ACT Services

Building Approval

Who we are and what we do


BCA Certifiers Canberra are a team of building certifiers that are licensed by the ACT government under the Construction Occupation Licensing Act. In 1999 the ACT government privatised building certification. This created our role as a certifier. Essentially we are a privatised extension of the ACT government and our purpose is to facilitate the approval, inspection and certification of building work in the ACT, ensuring building work complies with the Building Code of Australia, its referenced Australian Standards and all applicable legislation.

If you require a Building Approval in the ACT or Southern NSW we are the people to see. We will guide you through any requirements in order to issue you with a building approval as soon as possible so you can get your project underway.

Processing Building Approvals involves:-

  • Assessing supplied plans
  • Authority referrals
  • Collation of approval documentation
  • Checking of appointed builders licence
  • Issue of Building Approval

During the design of the building, the approvals process and the construction phase we can assist in the provision of 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.

While the building is under construction we would:-

  • Ensure the mandatory inspections are carried out & any other inspection as necessary.
  • Guarantee your building is constructed in accordance with the Building Code.
  • We would then assist with lodgement of your application to the ACT government for your Certificate of Occupancy and Use at the completion of your project.

What you need to know about the ACT approval and certification process


Before you can erect a building or other structure you must obtain development approval (DA) some exceptions are applicable here. This is predominantly an approval for Design & Siting and then a building approval (BA) is required (there are some exceptions here for minor structures).

The development approval (DA) comes first and is obtained through the Environment and Sustainable Development Directorate, EPD (previously the ACT Planning and Land Authority). We can assist with advice on whether your building will comply with the BCA in the first instance and therefore avoid delays and avoid re-submissions to EPD.

Your DA approval gives consent to what you are permitted to build from a planning perspective; the BA is an approval for how the building will be constructed ensuring compliance with the codes, standards and legislation.

After obtaining development approval (DA) you will need to obtain a building approval. To obtain your building approval you must appoint an ACT licensed certifier. This is where your certification can be handled by BCA Certifiers!

Once you have an approved set of BA drawings, you are then free to:-

  • Obtain a quote from a licenced ACT Builder
  • Go to tender
  • Apply for an Owner/Builders Licence

BCA Certifiers will then check that your appointed builder is indeed licenced to undertake the type of work necessary for your construction, advice of the necessary insurance requirements and then issue a Commencement Notice for construction to begin.

Exempt Development

The exception to the normal process of obtaining a DA is when your proposed development is categorised under the Planning and Development Regulation which allows the building to be exempt from DA. Many structures ranging from decks and pergolas to new houses and extensions may be exempt from DA. These may be able to bypass the DA process and come straight to your Certifier.

Minor structures or works to existing buildings which are exempt from DA may also be exempt from BA this information can be found at the Planning and Development Regulation or the Building (General) Regulation. These minor structures or repairs are still required to be built to the BCA and applicable standards but they may not require any approval at all.

(Note: these are legal documents and can sometimes be hard to interpret; you may need to check with the Environment and Sustainable Development Directorate or a planning consultant to confirm if it applies to you and what you want to build. We can also offer these services for a fee.)

It should be noted that this process does greatly simplify and expedite the approval process should your proposed development fit within the exempt development guidelines.

Mr Fluffy

BCA Certifiers has an industry leading team dedicated to providing effective and professional Building Approval solutions to clients when demolishing “Mr Fluffy” affected homes in the ACT.

Our expert team has experience with the entire approval process for asbestos removal & demolitions and are able provide a seamless transition to the Building Approval and Construction of the replacement residence.

BCA Certifiers are concerned with ensuring strict compliance for asbestos removal in Canberra and have the necessary processes in place to guarantee adherence to current legislation.

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.

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