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CEO Update

NSW Registration and Insurance of Builders, Designers and Engineers


The Design and Building Practitioners Bill 2019 passed on 11 June 2020 in NSW. The legislative changes impose obligations on building practitioners, designers and engineers, that is effective 1 July 2021.

The Design and Building Practitioners Bill 2019 creates a new system, to start on 1 July 2021, of:

  • Registration required for all building practitioners, designers and engineers.  It is likely that if a builder holds a builders licence then they will be entitled to registration under this legislation. Building practitioners includes those doing alterations, additions, repairs, renovations and protective treatments;
  • Insurance required for all buildering practitioners, designers and engineers. It is yet to be seen exact details of the insurance requirements;
  • Declarations are required from the building practitioner that the building work complies with the Building Code of Australia, the regulated design and that a declaration has been obtained from a registered design practitioner for the building elements;
  • Declarations are required from a registered design practitioner that the design for the building elements comply with the Building Code of Australia and other applicable requirements. Building elements are defined as internal and external load-bearing components, a component of the building enclosure, waterproofing, fire safety systems, and mechanical, plumbing and electrical services;
  • There are various enforcement and investigation powers.

The Regulations will set out the classes of buildings to which the above regime will be imposed. The Government has indicated that it will apply to Class 2 initially but will be extended to all classes over time.

Further the Bill imposes a statutory duty of care on any person who does construction work to exercise reasonable care to avoid economic loss caused by defects. This duty commenced on 11 June 2020 but is retrospective so applies to defects discovered up to 6 years ago on buildings up to 10 years old.

Further information is available from Fair Trading here.