1. Do we require Council Approval for all our building work?
Certifiers2U can issue Complying Development Certificates for development so you can avoid the hassle of dealing with your local Councils. Before you commence any type of building development, it is vital to determine what type of approval you require. It is possible you don’t require a Development Approval (DA) which is a lengthy process and can take months to obtain.
You may be eligible for Exempt Development or Complying Development and therefore not require council approval.
Ask us if complying development is possible for you!
2. What do I do if I have unapproved work?
Talk to us. We can facilitate the entire process. From Concept to completion. We investigate your property, provide planning and building advice, prepare and lodge your development application, prepare and lodge your building information certificate application (including any BCA reports), attend site meetings on your behalf with Council and facilitate any construction certificates and occupation certificates.
3. What is the NSW Planning Portal and how do I access it?
The NSW Planning Portal is the place where you need to lodge a Development Application with a Council.
From 1 July 2021 all applications such as Development Applications (DA), Construction Certificates (CC), Complying Development Certificates (CDC) and Occupation Certificates (OC) will need to lodge and approved in the NSW Planning Portal. It is important to know that you need to be registered to lodge an application through the NSW Planning Portal.
If you need assistance with lodging an application through the planning portal we can help you if we are not certifying your development.
For more information please go to the planning portal website. http://www.planningportal.nsw.gov.au
4. What is Exempt Development?
Exempt development is a small building development in New South Wales – these buildings have low impact development and therefore do not require a CDC or DA &CC. Some examples are as follows:
• Balconies, decks, patios and verandahs
• Access ramps
• Retaining walls
• Minor building alterations (internal & external)
5. What is a Complying Development Certificate (CDC)?
A CDC is a type of building approval certificate that can be issued by a Certifiers2U or your local Council. If your building project meets the requirements for a CDC, then the process much quicker and you will not require a Development Application (DA).It combines the functions of a Development Application (DA) and a Construction Certificate (CC), and is a simpler and quicker approval process than submitting a DA. In most cases, approval under this system is issued in a few days if all the necessary paperwork has been submitted.
Ask us if complying development is possible for you!
6. Why is it quicker to use Certifiers2U, rather than your local Council?
Certifiers2U are able to issue complying development certificates (CDC) and construction certificates (CC) generally quicker than Councils. A CDC acts as a DA and a Construction Certificate (CC) all in one and can be approved within a few days if all the necessary paperwork is submitted correctly.
If your development does not meet the criteria for a CDC, it may be possible modify it to comply otherwise you will be required to obtain a DA from your local Council and this process can take months to complete. A construction certificate approval is then required before you commence work.
Certifiers2U can issue complying development certificates. Ask us about our quick complying development certificate process.
See our forms/certificate page for application forms
6. What is a DA?
A DA is a Development Application. This is a formal request to conduct development. It is also known as planning approval. This approval is for more complex developments that don’t qualify for Exempt Development or Complying Development and can only be issued by your local Council.
We now provide a planning, DA assessment and lodgement process. Contact us today.
7. What is a CC?
A CC is a Construction Certificate. Once the DA has been approved by the local Council, a Construction Certificate is required in order to commence any construction work. If a Development Approval (DA) has been issued, then you will need to have a CC issued prior to commencing any construction work. This certificate states that the building plans comply with the Building Code of Australia (BCA) and meet the requirements of the DA and any relevant DA conditions.
Certifiers2U can issue construction certificates. Ask us about our quick construction certificate process.
See our forms/certificate page for our CC application form.
8. What was a PCA or opposed to a PC?
A PCA was a Principal Certifying Authority. The roles is now known as a PC (Principal Certifier). The role of a Principal Certifier (PC) was to conduct Critical Stage Inspections of the building work and ensure all requirements of the Building Code of Australia are being met. Certifiers2U can fulfill this role. Your PC will also issue you with the occupation certificate when the building development has been completed. It is a requirement to sign an agreement with your PC. This sets out obligations of your PC and the owner of the property / land.
Please request a fee proposal for our certification services to access a copy of our PC agreement.
9. What is a Critical Stage Inspection?
Mandatory Critical Stage Inspections ensure that what has been approved in the development consent and construction certificate is in line with the development taking place. Some examples are footings prior to pouring concrete, framing prior internal lining. All critical stage inspectors at Certifiers2U are performed by Accredited Certifiers.
10. What is an OC?
An OC is an Occupation Certificate. An OC gives approval to use or occupy a building (or other structure) in conjunction with the DA or CDC.
When a development or work is completed a number of contractor certificates will need to be provided to verify that certain parts of the building are compliant with the BCA and Australian Standards. For some types of developments fire safety certificate is also required. Fire safety statements must be prominently displayed in these buildings.
To obtain an occupation certificate complete the occupation certificate application form in our forms/certificate page.
11. What is a fire safety schedule?
A Fire safety schedule lists the measures required to be installed in a building (other than domestic construction)and the standard they need to achieve. A fire safety schedule can be issued in relation to a construction or complying development certificate or by the local Council with a fire safety Order or with development consent, such as for a change of use in an existing building.
A fire safety schedule is only applicable if any of the above occurred after 1988.
You can obtain a copy of the latest fire safety schedule from your local Council.
12. What is a Fire Safety Certificate?
The fire safety certificate is a certificate stating that the fire safety measures within the building are capable of performing to the standard defined by the fire safety schedule. The fire safety certificate is issued at the completion of building works involving the fire safety measure and is required before an occupation certificate can be issued.
Under NSW legislation the building owner must provide a copy of fire safety certificate to Fire and Rescue NSW as soon as possible after the certificate is issued and display a copy of the certificate in the building.
The building owner will need a fire safety certificate if the building is anything other than domestic construction and is new; and / or your building has changed use; and / or a fire safety order has been issued for your building or premises. The building owner will need to have a final fire safety certificate before a final occupation certificate can be issued for a new or existing building.
Please use this link for further information:
13. Why do I need to pay a Long Service Levy?
If a building project costs $25,000 or above, then a Long Service Levy payment is required to be submitted to the NSW government. This fund is managed by the Long Service Corporation and from this fund; the Corporation makes long service payments to building and construction workers. Payments can be made here: https://portal.longservice.nsw.gov.au/bci/levy/
14. What is Home Building Compensation Fund (HBCF)
The Home Building Compensation Fund provides a safety net for home owners in NSW faced with incomplete and defective building work carried out by a builder or trades person.
Licensed contractors that take on residential work valued at $20,000 or more need insurance cover through HBCF. They must obtain this cover before starting any work or taking any money under the contract, including the deposit.
They undertake a risk assessment of builders and tradespeople to determine their eligibility to obtain insurance cover. Certificates of Eligibility set out how much work a contractor can take on.
Once a builder or trades person has eligibility, they can apply for a Certificate of Insurance for individual projects which they contract to do.
A copy of the Certificate of Insurance is to be submitted to the PC prior to commencement of work on the site.
15. What is an owner builder permit (OBP)?
You must have an owner-builder permit if you want to build or supervise work on your own private residential premise. These roles include, but are not limited to, constructions, alterations, repairs and additions to a dwelling.
This permit applies to labour and work that requires DA or CDC and has a market value greater than $10,000 (inclusive of GST). NSW Fair Trading has a self-assessment tool in the following link:
A copy of the OBP is to be submitted to the PC prior to commencement of work on the site.
16. What is a Statement of Environmental Effects (SEE)?
This document advises the proposed development and its potential impacts. A SEE is a mandatory component of the Development Application (DA). In most cases, for complicated developments, town planners are recommended to write a SEE. However, for many low impacts developments, it is possible to write a Statement of Environmental Effects without town planning assistance.