Accredited certifiers have defined statutory obligations which are mainly set out in the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979, the Building Professionals Act 2005 and associated regulations.
Accredited certifiers have statutory obligations to:
- act within the terms and conditions of their accreditation
- comply with the code of conduct
- undertake continuing professional development each year, and any additional training required by the Building Professionals Board
- hold professional indemnity insurance (unless they are an employee of a council and covered by the council's insurance)
- maintain complete, confidential and secure records
- avoid conflicts of interest.
Certifiers' statutory functions
Accredited certifiers are certifying authorities under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 and have statutory functions which include:
- determining an application for a complying development certificate within a set period
- confirming the builder for the development has the required licence, permits and insurance
- being satisfied that any preconditions required to be met before work starts or a certificate is issued, have been met
- conducting critical stage inspections and issuing certificates
- taking steps to address non-compliance, including reporting non-compliance to the appropriate authority.
The Building Professionals Regulation 2007 sets the functions and authority for each category of accredited certifier.
Acting in the public interest
Accredited certifiers are public officials under the Independent Commission Against Corruption Act 1988 and public authorities under the Ombudsman Act 1974, and are subject to the requirements of these Acts.
Certifiers are also subject to (for example) the Anti-Discrimination Act 1977 and the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Commonwealth), and random audits by the Building Professionals Board.
Additional requirements for councils and council certifiers
In addition to the obligations of individual certifiers, councils must also:
- accept any application to act as the principal certifying authority — this incudes when the Board approves the council as a replacement principal certifying authority for a particular development
- keep a record of the name and accreditation number of each certifier employed by the council, the start date of employment (and scheduled/ actual end date if known), and a brief description of each development they certified on behalf of council
- notify the Board when a certifier starts and ends employment with council.
Certifiers who are engaged by a council on a contract basis must hold their own professional indemnity insurance. They are not covered by the council's insurance.