• DA Outcomes
  • Construction Certificate (CC)
  • Building
  • Getting your Occupation Certificate (OC)

DA Outcomes

Your approval often comes with a set of conditions that outlines additional information needed prior to commencing work, outlines the requirements for how to carry out your development or sets operational requirements for you to adhere to for the lifetime of the development. You must read the Conditions of Consent carefully to ensure you fully understand this information.

Before you can start building you must do four things:

  • Get a Construction Certificate – building approval from your council or a private certifier
  • Appoint a Principal Certifying Authority (PCA) to monitor construction – this can be your council or an accredited certifier
  • Give the council and the PCA two days’ notice before you start work 
  • Complete any works listed in the ‘Prior to commencing work’ part of the consent

Construction Certificate (CC)

A Construction Certificate (CC) or Subdivision Works Certificate (SWC) if your application is for a Subdivision, must be obtained from your council or an accredited certifier prior to commencing work. This provides detailed information regarding the building plans/engineering details and specifications. The plans will most likely contain a lot more information than your approved DA plans, to allow your builder to work directly from them.
 

The building must be consistent with them and the development consent. Any plan changes that are inconsistent with the DA plans would need to be assessed as to whether an application to modify the development consent is required.

In order to obtain the CC or SWC you may 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.

Which certifier?

You have the choice as to whom issues your Construction Certificate – the certifying authority can either be your council or an accredited certifier. The NSW Building Professionals Board (BPB) accredits all certifiers that are not employed by your council, and provides the information you need on the NSW Building Professionals Board (BPB) website.

The role of the Principal Certifying Authority (PCA)

The PCA must be appointed by the ‘person having the benefit of the development consent’ – this means you as the owner and not your builder. It would probably be the same person or firm that issued your CC, but does not have to be – as with your CC, it can be an accredited certifier or your council as PCA. The PCA’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 PCA 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.

Forms

Construction Certificate Application (PDF 46.1KB)

Notice of Commencement of Works (PDF 78.9KB)

Principal Certifying Authority (PDF 143.2KB)

Building

As owner your role is to work with the PCA and the builder, keeping an eye on the work (and the terms of your development consent), managing the site and organising inspections.

The PCA will brief the builder and you about the 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 PCA.

Keeping a close eye on the work and being sure it is consistent with the development consent and any conditions attached is very important. Orders can be issued by council to stop work and fix any errors. This can cost time and money or even lead to penalties. The EP&A Act specifies enforcement measures that can be applied if a development is not built in accordance with its consent.

Getting your Occupation Certificate (OC)

The Occupation Certificate (OC) authorises the occupation and use of a new building or building section. For staged works, an Interim OC may be issued which allows you to occupy the completed part of the building.

Depending on the particular OC sought, the PCA must be satisfied the development meets various regulatory standards. These generally include that:

  • A development consent is in force.
  • The design and construction of the building is not inconsistent with the development consent.
  • Any pre-conditions set out in the consent or requirements of planning agreements have been satisfied.
  • A CC has been issued.
  • That the building is suitable for occupation (in accordance with its BCA classification).

The issue of the final OC is the last step in the formal DA and construction process (though there could be ongoing ‘operational’ conditions such as maintaining appropriate noise levels or landscape maintenance).

The building must be consistent with them and the development consent. Any plan changes that are inconsistent with the DA plans would need to be assessed as to whether an application to modify the development consent is required.

In order to obtain the CC or SWC you may 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.

Which certifier?

You have the choice as to whom issues your Construction Certificate – the certifying authority can either be your council or an accredited certifier. The NSW Building Professionals Board (BPB) accredits all certifiers that are not employed by your council, and provides the information you need on the NSW Building Professionals Board (BPB) website.

The role of the Principal Certifying Authority (PCA)

The PCA must be appointed by the ‘person having the benefit of the development consent’ – this means you as the owner and not your builder. It would probably be the same person or firm that issued your CC, but does not have to be – as with your CC, it can be an accredited certifier or your council as PCA. The PCA’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 PCA 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.

Forms

Occupation Certificate Application (PDF 58.8KB)