NEW CHANGES TO THE BUILDING ACT!
Article on VBA website – August 5th 2016
Changes have been made to the VBA’s powers and functions under the Building Act 1993. Some of these changes may affect your rights and duties under the law.
This section of the VBA website holds information about:
- how these changes relate to you as a building practitioner, building surveyor or owner-builder
- when the changes come into effect
- what will be different when the changes come into effect, and
- any specific things that apply during the transition to the new laws
Changes effective from 1 September 2016
On 1 September 2016 the following changes to the Building Act 1993 will come into effect: The Building Practitioners Board (BPB) will be abolished and the functions and powers of the BPB will transfer to the VBA, including registering building practitioners, issuing certificates of consent to owner-builders, and supervising and monitoring practitioners’ conduct and capacity to practise.
Applicants for registration will need to meet the requirements of a new ‘fit and proper person’ test that will replace the existing ‘good character’ test. All practitioners will be registered for a period of five years. Practitioners will be required to re-apply for registration at the end of this five year period if they wish to continue to practise.
Practitioners who were registered prior to 1 September 2016 will be required to transition to the new five year registration period. This transition will occur over a number of years and the VBA will advise practitioners ahead of time when they are due to re-apply for registration. Practitioners may surrender their registration when they exit the industry. The disciplinary process will change from an inquiry to a ‘show cause’ process.
The VBA will have the power to impose conditions on registrations accept enforceable undertakings from practitioners suspend a practitioner’s registration pending the outcome of disciplinary proceedings. Practitioners will have access to a new internal review process.
Builders will be prohibited from appointing private building surveyors for domestic building work. Owner-builders will be required to undertake an online assessment about their knowledge of the duties and responsibilities of an owner-builder before certificates of consent can be issued. An individual owner-builder will be eligible to apply for a certificate of consent once in a five-year period (unless the application relates to an existing home). Details of owner-builder projects will be published on a public register.
From 4 July 2016 changes to the Building Act 1993 will be introduced. The changes:
- create new offences for working without a building permit
- extend the VBA’s inspection powers to owner-built sites
- redefine the circumstances where a building surveyor may not act
- provide for a checklist that relevant building surveyors must use when lodging building permits to councils
- update powers to issue directions to fix building work.