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Developer and Practitioner Resources

I have a DA, CC or CDC approval

If your project has a development approval, construction certificate or complying development certificate, follow the steps outlined below to lodge your compliance declarations and designs.

NB: You must be a registered design or building practitioner or nominated as an appropriate practitioner to complete these steps on the NSW Planning Portal (the Portal).

NSW Planning Portal enhancements

From 15 May 2023, changes to the Portal affect the online workflow for development projects needing DA, CC or CDC. Watch the video to learn about these Portal changes.

Before using the Portal, please read the quick reference guide (QRG) below.

QRG: How to register for a NSW Planning Portal account

Step 1: Before building works start

As of 1 July 2021, the Design and Building Practitioners Act 2020 requires registered design and building practitioners preparing to work on a Class 2 building to:

  • declare that the regulated designs comply with the Building Code of Australia and other standards, codes or requirements by submitting Design Compliance Declaration forms found on the NSW Fair Trading website.
  • provide NSW Fair Trading with your proposed date for building work commencement via the Portal.
  • provide the builder with design compliance declarations and lodge the regulated designs on the Portal.

You will be asked to provide the names of the builder and the designers involved in the building work. Ensure you have any previously obtained building approval references ready, for example DA-xxx or CDC-xxx. Please note that the Portal will pre-populate information from previous applications for you.

A ‘My Development’ page will be created if your development is under a development approval (PAN-xxx) or complying development certificate (CDC-xxx).

QRG: How to navigate the My Development sites page

Access the Portal using your developer account and follow the steps to create the building work case outlined in the video below.

Video: Managing Building Works

Create the building work case

A building work case is a document repository for your development. You will need to create your building work case within the My Development page.

QRG: How to create a building work case

Uploading regulated designs and declarations

The next step is for the developer to upload the documents to the building work case on the Portal. This will create a regulated designs tab, and the documents will be automatically shared with the certifier on the CC application.

QRG: Developer - How to upload regulated designs and declarations

Once the certifier issues the CC, the developer can complete and submit the building work commencement information. The building work commencement form enables the developer to nominate the registered building practitioner.

The next step is to lodge the documents on the Portal. The nominated building practitioner must be the person to lodge the regulated designs but can delegate the uploading only of the documents to someone else in their organisation or to a nominated registered designer (appropriate practitioner).

NB: The nominated building practitioner or appropriate practitioner will need to login to the Portal using their own access for document uploads and lodgement.

Watch the video and read through the QRG below to learn about uploading and lodging regulated designs.

Video: Lodging and Declaring Regulated Designs

QRG: Practitioner - How to upload and lodge regulated designs

Multiple documents can be uploaded but must be lodged as a complete set for each CC before building work can commence. Ensure you have the following documents ready before accessing the Portal to start the upload and lodgement process:

  1. A set of construction-issued designs that the builder will use to start building work
  2. A copy of design compliance declarations provided by each registered designer who has prepared the construction-issued documents
  3. A principal compliance declaration (if there is a principal design practitioner appointed)

Remember to place your design compliance declarations into the declarations folder within the building work case. This will make it easier for NSW Fair Trading compliance officers and your certifier to find them when they are issuing certificates.

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Step 2: Lodgement of variations after work has started

The Design and Building Practitioners Act 2020 allows for variations to the documents to take place when changes to building work occur.

The building practitioner or appropriate practitioner is expected to obtain regulated construction-issued variations in the designs prior to doing the work onsite and should not be retrospective.

Any variations in the construction-issued documents must be uploaded and lodged within one day of any building work taking place.

You will be able to upload and lodge these variation documents using the QRG below.

QRG: Practitioner - How to upload and lodge regulated designs

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Step 3: Submission of an Intent to Seek Occupation Certificate

The Intent to Seek Occupation Certificate (ITSOC) case is initiated by the developer on the building work case. The ITSOC form enables the developer to capture the Expected Completion Notice (ECN), determine eligibility to pay the Building Work Levy and indicate if a Strata Building Bond is applicable for the entire development, or a portion of the development.

The Residential Apartment Buildings (Compliance and Enforcement Powers) Act 2020 requires you to notify NSW Fair Trading with an Expected Completion Notice (ECN).

An ECN needs to be given between 6 and 12 months ahead of applying for an Occupation Certificate (OC). 

You must provide a reason when lodging your ECN if building work is to be started and carried out within 6 months.

NB: There must be one ITSOC case for each OC you want to apply for.

Watch the video to learn how a developer notifies NSW Fair Trading of the intent to seek an Occupation Certificate and read through the steps to submit the ITSOC via the Portal in the QRG.

Video: Intent to Seek an Occupation Certificate

QRG: How to submit Intent to Seek Occupational Certificate

If you change the expected date, you must provide an expected completion amendment notice on the Portal.

Please read the QRG below to help you submit and amend an ECN.

NB: If the change to the ECN is +/- 60 days from the entered ECN date, an expected completion amendment notice is not required.

QRG: How to submit the expected completion amendment notice

Occupation certificate audits

When the ECN has been submitted, NSW Fair Trade compliance officers will assess the project or building work for audit.

The Occupation Certificate audit is designed to reduce the risk of defects and non-compliant building work. This process is carried out 2 to 3 months before the provided completion date.

If your expected date is less than 6 months, the compliance officers will indicate whether an OC audit is required 2 to 3 weeks after they receive the submission.

Strata building bond

Under the Strata Building Bond and Inspection Scheme (SBBIS), you must pay a building bond to NSW Fair Trading for residential apartment building development that is 4 storeys or higher. The bond will be equal to 2% of the total price paid or payable of all contracts for the building.

A bond eligibility check, which includes recording the building bond and paying the service fee of $1,500, is carried out on the Portal. If you are not eligible to pay the strata building bond, you will not have the option start this process. If you are eligible, the building bond must be paid prior to applying for your OC.

An in depth look at strata building bonds with relevant QRGs can be found on our Strata Building Bond lodgement page.

You can also read through the QRG below on how to submit a strata building bond application.

QRG: How to submit a strata building bond application

NB: The strata building bond application can only be submitted after the as-built set of documents have been submitted and confirmed (see step 4).

Building work levy

The building work levy works to recover costs associated with ensuring compliance with NSW building reforms. The levy applies to building work requiring an OC and when an ECN is submitted or amended after 3 July 2022. 

The Residential Apartment Buildings (Compliance and Enforcement Powers) Act 2020 requires developers of some new residential apartment buildings to pay a levy to NSW Fair Trading. The cost of the building work levy depends on the answers to the eligibility questions and should reflect the stage of your development that is entered in the planned OC application.

The eligibility check, recording of the building work levy and payment is carried out on the Portal.

Further information on the building work levy can be found on the NSW Fair Trading website

Watch the video to learn more about submitting an Expected Completion Notice, paying the building work levy and strata building bond.

Video: Building Developments on the NSW Planning Portal

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Step 4: Applying for an Occupation Certificate

Before you apply

Before you apply for an occupation certificate, a set of construction-issued designs must have been uploaded and lodged into the Portal as well as the building compliance declaration accompanied by the following required documents:

  • copies of variation statements:
    • a statement of any variations to the work, other than in relation to a building element or performance solution, which is varied from the regulated designs
    • the statement should detail type, purpose and part of the building that was varied, as well as an explanation of how the variation meets the requirements of the Building Code of Australia.
  • copies of documents that contains additional details not reflected in the construction-issued regulated designs.
  • a copy of the contractor document:
    • a mandatory statement of all the contractors used to provide services in the construction of the building.
  • a copy of the principal compliance declaration:
    • if a principal design practitioner was nominated on the project.

Templates for the variation statement and the contractor document can be found on the NSW Fair Trading website.

The Portal has been designed to progressively accept documents before and during construction. If you have been uploading and lodging documents throughout the construction process, you will only need to confirm at the end whether the documents represent the as-built designs. As-builts are the final set of construction-issued regulated design documents.

QRG:  How to declare as-builts (final set)

NB: For Class 2 projects, the Portal will check the following items have been completed before allowing an OC certificate application to proceed:

  • The building practitioner makes the building compliance declaration on a Practitioner Account at the end of the construction when no further variations are expected.
  • The documents will be tagged with as-built when this is complete.
  • The strata building bond application process must have been completed and the bond or guarantee sent to NSW Fair Trading before you will be allowed to proceed with an application for an OC (if applicable).
  • A NSW Fair Trading compliance officer has assessed the project and no audit is required or the audit has been successfully completed.

Apply for an occupation certificate

An occupation certificate (OC) is needed if you want to occupy, use or change the use of a building. You can apply for an OC using a developer account on the Portal.

A certifier will only issue the OC if they have all compliance declarations that should have been uploaded and lodged onto the Portal. When applying for your OC, the Portal will request that you validate that the compliance gates have been completed by entering the intent to seek OC reference number. This validation occurs within the OC application.

QRG: How to validate the Intent to seek Occupation Certificate

For information on how submit an application for an OC, read the QRG below.

QRG: How to submit an application for an occupation certificate

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Step 5: After the issue of an occupation certificate

This step only applies to building work started on or after 1 July 2021 and is for building practitioners to complete. The Portal will determine whether you need to carry out this step.

A registered building practitioner must lodge any variations to the declared final set within 90 days of an OC being issued or confirm that no variations have been made.

Please read and follow the post OC declaration steps outlined in the QRG below.

QRG: How to complete the post Occupation Certificate 90-day declaration

Concluding building work or a development

Once the occupation certificate has been issued and variations have been lodged, the developer can close individual building work cases or the whole development. This will move the building work or development to the completed section of your dashboard.

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Last updated: 20/02/2024