Accredited certifiers issue development certificates to confirm they are satisfied the development meets legislative requirements. They inspect construction and subdivision work at critical stages, which differ according to the type of development.
Most states in Australia accredit private building surveyors. But in NSW, 'building surveyor' simply refers to a subset of the many different categories of certifiers.
Read more about the obligations of a certifier.
A certifier's work
Certifiers mainly determine applications for construction certificates and complying development certificates, and may be appointed as the principal certifying authority for the development (if they hold the appropriate accreditation). The principal certifying authority issues the occupation certificate at the completion of the development.
The principal certifying authority, or another accredited certifier, carries out critical stage inspections during construction to ensure the building work is in accordance with the development consent and legislative requirements.
At the end of construction, the property owner must apply to the principal certifying authority for an occupation certificate. The principal certifying authority will conduct a final inspection and issue this certificate if satisfied that the building is suitable for occupation or use. A building must not be occupied or used without an occupation certificate.
The guide to the building approvals process (PDF | 926.1K) has more information about what a certifier does at each stage of construction.
Types of certifiers
There are many different categories of accredited certifiers. Some are highly specialised and may be engaged to provide a report or compliance certificate for a specific aspect of a building or subdivision. For example, a fire safety engineer's report is required for some developments. Fire safety engineers are accredited by the Building Professionals Board under category C10.