The role of an accredited certifier


What is an Accredited Certifier?

An Accredited Certifier is the holder of a certificate of accreditation issued under the Building Professionals Act 2005 and regulated by NSW Fair Trading.

Accredited Certifiers are public officials as defined under the ICAC Act 1988. Accredited Certifiers have public official functions and are required to act in a public official capacity.

A Certifier for a development may be a Council or a private Accredited Certifier.

What do Accredited Certifiers do?

Accredited Certifiers carry out certification work which includes:

  • The determination of applications for any development certificate including Construction Certificates, Complying Development Certificates, Compliance Certificates & Occupation Certificates,
  • The exercising of the functions of a Certifier (including Principal Certifier) as specified in section 6.5 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979, including the carrying out of mandatory critical stage inspections for building works,
  • The inspection of swimming pools under the Swimming Pool Act 1992 and the issuing of Certificates of Compliance under that Act,
  • The exercising of any function of a registered certifier under the certification legislation or under any other Act or Law,
  • Any other work of a kind as prescribed by the regulations.

As independent regulators and public officials, Accredited Certifiers do not work for the builder or developer, and are required to act in the public interest.

Accredited Certifiers are required to:

  • Act within the terms and conditions of their accreditation,
  • Comply with the code of conduct under the Building Professionals Act 2005,
  • Avoid conflicts of interest,
  • Hold professional indemnity insurance,
  • Complete continuing professional development (CPD) training each year,
  • Maintain complete, confidential and secure records.

What Accredited Certifiers do not do:

Accredited Certifiers do not:

  • Prepare plans or provide design advice,
  • Supervise or project manage building works,
  • Provide quality control checks,
  • Attend site at all times.

Construction and quality control is the responsibility of the principal building contractor or project manager.

The importance of engaging an independent Accredited Certifier

Accredited Certifiers, including Principal Certifiers can only be appointed by the person with the benefit of the development consent (ie. the land owner).

Accredited Certifiers cannot be engaged by a builder (unless the builder is also the owner of the land).

To avoid potential conflicts of interest, it is important for property owners to choose an Accredited Certifier who is completely independent of their builder. 

It is the legal right of the property owner to engage their preferred Accredited Certifier, and there is no obligation to use the builders recommended Accredited Certifier.

If you are a property owner who is in the early planning stages of preparing to build your dream home, you should carefully consider appointing an independent Accredited Certifier, rather than using the Accredited Certifier that your builder may be recommending to all their clients.

It is important to have a discussion with your builder as early as possible about who you will be engaging as Accredited Certifier and Principal Certifier for your development.

If you require more information about your rights to choose the Accredited Certifier for your development - Contact Fair Trading NSW

To find out more about engaging our independent building certifications services: