Skip to main content
Image of a person pointing to a document and holding a white hard hat, leaning against a table

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 - to your council or a registered certifier - through the NSW Planning Portal.

Your application should include detailed building plans/engineering details and specifications.

The plans will most 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 plan changes that are inconsistent with the DA plans will need to be assessed, and an application to modify the development consent may be required (see Modifications and Reviews).

In order to obtain the CC you might be required to first 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 Construction Certificate 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 design/s must be submitted before a CC or CDC is issued where the building, or a part of the building, is a Class 2 building *, and the CC/CDC application is made on or after 1 July 2021.

Choosing a certifier

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

The NSW Building Professionals Board (BPB) accredits all certifiers that are not employed by your council. More information is available on the NSW Building Professionals Board (BPB) website.

The role of the Principal Certifier (PC)

The Principal Certifier must be appointed by the ‘person having the benefit of the development consent’ - this means you as the owner and not your builder.

Your PC can be either your council or a registered certifier. It will probably be the same person or firm that issued your Construction Certificate (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 – missing an inspection can lead to delays. Inspections required generally include:

  • Piers
  • Slab
  • Frame
  • Stormwater
  • Wet area
  • Final

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

Keeping a close eye on the work and being sure it is consistent with the development consent and any conditions attached is very important.

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 can be applied if a development is not built in accordance with its consent.

Class 2 Residential applications

Developers and building practitioners need to be aware of the specific requirements involved with applying for a Class 2 Construction Certificate.

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 will consist of your registered building practitioner, design practitioners and principal design practitioner, if appointed.

Important: 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.

Apply online

You can apply online for a Construction Certificate via the NSW Planning Portal when lodging a development application. 

How to apply online

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

Portal fees

In accordance with the NSW Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000, applicants are required to pay a digital application processing fee for certain planning applications and certificates.

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.

*A Class 2 building is a building containing two or more sole-occupancy units, each being a separate dwelling.