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Post Consent Certificates

Construction Certificate

Before you start any building or construction work, you’ll need to apply for a construction certificate.

From 1 July 2021, all construction certificate (CC) applications must be lodged through the NSW Planning Portal (the Portal) to your council or a registered certifier.

What is a construction certificate?

Before you start any building or construction work, you’ll need to apply for a construction certificate (CC) via the Portal.

This certificate confirms that your construction plans and development specifications are consistent with the development consent, as well as complying with the Building Code of Australia and council requirements. Your application should include detailed building plans, engineering details and specifications.

The plans will likely contain a lot more information than your approved development application (DA) plans to allow your builder to work directly from them.

The building must be consistent with CC documents and the development consent. Any changes to your plans that are inconsistent with the DA plans will need to be assessed and a subsequent application to modify the development consent may be required (see Modifications and Reviews).

Obtaining a construction certificate

To obtain the CC, you might be initially required to provide additional reports and pay refundable bonds or development contributions to the council. These details are covered in the conditions of your development consent.

A CC is not required for building work that is exempt development, subject to a complying development certificate, or for Crown building work that is certified to comply with the Building Code of Australia.

A design compliance declaration and the related regulated designs must be submitted before a CC or CDC is issued for Class 2 buildings and for CC and CDC applications made on or after 1 July 2021.

A Class 2 building is a building containing two or more sole-occupancy units, each being a separate dwelling. A design compliance declaration is lodged by a registered design practitioner when a design is ready to be used for building work.

Choosing a certifier

You have the choice as to who issues your CC. The certifying authority can either be your council or a registered certifier.

Visit NSW Fair Trading for more information about about building and development certifiers and their registration. 

The role of the principal certifier (PC)

The principal certifier (PC) must be appointed by the ‘person having the benefit of the development consent’. This means you as the owner, not your builder.

Your PC can be either your council or a registered certifier. It is likely the same person or firm that issued your CC, but does not have to be.

The PC’s job is to work with you through the construction process and issue you with an occupation certificate (OC) when the work is completed.

To make this decision, the PC inspects the development at various points in the build and ultimately ensures that the building is safe and fit to occupy and in accordance with the development consent and CC.

During construction

As an owner, your role is to work with the principal certifier (PC) and the builder, keeping an eye on the work (and the terms of your development consent), managing the site and organising inspections. The PC should brief both you and the builder about this process.

You have a role in ensuring that your team follows the procedures required for organising inspections as missing an inspection can lead to delays. Inspections required generally include piers, slabs, frames, stormwater and wet areas.

You should also keep your neighbours informed and report any complaints to the builder and the PC.

It is important to keep a close eye on the work to ensure it is consistent with the development consent and any conditions attached. Council can issue orders to stop work and fix any errors and this can take time and cost money. They can also issue penalties.

The Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 specifies enforcement measures that will be applied if a development is not built in accordance with its consent.

Class 2 Residential applications

For applications relating to a Class 2 Construction Certificate, there are additional requirements under the Design and Building Practitioners Act 2020 and the Residential Apartment Buildings (Compliance and Enforcement Powers) Act 2020.

Developers or building practitioners must provide details of the build team so practitioners can be recorded and notified during the construction stage. The build team consists of your registered building practitioner, design practitioners and principal design practitioner, if appointed.

NB: A set of declared regulated designs for a Class 2 development will need to be provided before building work starts. A list of the recommended regulated designs can be found on the NSW Fair Trading website.

More information on this process, as well as other useful resources, is available in our developer and building practitioner resources section.

How to apply online

You can apply online for a CC via the Portal when lodging a development application.

  1. Register for a Portal account to start your application.
  2. Log in to complete the online application form.

Portal fees

You are required to pay a digital application processing fee for certain planning applications and certificates in accordance with the NSW Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2021.

A full list of fees can be found on the NSW Planning Portal Service Fees page.

More information

If you need assistance using the Online Construction Certificate Service, please view our quick reference guides or contact ServiceNSW on 1300 305 695 for additional support.

  1. Register for a NSW Planning Portal account to start your application.
  2. Log in to complete the online application form.
Last updated: 15/06/2023