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Design and Building Practitioners Act 2020


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2020/21         Annual Report

Preparing for 1st July: The Design and Building Practitioners Regulation is here.

The Design and Building Practitioners Act 2020 commences on 1 July 2021 and will introduce new obligations for professionals working on Class 2 buildings.

The final Design and Building Practitioners Regulation 2021 is now available here.

There are two new registration schemes are being introduced:

  • Registration of Professional Engineers
  • Compliance Declaration Scheme for Design and Building Practitioners

Among the changes are two new registration schemes for practitioners working on class 2 buildings – one for Professional Engineers and one for Design and Building Practitioners.

Some practitioners will also need to declare their designs comply with the Building Code of Australia, and lodge them on the NSW Planning Portal before work can start.

The NSW Government are introducing these changes to restore confidence in the residential construction industry and make sure that apartments being built are trustworthy.

These changes start from 1 July 2021, but you can get ready now

For information on Professional Engineers

For information on Design & Building Practitioners

Registering under the D&BP:

From 1st July 2021, registration via the Service NSW website will open. Eligible professionals who work on class 2 buildings and required to register so will then be able to do so.

Professional engineers working on Class 2 buildings in the following areas of engineering may be required to register under the D&BP:

  • Civil engineering
  • Electrical engineering
  • Fire safety engineering
  • Geotechnical engineering
  • Mechanical engineering
  • Structural engineering

From July 1, eligible professional engineers working on Class 2 buildings must register via the Service NSW portal. Following 7 July, you will need to stop doing professional engineering work until you have submitted your application.

From 1 July 2021, designers working on Class 2 buildings or a building with a Class 2 component will need to register under the D&BP if they plan to make compliance declarations or lodge declared designs.

The eligibility requirements vary for each class of design and practitioner. You can view the specific eligibility requirements (skills, experience, qualifications, and so on) in the D&BP regulations.

Registering as a Design Practitioner – Body Corporate & as a Principal Design Practitioner – Body Corporate:
A design firm that is a body corporate can register as a Design Practitioner or Principal Design Practitioner. If the firm itself is registered, it must also have an individual who is a registered Design Practitioner to make the compliance declarations on behalf of the firm.

Registering as a Building Practitioner – Body Corporate:
Developers, building businesses and body corporates can register their organisation as a Building Practitioner. Organisations that register as a Building Practitioner need a nominated individual to make building compliance declarations. This nominated individual will be an employee of the company and must be registered under the category of ‘Building Practitioner – Body Corporate Nominee.’

Note: A company is not required to be registered as a body corporate under the D&BP. It is the choice of each company.

Transition Period – Does the D&BP apply to your existing project?

From 1 July 2021, the lodgement of declared designs for class 2 buildings is a new requirement under the rules of the D&BP.

The new rules mean building work can only start when all ‘regulated designs’ have been declared for compliance with standards and lodged online via the NSW Planning Portal.

If you have not started building work before 1 July 2021, this applies to you. This applies regardless of whether your construction certificate or complying development certificate was issued before or after 1 July 2021.

If you have started building work before 1 July 2021, the new rules do not apply to the work that has started under that construction or complying development certificate. Any subsequent building work started on another certificate after 1 July 2021 will need to comply with the new D&BP rules.