NSW has new mandatory standards for building certification.

The release of a compulsory and comprehensive new practice standard for building certifiers by the NSW Government is designed to cut back on sub-standard certification that has led to both actual problems in new builds and an erosion of confidence among both buyers and the general public.

Minister for Better Regulation Kevin Anderson said, “For too long, the practice of many certifiers has been sub-standard – with the release of this Guide we’ve drawn a line under that. From today there can be no excuses; these new standards clearly outline the approach Certifiers must follow in their work and what must be done to comply with the law.”

The initial standard applies to residential apartment buildings and has been developed in consultation with a panel of experts, chaired by Michael Lambert, and covers areas including fire protection, wet areas and waterproofing, occupation certificates, and ensuring the final building is consistent with the development consent. Further Guides will be developed for other classes of buildings.

The standard will be regularly reviewed and updated to remain in line with other building legislation and codes.

Contravening the standard is a breach of condition of registration for a certifier and if that breach is detected as part of an audit, disciplinary action will be taken by NSW Fair Trading. “The new rules are not optional – we will be enforcing the implementation of the legislation, and will take disciplinary action if a breach is detected,” Anderson said.

The Practice Standard for registered certifiers is available on the Fair Trading NSW website, search from the homepage at www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au