Where a Development Consent has been issued for proposals involving building works, a Construction Certificate must be obtained prior to commencement of any building works.
What is a Construction Certificate?
A Construction Certificate is an approval that certifies that:
- Work completed in accordance with specified plans and specifications will comply with the Building Code of Australia (BCA) including relevant associated structural standards and codes;
- The detailed construction plans and specifications are "not inconsistent" with the development consent; and
- All 'Prior to Issue of Construction Certificate' conditions of the development consent have been satisfied.
If you are continuing to the construction stage and proposing to lodge a Construction Certificate application with Council, you should follow the sequence of Construction Certificate (CC) events detailed in the 6 stages of a Construction Certificate below.
Stage 1 - Lodgement
When should you submit your application for a Construction Certificate?
A Construction Certificate Application may be lodged at the same time as your Development Application or at any time after the lodgement of the Development Application.
Lodging the Construction Certificate application and Development Application concurrently will improve the processing time of the Construction Certificate as Council's Building Surveyors/Certifiers will be able to undertake an assessment of your proposal while the Development Application is being assessed. A Construction Certificate cannot be issued unless it is consistent with the Development Consent and the Development Consent itself has been issued.
Upon issue of the Development Consent, please note that there may be condition of that consent that need to be addressed prior to the issue of the CC. These conditions will be generally listed under the heading 'Prior to the release of the Construction Certificate'.
Before lodgement, it is strongly recommended that you read the Construction Certificate Preparation and Lodgement Guide. Your application must be submitted on the Construction Certificate Application Form and be accompanied by the Construction Certificate Checklist and the Schedule to Construction Certificate Application (Statistical Return for ABS). The above documents must be submitted along with any other required documentation listed in the Construction Certificate Checklist and Construction Certificate Preparation and Lodgement Guide. You are encouraged to personally lodge your application so Council can check it to ensure that all of the necessary information has been provided. A fee quote can be obtained from Council prior to lodgement and applicable fees must accompany your application.
To access the Construction Certificate Preparation and Lodgement Guide and also the relevant application form, attachments and checklists necessary for the preparation and lodgement of a Construction Certificate click here.
Stage 2 - Assessment
Summary of main steps of Construction Certificate assessment:
Once lodged, your Construction Certificate application goes through an initial review and is assigned to a Building Surveyor. Council then checks that your Construction Certificate application:
- complies with the Building Code of Australia (BCA)
- is consistent with the plans approved under the Development Consent
- complies with the conditions of the Development Consent
- complies with any BASIX commitments
- complies with any relevant bushfire provisions
- complies with other Construction Certificate submission requirements
You will be advised if further information is required prior to determination of the Construction Certificate.
Stage 3 - Prior to Issue of a Construction Certificate
If applicable to your application, the following items are required prior to issue of a Construction Certificate. You can submit the information at any time prior to determination to prevent delay in the issuing of your approval.
Council requires the builder's name, address and NSW licence number for all residential work exceeding $5,000.
Home Owner's Warranty Insurance
All residential work exceeding $20,000 requires a Certificate of Home Owner's Warranty Insurance in accordance with Part 6 of the Home Building Act 1989. Council requires a copy of this insurance. Certificates must show the correct property details to which the Certificate relates and identify all work covered under the building contract e.g. Dwelling and Swimming Pool.
Owner Builder Permit
Should the owner choose to complete the work as an owner/builder, an owner/builder permit is to be obtained from the Department of Fair Trading and a copy submitted to Council for all residential building work exceeding $10,000. Permits must show the correct property details and Council application number to which the permit relates. This application number is provided on lodgement of the Construction Certificate.
If the work exceeds $20,000, an owner/builder will be required to complete a course prior to obtaining the permit. For further details visit your local Department of Fair Trading office at 8 Baylis Street Wagga, phone (02) 6933 9500 or visit their website.
Long Service Levy
The NSW Government has put a levy on all building and construction work valued at $25,000 or more (inclusive of GST). The levy rate is 0.35% of the total cost of the work as determined by the consent/certifying authority. The building applicant or the person for whom the work is being done is liable to pay the levy.
Council is an agent for the collection of long service levy payments and you are encouraged to pay the levy when lodging your Construction Certificate. If paying direct to the Long Service Payments Corporation, Council will require proof of payment.
If you are an owner-builder, non profit organisation or church you may be eligible for a partial exemption of up to 50% of the levy payable. The exemption is calculated on the content of voluntary labour performed. An exemption should be applied for prior to lodging a Construction Certificate and a copy of the exemption certificate submitted with your application to Council.
Alternatively, you can pay the long service levy in full and apply to the Long Service Payments Corporation for the exemption and a refund of the exempt portion of the levy, within 3 months of the payment. You will require proof of payment for any refund. For further information please call the Helpline on 131 441.
Section 94, 94A and 64 Contributions
Section 94, 94A and 64 contributions will be identified in the Development Consent for certain proposals. These are required to be pair prior to release of the Construction Certificate. For additional information please see the Contribution Plans section of this website.
Compliance with conditions of consent
It is important to carefully read your development consent documentation and ensure that all required conditions have been met prior to you lodging your construction certificate application with Council. Council will not issue the Construction Certificate until these specific conditions have been satisfied.
These conditions include any that are identified under the heading 'Prior to the release of the Construction Certificate' on the notice of consent. The conditions will specify the matters that are required to be addressed or the information that is required to be lodged.
A Statement of Compliance is a written document listing these conditions and including a statement of how each condition has been complied with. This statement must be submitted with all Construction Certificate applications (refer to the Construction Certificate Preparation and Lodgement Guide and the Construction Certificate Checklist for further information).
Stage 4 - Determination and Issue
You will be sent formal determination and a Construction Certificate in accordance with the provisions of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (as amended) together with stamped approved plans and specifications.
A Notice of Commencement & Appointment of Principal Certifying Authority form will be enclosed and is to be submitted to Council at least two (2) days prior to commencement of any building work.
Your Development Consent will identify required inspections including critical stage inspections.
NOTE: if critical stage inspections are not undertaken the law prevents the issue of an occupation certificate.
The construction certificate lapses with the Development Consent under which it was issued unless building work is substantially commenced beforehand.
Stage 5 - Commencement of Works
What should I do before any work begins?
- Make sure there is a Development Consent. Read the consent and comply with the relevant conditions.
- Make sure there is a Construction Certificate
- Make sure a Principal Certifying Authority (PCA) has been appointed. A PCA means the authority (Council) or accredited person appointed to carry out inspections and issue Occupation Certificates. NOTE: Only Council is authorised to carry out plumbing and drainage inspections.
- Make sure your Notice of Commencement & Appointment of PCA form has been submitted.
- Obtain all relevant permits and other approvals.
- Make sure the required signage has been provided to identify the site, builder's information, PCA, etc.
- Make sure the builder's toiler is available in accordance with Work Cover requirements.
- Ensure all environmental controls are in place e.g. sediment fence; hoardings; dust control. The environmental issues you must consider when demolishing, excavating or building are:
- protecting heritage items and contributory buildings
- occupational health and safety and public safety
- good site management including waste management
- preventing erosion and controlling sediments
- limiting hours of work to mitigate noise impacts on neighbours
- limiting hours of work to mitigate traffic and parking impacts on neighbours
- timing deliveries to mitigate traffic and parking impacts on neighbours
- provision for storage including chemical storage
How do I organise a building inspection?
Bookings for inspections may be arranged by telephoning Council's Development Services Section 48 hours prior to the required inspections or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can book an inspection by calling 1300 292 442 between 8.30am and 5.00pm Monday to Friday.
To book an inspection it will be necessary to have the following information ready:
- The Council Construction Certificate number for the work
- Job site address
- The type of inspection required e.g. slab, frame, etc.
- The date and time the inspection is required
- The name of the person requiring the inspection and their contact number
NOTE: Ensure that you continue to monitor the conditions of your consent during the various stages of construction.
Stage 6 - Completion of Work
What do I do when work is completed?
You will need to submit an Occupation Certificate Form at least 48 hours prior to contacting Council to arrange a final inspection prior to occupying the building. Once a satisfactory final inspection has been carried out you must obtain an Interim or Final Occupation Certificate prior to occupying the building.
It should be noted that it is an offence to occupy a building without an occupation certificate.
Interim Occupation Certificate
An Interim Occupation Certificate can be issued if the building is fit for occupation but there are still outstanding matters to be addressed.
These matters must be addressed within 12 months of the date of occupation of the building and the building reinspected before a Final Occupation Certificate can be issued.
Final Occupation Certificate
A Final Occupation Certificate is issued by the PCA and certifies that:
- Council has been appointed as the principal certifying authority under s109E of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.
- A development consent is in force with respect to the building.
- A construction certificate has been issued with respect to the plans and specifications for the building.
- The building is suitable for occupation or use in accordance with its classification under the Building Code of Australia.
- Where required, a final fire safety certificate has been issued for the building.
- Where required, a report from the Commissioner of Fire Brigades has been considered.
It should be noted that an Occupation Certificate is a lawful requirement in the conveyancing process when a property is sold and it is therefore essential that you follow the above process.