically infirm or for any other reason
    • in the opinion of the VBA has ceased to carry out the functions of a private building surveyor or a designated building surveyor.

The direction will be in writing and may specify a period within which the functions are to be transferred.

A registered building surveyor must comply with our direction and must notify:

  • in the case of transfer of functions from a PBS, the person who appointed the PBS
  • in all other cases, the relevant Council.

Frequently asked questions

No. The transfer of PBS functions must be initiated by the PBS. If you wish to engage another building surveyor, you must first seek consent from the VBA to terminate the appointment of the first building surveyor.

For more information see Ending the appointment of a private building surveyor.

You cannot appoint a new building surveyor without the VBA terminating the appointment of the first building surveyor. If the appointment of a PBS is terminated with the consent of the VBA, a PBS or MBS must not complete the first PBS’s functions in respect of the building work without the written consent of the VBA.

Before accepting the transfer of functions and appointment, the new building surveyor should consider relevant matters, including whether any enforcement action or directions to fix apply to the building or land. The transfer process is not recommended where enforcement action or compliance issues are present.

Section 80C of the Act enables a transfer of functions by a PBS to another building surveyor (refer to (1) for guidelines on circumstances for when this may be appropriate) subject to agreement by the person who appointed the transferring building surveyor and the new relevant building surveyor. If these parties do not agree, then a transfer under this provision cannot be performed.

This wording allows for the agent of the owner who carried out the initial appointment of the building surveyor to agree to the section 80C transfer of functions.

Consideration may be given to lodging an application with the VBA for the termination of appointment of a PBS in the circumstances listed on the VBA website. Where a dispute is in effect, it may also be possible to refer the dispute to the Building Appeals Board for assistance in resolving the matter.

No. Where a building surveyor becomes responsible for a building permit issued by another building surveyor, the original building permit number is to be referenced for administrative purposes.

There is no specified time in which the transfer form must be given to Council. However, a transfer does not take effect until the later date that a copy of the transfer form is given to the VBA, the relevant Council or the date specified in the transfer form (if any) on which the transfer is to take effect.

The completed ‘Transfer Form’ must be sent to the relevant Council. This will enable Council to update their information to record the new RBS. This must be done for the transfer to take effect.

The Act does not impose any additional fees on the process associated with the transfer of functions between building surveyors. However, depending on the circumstances, additional costs may be charged by the new building surveyor for their services. Relevant parties need to discuss and agree on fees prior to effecting the transfer.

Yes. This process is available to all PBSs and a body corporate registered as a Building Surveyor can accept appointment as a PBS. VBA to direct the transfer of Building Surveyor functions under Section 80D of the Building Act 1993.

The VBA may only direct the transfer of functions to another employee or designated Building Surveyor within the same company under the following circumstances:

  • where the registration of an employee or designated Building Surveyor has been suspended, or cancelled
  • the employee or designated Building Surveyor has died, been imprisoned, become a represented person under the Guardianship and Administration Act (1986) or has become an insolvent under administration
  • the employee or designated Building Surveyor, in the opinion of the VBA, is incapable of, or has ceased to carry out, the functions of a Building Surveyor.