Engaging building industry professionals

Using a private certifier

Private certifiers can perform the same duties as councils in relation to building rules assessment and limited planning consent. 

They can:

  • assess proposed developments against the building rules
  • assess proposed Residential Code developments
  • assign classifications
  • grant building rules consents
  • impose conditions under which the building work must be constructed
  • issue essential safety provisions
  • issue certificates of occupancy.

Private certifiers must be registered and follow a code of practice

How to know if a private certifier is registered

Ask to see a certificate confirming registration, with the private certifier's number on it. 

Review the list of registered private certifiers.

How to engage a private certifier

You are required to have a written agreement with a private certifier.

If you are not the owner of the land, before you engage the certifier you need to:

  • notify the land owner that you propose to engage a certifier
  • obtain the written consent of the land owner if the proposed development is a house.

The agreement is usually in the form of a pro-forma. It should outline the services to be provided, including the fee that will be charged for the services, which is usually by agreement between the two parties.

When engaged to carry out the building rules assessment, the private certifier will notify the relevant council of their engagement.

What information needs to be provided to the private certifier

Contact the private certifier to determine the documents and number of copies required. In addition to the construction documents for the proposed development, provide the certifier with copies of:

  • any prior consents or approvals, such as the development plan consent
  • if the builder has been engaged prior to the application for building rules consent, evidence of a current certificate of building indemnity insurance
  • evidence that the Construction Industry Training Levy has been paid.

Related information

On this site

List of registered private certifiers
Getting approval to build 
Complaints about a private certifier or council


What is private building certification

For an alternative version of any document on this page see Planning contacts


Development Act 1993
Development Regulations 2008

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Page last updated 16 March 2018

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Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure
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