Building reforms

The ACT Government is taking action to strengthen the regulation and integrity of the ACT building industry with the announcement of a series of important reforms.

Following a comprehensive community and industry consultation process, these reforms will set the parameters for high quality design, building and training practices across the ACT, giving certainty to both property owners and industry.

We will achieve this through:

The first set of reforms were enacted through new laws in 2016.

What is happening now and in the future

We are working through the reforms, with many already complete or in progress.

New documentation guideline for building approval applications

Reform 1 in the building regulatory reform program is the introduction of a new documentation guideline for building approval applications, which came into effect from 1 September 2019.

The guideline covers minimum documentation and information for building approval applications for class 2-9 buildings. This includes apartment buildings, commercial accommodation and other commercial buildings.

Exams for new Class A, Class B and Class C builder licence applications

Reform 9 in the program is to expand the written assessment prepared for the pilot for Class C licensees to incorporate additional subjects, and create assessments for A and B class licensees. This reform has been delivered. Applicants for new Class A or Class B builder licences will need to sit and pass an examination set by the Construction Occupations Registrar for the relevant licence class.

The purpose of the examination is to determine whether applicants have an adequate level of knowledge of the obligations of a building licensee and the ability to read and interpret relevant information to be able to meet their obligations.

Find out more about builder licence examinations.

New scheme to help resolve residential building disputes

Legislative amendments have been passed that allow implementation of a new scheme to help resolve residential building disputes before they reach the courts.

In other jurisdictions there are provisions for conciliation and other means of sorting out residential building disputes. We will consult further over the next 12 months on the details of an ACT scheme ahead of its anticipated introduction in 2021-22.

Who is involved

The building industry and community were invited to contribute to the reforms in 2016. We asked for feedback on the ACT Building Regulatory System Review discussion paper (PDF 965 KB) via email and paper submissions, an online survey and forums, and face-to-face workshops.

Read the Improving the ACT Building and Regulatory System Consultation Report (PDF 7.2MB).

We continue to consult on building reforms, including the new dispute resolution scheme that forms the basis of the latest legislative changes.

More information

Download the Quality Building, Vibrant City Consumer Factsheet (PDF 486KB) or the Quality Building, Vibrant City Industry Factsheet (PDF 482KB).

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