Private Certification


Private Certification refers to the process where a Private Certifier, instead of the local Council, assesses and approves certain types of development.

Private Certification was introduced by the NSW State Government in 1997 and provided an alternative to the traditional council-based development approach.

Subsequent NSW legislation has enabled Private Certifiers to perform work that was previously only completed by Council Building Certifiers, which includes:

  1. Assessing and issuing Complying Development Certificates (CDC).
  2. Being legally appointed to Inspect and certify mandatory construction stages throughout the building process.
  3. Responding directly to neighbour and customer enquiries.
  4. Issuing Occupation Certificates to confirm a development has been satisfactorily completed in accordance with the Development Consent, which could be either a CDC or a Development Application (DA) & Construction Certificate (CC).
  5. Inspecting and certifying existing, privately owned swimming pool barriers.
  6. Issuing Certificates of Compliance or Non-Compliance for existing, privately owned Swimming Pool Barriers.

It is important to note that Private Certifiers are considered to be “Public Officials” and therefore must comply with their legislated Code of Conduct obligations.

Private Certification has become increasingly popular in NSW, especially for straightforward development proposals such as minor residential developments, and alterations and additions. Developers and homeowners often choose Private Certification due to the perceived benefits of faster processing times, more convenience for applicants and greater flexibility in project management.

Following community concerns, and to ensure the quality and integrity of Private Certification services, the NSW Government introduced the Building Professionals Act 2005 and the Building Professionals Regulation 2007. This legislation established registration requirements for Private Certifiers and stipulates standards of conduct and competency that they must adhere to.

In recent times, the NSW Government has established the Building Commission NSW, which is the State’s first ever dedicated building regulator to ensure construction standards are being maintained and thus promote community confidence in residential building quality in NSW.

Should you have any concerns about any Privately Certified development, it is recommended that you contact the Private Certifier directly to discuss these concerns.

NSW Fair Trading regulates Private Certifiers, therefore should you have any concerns regarding the conduct of a Private Certifier, please visit NSW Fair Trading | Complaints about certifiers.