Whenever you are undertaking major renovations or even constructing a new building, it may be necessary to engage a building certifier. These are usually professionals who issue building permits, including completion certificates, compliance certificates, construction certificates, complying development certificates, and even final certificates. They also conduct inspections that ensure the work being done on your building is compliant with the various requirements set out by different levels of government. Building certifiers can also work with other professionals such as architects, fire engineers, electrical consultants, and structural engineers. Therefore, before you seek the services of a building certifier, here are a few things you need to know.

Private Vs Council Certifiers

You have the choice of choosing between an accredited private certifier or a council certifier. Private certifiers often work with independent bodies and in most cases tend to be faster in approving applications than council certifiers, provided there are no planning issues. One major issue of engaging private certifiers is that pulling out of project is much easier for them, especially in case of events such as delays. Therefore, for reliability concerns, a council certifier may be a better option. One concern that many people have when using private certifiers is how the council will know that the work on their building is approved. This is because, usually, private certifiers don't require any input from the council to conduct their work. When you sign the agreement with your accredited private certifier, it will be sent to your council for confirmation of your building permit application. In addition, for the purpose of records, your private certifier should send any certificates and approvals they grant you to your local council.

Principal Certifying Authority (PCA)

You are required to engage a PCA when looking for a construction certificate. You can check with your local council for confirmation. This should be done before the commencement of your building work. Your certifier, whether private or working for the council, can be your PCA. However, this depends on the type of building work you have. If you are doing subdivision work, then only a council certifier can be your private certifying authority. This is because while you are responsible for appointing the PCA, he or she is often accredited by the government's building authorities in the respective states.

Remember that it's important to understand the responsibilities of the building certifiers to ensure he or she doesn't overstep their boundaries. For instance, a building certifier shouldn't supervise your job site and is not responsible for quality control or ensuring you comply with the contract.