What we can do for you?
BCA Certifiers are accredited building certifiers and principal certifying authority.
If you need building approval, that is a construction certificate (CC) or a complying development certificate (CDC), we can provide these approvals as an alternative to getting them from the local council. As your Principal Certifying Authority – all mandatory inspections will be carried out and an Occupation certificate will be issued.
We will work through any requirements with you and issue the CC or CDC as soon as possible so you can get your project underway (You will find more about CDCs later on).
While the building is under construction we will act as the principal certifying authority (PCA) to ensure that mandatory inspections are carried out, any other inspections as necessary and issue the occupation certificate (OC) when building work is completed.
During the design of the building, the approvals process and the construction phase we can provide a comprehensive building compliance service that will ensure the building being designed and constructed meets all Building Code of Australia (BCA) and other regulatory requirements and is therefore suitable for occupation and use when completed.
What you need to know about the NSW Certification Process
Before you can erect a building or other structure you must obtain development consent (DA) and a construction certificate (CC). We will talk about some exceptions to this rule a little bit further on.
The development consent comes first and is obtained through your local council. We do not usually get involved in this part of the process unless it is to ensure your building will comply with the Building Code (BCA) in the first instance and therefore avoid cost and time delays when it comes to the construction certificate because if the development consent approved building does not comply with the BCA and must be changed to make it comply you might have to go back to the council to modify the DA (S.96 application) before the CC can be issued. So it’s important to get it right to start with.
After the DA process comes the CC and here’s where we can help you big time. Whereas the DA is about what you can and cannot build on your land and from a planning perspective what your building must include to get consent, the CC is about how the building will be constructed including structural and other BCA requirements.
As well as a DA and CC, you must also appoint a principal certifying authority (PCA) before you commence work and again this is a role for us to assist you with your project. The PCA carries out mandatory and other inspections during construction and issues the occupation certificate when the building or other structure is completed.
Exempt and Complying Development
The exception to the normal process of obtaining a DA and CC is if what you are proposing to build can be categorised as exempt or complying development. The first step in this process is to find out from your local council if exempt and complying development is permissible on your land. You may have to obtain a Section 149 planning certificate from the council to confirm that it is permissible.
If you are proposing to build a minor structure or to do repairs to an existing building than it may be exempt from the need to obtain any approval. There are still requirements for the standard to which this work must be done, however formal approval is not required. You can find out if what you are proposing is exempt by going to our links page and clicking on the SEPP (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008. Note that this can be a bit of a bewildering and confusing document and you might need to check with your local council or a planning consultant to confirm if it applies to you and what you want to build.
Complying development is another category under the SEPP (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008 that permits you to build without obtaining a DA and therefore it can fast-track your approval. If the building complies with a set of development standards listed in the SEPP we can issue you with a complying development certificate which replaces the normal DA and CC and allows you to build what has been approved by the CDC without any further approvals. Again you should note that although this greatly simplifies the approval process there are a bewildering array of development standards in the SEPP that need to be checked against your project before it can be confirmed that what you want to build is complying development.
What do I do now?
Contact us and discuss your building project with us. We will steer you in the right approvals direction. Whichever way this goes we may be able to provide you with preliminary BCA compliance advice that will greatly assist the process. If you already have a DA we will give you a fee proposal to issue a CC and act as your PCA. Or you may find that you can go down the Exempt or CDC path. So let’s get started now.
Note: BCA Certifiers are building certifiers and not planning consultants. This explanation of the planning and building regulatory process is meant to be general advice only and does not constitute legal advice. Therefore you should obtain your own specific legal and planning advice before embarking on any building project. BCA Certifiers (Aust) Pty Ltd accepts no responsibility or liability to any person for anything or the consequences of anything done or omitted to be done as a result of relying on the whole or any part of this document.