Improving the ACT Building Regulatory System Review

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 to the ACT building regulatory system.

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:

  • improving documentation at the building approval stage
  • implementing a more relevant and comprehensive building inspection and audit process
  • improving licensing requirements for builders and building surveyors
  • providing better information for consumers and practitioners
  • establishing stronger, more comprehensive standards of practice and contracting.

The first steps in the significant reforms are already underway. On 2 August 2016 the Building and Construction Legislation Amendment Bill was passed by the ACT Legislative Assembly. The majority of amendments came into effect on 20 August 2016.

The Bill is a key part of building sector reforms to ensure buildings in the ACT meet contemporary standards and expectations and remain effective and relevant to the industry and community.

Reforms to the ACT building regulatory system

The full reform program and the status of reforms are in the Status of Reforms update below. The timing of remaining reforms is in the Forward Work Plan.

New documentation guideline for building approval applications

Reform #1 of the building regulatory reform program is the introduction of new documentation guideline for building approval applications.

A preview version of the guideline is now available for industry before a final version is adopted under the Building Act in June.

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.

See more about the guidelines.

Codes of practice

Part of the reform program is to develop codes of practice for builders and building surveyors for adoption under the Building Act 2004. The codes will include guidelines for builders on supervision and critical hold points in a building project, and practice requirements that support the role of a building certifier.

Details of consultation will be released shortly, with options for how you can participate and contribute to the reforms including by attending information sessions and workshops, and providing written comment on the draft code.

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. From 22 February 2019, applicants for new for a Class A or Class B builder licence 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 more information about the exams and frequently asked questions on the Access Canberra website.

Community consultation

Public consultation on the ACT Building Regulatory System ran from 23 November to 15 February 2016. Consultation was based on the ACT Building Regulatory System Review discussion paper

Industry and community members submitted feedback via email and paper submissions, online survey and forums, and face to face workshops.

Want to know more?

To be kept informed about the ACT Building Regulatory System Review and further opportunities for input, please email:

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