If your project is not subject to building approval, for example some remedial work, or your development is a Crown Development or work under a Development Control Order, please follow the steps outlined below to lodge your designs. Please expand each step to see additional information.
Step 1: Before building works start
From 1st July 2021, there are requirements under the Design and Building Practitioners Act 2020, if work is carried out on a Class 2 buildings:
- Designers and builders who make compliance declarations or lodge regulated designs must be registered design or building practitioners.
- Registered design practitioners need to declare that regulated designs comply with the Building Code of Australia and other standards, codes or requirements. Declaration forms can be found on the NSW Fair Trading website.
- The date when work is to start must be notified to NSW Fair Trading, via the NSW Planning Portal, to determine whether design and building declarations must be provided.
- Design declarations or certificates must be provided to the builder and lodged with the regulated designs on the NSW Planning Portal prior to work starting onsite.
Please read the quick reference guide before starting the process. You will be asked to provide the names of the builder and the designers involved in the building work.
Access the portal using your Developer or Practitioner Account and follow the steps outlined in the quick reference guide.
Upload and lodgement of documents
The next step is to upload and lodge your documents. The nominated builder must be the person to lodge the regulated designs but can delegate the uploading only of the documents to someone else in their organisation or to a nominated registered designer (“appropriate practitioner”).
An appropriate practitioner is a designer connected with the building work and must be either a registered design practitioner or a principal design practitioner.
Important Note: The nominated builder or appropriate practitioner will need to access the portal using their own access to upload and lodge the documents.
Documents can be progressively uploaded but must be lodged as a complete set before building work can commence. Have the following documents ready before accessing the portal to start the upload and lodgement process:
- a set of construction-issued designs that the builder will use to start building work
- a copy of design compliance declarations provided by each registered designer who has prepared the construction-issued documents
- a principal compliance declaration (if there is a principal design practitioner appointed)
Remember to place your design compliance declarations into the Declarations folder. This will make it easier for NSW Fair Trading compliance officers and your certifier to find them when they are issuing certificates.
Step 2: Lodgement of variations after work has started
Changes during the building work can sometimes happen and the Act allows for variations to the documents to take place or new building elements or performance solutions emerge.
The builder is expected to obtain variations in the designs prior to doing the work onsite and should not be retrospective.
Any new building elements or performance solutions emerging during construction should have regulated construction-issued designs prior to building work starting. You will be able to upload and lodge these documents using the quick reference guide below.
Any variations in the construction-issued documents must be uploaded and lodged within one day of any building work taking place. Only the documents that are intended by the builder to be used will be required with the appropriate design compliance declaration.
Step 3: Making a building compliance declaration
Before the work has been completed, a registered building practitioner must complete the building compliance declaration online, accompanied by the following required documents:
- copies of variation statements – these are a statement of any variations to the work, other than in relation to a building element or performance solution, which is varied from the regulated designs. The statement should detail type, purpose and part of the building that was varied, as well as an explanation of how the variation meets the requirements of the Building Code of Australia
- copies of documents that contains additional details not reflected in the construction-issued regulated designs
- a copy of the contractor document – this is a statement of all the contractors used to provide services in the construction of the building
- a copy of the principal compliance declaration, if a principal design practitioner was nominated on the project.
The portal has been designed to progressively accept documents before and during the work. If you have been uploading and lodging documents progressively, you will only need to confirm at the end whether the documents represent the work as carried out.
Templates for the variation statement and the contractor document can be found on the NSW Fair Trading website. Note that the contractor document is a mandatory document and must be provided as part of the building compliance declaration.
- Only the building practitioner can make the building compliance declaration. This is carried out using the Practitioner Account and should be done at the end of the construction when no further variations are expected. The documents will be tagged with as built when this has been done.
- NSW Fair Trading compliance officer may audit projects where no building approval was needed to check compliance with the Design and Building Practitioners Act.