The Building Professionals Board has discretionary power to issue penalty infringement notices (PINs) for offences against the Building Professionals Act 2005 or Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.
The PINs policy and procedures outline when, why and how the Board will issue a PIN.
What is a PIN?
A penalty infringement notice is a fixed financial penalty for an offence prescribed by legislation.
The Board may issue a PIN where the evidence clearly shows an offence has occurred. Most PINs are $750 or $1,500 for individuals, but they range from $250 to $3,000 depending on the offence. This amount doubles for PINs issued to a corporation.
The certifier may pay the amount, request a review or defend the matter in court. Payment is not an admission of liability.
Why issue a PIN?
PINs can address relatively minor offences efficiently so the Board can focus more resources on serious matters and on initiatives to reduce the likelihood of offences.
PINs also promote professionalism and deter repeat offences, as certifiers are more likely to review their work practices if aware that certain actions may incur a swift financial penalty.
Not every offence will result in a PIN
A PIN isn't always the most appropriate way to address an offence. Each alleged offence is determined on its merits, considering any mitigating or aggravating circumstances which may warrant either an official caution instead of a PIN, or alternative disciplinary measures.
Link to disciplinary penalty guidelines
The PINs policy sits within the framework of the Board's disciplinary penalty guidelines which categorise infringements from A to F in increasing order of severity.
Category B are minor infringements that can be dealt with by a PIN. However, multiple offences may indicate a broader issue, and the Board may investigate a certifier if:
- there has been more than one PIN issued, or other disciplinary action taken, within a 12-month period, or
- the alleged conduct includes more than one PIN offence, or
- the alleged conduct includes a PIN offence plus other allegations (e.g. a breach of the code of conduct for certifiers).
Proven allegations may result in disciplinary action, such as cancellation of accreditation or a fine of up to $110,000, in accordance with the disciplinary penalty guidelines.
The disciplinary register lists fines issued by the Board. Are these the same as a PIN?
No, although both impose financial penalties.
A fine is issued after the Board has investigated the conduct of a certifier and made a finding of unsatisfactory professional conduct or professional misconduct.
Fines are issued under section 31 of the Building Professionals Act, which provides for a range of disciplinary penalties to be imposed on a certifier.
A PIN is issued under section 92 of the Building Professionals Act for offences against that Act or the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act.
Another difference is that the Board has discretion to determine the amount of a fine (and uses the disciplinary penalty guidelines to do so). A PIN is set at a fixed amount by legislation.
- Issuing of penalty infringement notices to accreditation holders: Policy and procedures
- The complaints process
- Disciplinary decisions (this page also sets out the Board's disciplinary powers)