The introduction of the Options Paper – ‘Improving Certifier Independence’

The NSW Government is making improvements to reinforce the building and certification system and up until 30th October 2018, you can have your say.

5 October, 2019

The NSW Government is making improvements to reinforce the building and certification system and up until 30th October 2018, you can have your say.

It is aimed at determining whether an alternative appointment process for private certifiers should be introduced for certain types of developments and if so, which process is most effective at managing conflicts of interest.

Through the introduction of the “Options Paper,” three potential methods for selection have been brought forward. The Paper explores the possibility of introducing these methods to developments that meet certain criteria. Developments must be Class 2 to 9 buildings above three storeys, with a total floor area of over 2,000 square metres and valued at over $5 million.

This will essentially minimise the opportunities for the certifiers to face pressures that could compromise their ability to act in the public interest.

What does this mean for Certifiers?

The proposal will see the replacement of the Building Professionals Act 2005 with the Building and Development Certifiers Bill 2018 (The Bill).

The Bill aims to strengthen the certification system in NSW by:
– clarifying certifier roles and responsibilities
– improving independence of certifiers
– tightening licensee morality requirements
– improving licensing administration
– advancing complaint handling and disciplinary measures

About the Options Paper

The Options Paper describes thresholds that, if met, would require the development to be subject to one of the three options considered by the Paper, as below:

Option 1: The rotation scheme
Similar to a lottery system, this option involves the establishment of an eligibility list with certifiers who are selected at random from a list

Option 2: The cab rank scheme
This option involves the creation of an eligibility list where the next available certifier would be appointed to work on a development that meets the thresholds, similar to a cab rank

Option 3: The time limit scheme
This scheme involves enforcing a limit on the amount of time a certifier can continually work for the same client. It will require the certifier to take a three-year break from a client after a certain period of time

The NSW Government invites the public to have their say on the Options Paper and welcomes feedback from here by 30th October 2018 to be emailed to BDCBill2018@finance.nsw.gov.au.

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