The potential risk of sub-standard building approvals is an important issue.

The recent Sydney apartment fire, which is still under investigation, has put this issue in the spotlight, prompting the government to call on the Building Professionals Board NSW (BPB) to start policing private certifiers more aggressively.

The Board's main objective it to improve the quality of building construction and subdivision in NSW, by regulating and educating building and subdivision certifiers.

The Certification reassures consumers and approval authorities that building and engineering works meet national building standards and codes. Acquiring such Certification demonstrates that a building is fit to use and safe to occupy.

The certifiers accredited by the Board play a critical role in the building regulatory system.

The Board has published a six-step guide to the building approvals required for anyone intending to build:
  1. Speak to your local council or other building professionals if you intend to renovate, demolish, build, develop or use land. 
  2. Apply for a development application (DA) or complying development certificate (CDC).
  3. Prior to any building work and if you don't already have a CDC, you must apply for a construction certificate (CC)
  4. Appoint a Principal Certifying Authority (PCA) before any building work commences. The PCA is the only person (or body) who can issue interim or final occupation certificates.
  5. Inspections must be conducted at least two days before work starts. The PCA must inform you about the inspections required and you must inform your builder.
  6. An occupation certificate (OC) from the PCA is required before the building can be occupied.