Building Certification | Queensland Building Plan

Consultation has concluded


Goal: To improve the building certification framework

A perceived weakness in the private building certification system is the potential for conflicts of interest arising from the financial relationship between a building certifier and their client.

It has become usual practice for a builder to employ a private certifier to assess their own work. Often builders or developers have ongoing business relationships with specific certifiers or certification companies. This is due to a range of factors such as cost and timeliness, which can cause perceptions of a conflict of interest.

In 2014, we released a discussion paper with options for reform and held 19 consultation sessions across the State (258 people attended). Further consultation was undertaken with key stakeholders in December 2014, April 2015 and September to October 2015.

Proposals

Based on the results of previous consultation, a range of measures are proposed to improve the current building certification framework. Some of the key proposals include to:


  • enable owners to obtain more inspections and call for a final inspection if issues arise between the certifier and the builder
  • add restrictions on the use of ‘competent persons’ and a requirement for a certifier to physically attend mandatory inspections
  • introduce new mandatory inspections for fire separation in duplexes and townhouses
  • allow local government to have sole responsibility for taking enforcement action, so certifiers are no longer able to do this
  • protecting consumers and ensuring the integrity of the building by tightening up the rules for engaging a certifier
  • increase auditing of building certifiers
  • require that all waterproofing be done by a licensed person regardless of value.


An additional proposal

An option to consider, which was not raised as part of previous consultation, is to introduce a new ‘cab rank’ type model for assigning building certifiers. This would involve consumers or builders approaching the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC), responsible for regulating and licensing building certifiers, to be assigned a building certifier.

This model would need to consider several factors, such as licence type and expertise of the certifier, location of the certifier and their ability to travel, and their level of insurance. A standardised fee structure would be required, as competition for certification services would be removed. Instead, each certifier would be allocated certification work without direct consumer/builder engagement.




Goal: To improve the building certification framework

A perceived weakness in the private building certification system is the potential for conflicts of interest arising from the financial relationship between a building certifier and their client.

It has become usual practice for a builder to employ a private certifier to assess their own work. Often builders or developers have ongoing business relationships with specific certifiers or certification companies. This is due to a range of factors such as cost and timeliness, which can cause perceptions of a conflict of interest.

In 2014, we released a discussion paper with options for reform and held 19 consultation sessions across the State (258 people attended). Further consultation was undertaken with key stakeholders in December 2014, April 2015 and September to October 2015.

Proposals

Based on the results of previous consultation, a range of measures are proposed to improve the current building certification framework. Some of the key proposals include to:


  • enable owners to obtain more inspections and call for a final inspection if issues arise between the certifier and the builder
  • add restrictions on the use of ‘competent persons’ and a requirement for a certifier to physically attend mandatory inspections
  • introduce new mandatory inspections for fire separation in duplexes and townhouses
  • allow local government to have sole responsibility for taking enforcement action, so certifiers are no longer able to do this
  • protecting consumers and ensuring the integrity of the building by tightening up the rules for engaging a certifier
  • increase auditing of building certifiers
  • require that all waterproofing be done by a licensed person regardless of value.


An additional proposal

An option to consider, which was not raised as part of previous consultation, is to introduce a new ‘cab rank’ type model for assigning building certifiers. This would involve consumers or builders approaching the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC), responsible for regulating and licensing building certifiers, to be assigned a building certifier.

This model would need to consider several factors, such as licence type and expertise of the certifier, location of the certifier and their ability to travel, and their level of insurance. A standardised fee structure would be required, as competition for certification services would be removed. Instead, each certifier would be allocated certification work without direct consumer/builder engagement.