Status of Reforms

Improving the ACT Building Regulatory System

Status of Reforms

No.

Category

Reform

Status

Notes

1

Design and documentation

Develop guidelines for minimum design documentation for building approval applications:

  • commencing with initial design documentation, with a view to expanding to maintenance documentation at a later stage
  • expanding to all classifications of buildings over time
  • starting with voluntary compliance with a transition period for moving to mandatory within 6 months of release of the guidelines.

In progress

 

2

Design and documentation

Consider including some aspects of advice on high-risk building elements (e.g. balconies over habitable spaces) in the existing pre-DA process to alert people to high-risk features and things that may be incompatible with building laws, with a view to expand the range of issues as resources and skills increase.

In progress

Advice to be aligned with new minimum documentation requirements for building approval applications (Item 1)

3

Stage Inspection and Supervision

Develop guidelines for builders for supervision and critical hold points with the intention they will be adopted as codes of practice under the Building Act.

In progress

 

4

Stage Inspection and Supervision

Develop new provisions in the Building Act outlining the functions of the certifier and the purpose and scope of stage inspections, and supporting codes of practice.

Partially complete

New provisions complete,
see particularly new section
17A Certifier—functions, Building Act.

Code of practice in progress

5

Stage Inspection and Supervision

Enact regulations to require stage inspection information shortly after the inspection is complete.

Pending release of new electronic lodgement system.

The replacement system for eDevelopment will have improved functionality for lodgement of information throughout a building project.

6

Licensing

Remove architectural and engineering qualifications from the mandatory qualifications schedule, with a transition period for applicants who have made an application prior to the commencement.

Complete

 

7

Licensing

Implement a conditioning system for applicants with insufficient experience on residential buildings and revise mandatory qualifications in relation to evidence, critical stages and stages external verification of experience.

Complete

New mandatory qualifications instrument outlines types of building works experience required by applicants. Applicant licenses are tailored to relevant experience administratively.

8

Licensing

Revise mandatory qualifications to specifically give the Registrar discretion not to consider references from builders with a poor compliance history or in relation to defective work.

Complete

 

9

Licensing

Expand the written assessment prepared for the pilot for class c licensees to incorporate additional subjects, and include random result validation, and create assessments for A and B class licensees.

In progress

 

10

Licensing

Consider interviews conducted by the regulator for applicants that either do not meet the mandatory qualifications or have marginal results in assessments only.

Complete

In operation under Regulation 14 of the Construction Occupations (Licensing) Regulation.

11

Licensing

Amend existing provisions for corporations, partnership and nominees eligibility in the Construction Occupations (Licensing) Act and Regulation to clarify their roles and obligations.

Complete

Revisions made in the Building and Construction Legislation Amendment Act 2016.

12

Licensing

Expand the scope of the existing power to declare mandatory qualifications to include qualifications for all entities that may apply for a licence i.e. corporations and partnerships

Complete

Amendment made in the Building and Construction Legislation Amendment 2016.

13

Licensing

Require additional information in relation to
the nominee and their understanding of their
role and eligibility for appointment at the time of application.

In progress

 

14

Licensing

Revise operational policies and educational materials to reflect the intention of the law in relation to the corporation/partnership’s responsibility to supervise their nominees and the work under its licence.

In progress

New materials will also align with the new code of practice for supervision when completed.

15

Licensing

Develop and implement a pre-application assessment for building surveyors licence applicants and for licensees who have transferred from other jurisdictions.

In progress

Assessment will incorporate obligations under new codes of practice and include completion of online course.

16

Licensing

Develop and make available an online course for building surveyors operating or intending to operate under the ACT’s building regulatory system.

In progress

New modules will align with the new codes of practice and will be finalised when the codes are complete.

17

Licensing

Provide a new ground for occupational discipline that the licensee is, or has become, ineligible to hold a licence.

Complete

Amendment made in the Building and Construction Legislation Amendment 2016.

18

Licensing

Amend provisions for automatic suspensions on loss of eligibility so that they do not end after 3 months but continue as long as the ground for the suspension exists, if the licensee has not reported the circumstances to the Registrar.

Complete

Amendment made in the Building and Construction Legislation Amendment 2016.

19

Contracts for Residential Buildings and Building Work

Expand the existing statutory warranties to all private residential buildings or parts of buildings, including those above three storeys.

Complete

Amendment made in the Building and Construction Legislation Amendment Act 2016. New warranties in effect from 19 August 2017.

20

Contracts for Residential Buildings and Building Work

Amend the Building Act to allow regulations to prescribe requirements for contracts for residential building work.

Complete

Amendment made in the Building and Construction Legislation Amendment Act 2016.

21

Contracts for Residential Buildings and Building Work

Enact a regulation to delineate agency agreements from a building contract for certain residential building work contracts.

In progress

Powers to regulate certain aspects of contracts included in the Building and Construction Legislation Amendment Act 2016.

22

Contracts for Residential Buildings and Building Work

Develop and consult on standard terms, and standard information for a building contract including explanations on common variation clauses and their meaning.

Pending outcomes of national review of security of payments

Powers to regulate certain aspects of contracts included in the Building and Construction Legislation Amendment Act 2016. Review of security of payments considered application of security of payments system to contracts with residential owners.

23

Contracts for Residential Buildings and Building Work

Consult further in relation to specific regulations for a progress payment model for certain residential building contracts based on payment only for work completed.

Pending outcomes of national review of security of payments

Review of security of payments considered application of security of payments system to disputes with residential owners.

24

Contracts for Residential Buildings and Building Work

24. To further assist to reduce phoenixing:

  • Expand the capacity for the Registrar to consider an applicant or licensee’s history, including the history of directors, partners and nominees, under other licences.
  • Introduce the ability for the Registrar and ACAT to consider whether a breach is relevant to multiple associated licences and take appropriate action in relation to those licences as well.
  • Increase reporting requirements for automatic suspension grounds.

Complete

Legislative revisions made in the Building and Construction Legislation Amendment Act 2016.

25

Project Funding - Payment - Claims and Retentions

Increase reporting requirements for licensees in relation to insolvency.

Complete

Increased reporting requirements introduced in the Building and Construction Legislation Amendment Act 2016.

26

Project Funding - Payment - Claims and Retentions

Review the response to the recent federal inquiry on insolvency and results of other trials of various models in other jurisdictions and continue targeted consultation, with a view to either conducting an ACT trial to fill in any knowledge gaps if required, or implementing changes in the ACT if Commonwealth legislation is not supported or has insufficient coverage.

Pending outcomes of national review of security of payments

 

27

Project Funding - Payment - Claims and Retentions

Review the effectiveness of ACT procurement arrangements for security of retentions held by contractors and progress payments on government projects.

Pending outcomes of national review of security of payments

 

28

Alternative Dispute Resolution - Residential Buildings

Refine the proposed alternative dispute resolution model based on consultation feedback and conduct a second round of consultation.

Pending outcomes of national review of security of payments

Review of security of payments considered application of security of payments system to disputes with residential owners.

29

Alternative Dispute Resolution - Residential Buildings

Consider adoption of new standards and tolerances for building-related disputes and complaints, including contractual disputes.

In progress

 

30

Stage Inspection and Supervision

Complete implementation of the risk-based auditing and inspection system for regulated building certification and building work.

In progress

Auditing system will also include compliance with new codes and documentation requirements.

31

Licensing

Consider introduction of non-written forms of assessment after review of 6 months of operation of the written pre-licence assessment for building licence applicants.

Incomplete

Pending completion of Item 9

32

Licensing

Implement mandatory qualifications for corporate and partnership licences, potentially including financial assessment.

Incomplete

Pending completion of
Item 35

33

Licensing

Expand mandatory qualifications for new building surveyor licence categories to include completion of the online training course.

Incomplete

Pending completion of

Item 16

34

Licensing

Expand licence renewal assessments for all licensees to include rechecking of eligibility and compliance history.

In progress

 

35

Licensing

Consult on the findings of the review in relation to licensing, licensing categories and ‘contracting’ as a scope of work.

In progress

Includes consultation on licensing for design practitioners, including people undertaking engineering of buildings and building services, and people contracting for supply of new residential buildings.

36

Licensing

Consult on the findings of the review of the ACT building regulatory system in relation to insurance and practitioner accountability.

Incomplete

 

37

Contracts for Residential Buildings and Building Work

Consider expansion of rectification and other relevant powers to allow orders to be issued to people closely associated with an insolvent or ‘disappeared’ corporate licence.

Pending outcomes of national review of security of payments

 

38

Project Funding - Payment - Claims and Retentions

Review federal inquiry funding’s on insolvencies in the construction industry and associated response, with a view to fill in any gaps in the system if required.

Pending outcomes of national review of security of payments

 

39

Contracts for residential buildings and building work

Consult on the findings of the review of the ACT building regulatory system in relation to building contracts and the residential building insurance system.

Incomplete

 

40

Project Funding - Payment - Claims and Retentions

Conduct trial of project/retention account model (if agreed and required).

Pending outcomes of national review of security of payments

 

41

Project Funding - Payment - Claims and Retentions

Review the Security of Payments system in the ACT.

Pending outcomes of national review of security of payments

National review included considering ACT legislation within the terms of reference for the review.

42

Other

Consider issued raised by stakeholders during the consultation where supported by the findings of the review of the ACT building regulatory system.

Incomplete

 

43

Alternative Dispute Resolution - Residential Buildings

Complete implementation of alternative dispute resolution model.

Pending outcomes of national review of security of payments

Review of security of payments considered application of security of payments system to disputes with residential owners.

Download Status of Reforms – June 2018 Update Report (PDF 126 KB).

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