Complying development course FAQS

This page answers questions about the complying development CPD course for accredited certifiers.

This course is an ‘approved CPD activity’ under Schedule 5 of the Building Professionals Board Accreditation Scheme and is compulsory for all category A1, A2 and A3 certifiers (council and non-council).

If your question isn’t answered below, contact a course provider for more information.

Why is the course compulsory for A1, A2 and A3 certifiers?
The course is compulsory for A1-A3 certifiers because it will:
  • increase their ability to correctly and confidently certify complying development – an increasingly popular fast-track development pathway.
  • identify relevant information to make evidence-based decisions
  • reduce the potential for complaints against certifiers’ professional practice, and the risk of disciplinary proceedings
  • improve certifiers’ ability to translate complex information into plain English, which will also enable certifiers to better service their customers. 
When must I complete the course?
All A1, A2 and A3 certifiers must successfully complete the course within 12 months of renewing their accreditation. 
For example if your current certificate expires on 15 February 2016 you must complete the course in your next accreditation period commencing on 16 February 2016 and expiring on 15 February 2017.   
What are the benefits of the course?
Participants will learn:
  • best practice in complying development certification 
  • research skills to identify and interpret relevant sections of State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008.
  • evidence-based decision making processes for issuing complying development certificates, including documenting the decision
  • policies and procedures for issuing complying development certificates 
  • certifiers’ Code of Conduct requirements.
The course is designed to help accredited certifiers in their day-to-day work with complying development certification.
It may also benefit other building professionals such as designers and builders involved in complying development projects to better understand and achieve compliance with the Codes’ requirements.
Do  CPD points apply?
The Board encourages the professional associations to allocate CPD points for this course.
For council accredited certifiers (i.e. those that have council on their certificate) the course will satisfy the CPD requirements for their next period of accreditation.       
Who are the Board-approved training providers?
The Board has only approved the course being delivered by two training providers:
  • AAC  (online training) 
  • CPD Training (face-to-face training) 
Completion of any other provider’s complying development course will not satisfy the Board’s CPD requirement for A1, A2 and A3 certifiers.
Where can I find dates, and enrolment information?
For online delivery, contact AAC Training: 

For face-to-face delivery, contact CPD Training: 

How much does the course cost?
  • AAC (online) - $660 GST inclusive
  • CPD Training (face-to-face) - $660 GST inclusive
Which complying development provisions will be covered?

The course will mainly cover the Codes SEPP.

What real-life scenarios will be covered in the course?
There will be a range of real-life scenarios covered in the course, such as:
  • erection of a new dwelling house or detached studio
  • additions to existing residential and industrial buildings
  • neighbour notification requirements, including to strata building occupants
  • change of use of commercial premises, trading hours and heritage considerations
  • modifying an existing CDC issued before relevant provisions in the SEPP changed
  • resolving inconsistencies between complying development codes and council local environmental plans (LEPs) and development control plans (DCPs).
What about certifiers who do NOT issue CDCs?
The course is compulsory for all A1-A3 certifiers, both council and private. What you will learn from the course, including the processes and tools provided, will benefit your certification work even if you prefer not to issue CDCs.
You can expect to improve your skills in: 
  • identifying and interpreting relevant legislation
  • developing effective working relationships with householders, neighbours and other stakeholders
  • customer service
  • documentation and recordkeeping.
Can certifiers keep issuing CDCs before completing the course?

Yes, but all A1, A2 and A3 certifiers must complete the course within 12 months of renewing their accreditation.

What if I don’t successfully complete the course assessments?
AAC (online)
If a student fails the assessment tasks three times, they must re-purchase 
the course.
CPD Training (face-to-face) 
If a student fails the in-class assessments they will be given an opportunity to resubmit.  
What about regional certifiers who can’t travel to Sydney to attend?
CPD Training will offer the course in seven different regions across NSW. For details visit the CPD Training website
The AAC is delivering the course online.
The subject content and learning outcomes for the online course is the same as the face-to-face course.
What technology is needed for the online course?
You will need a computer, a high-speed internet connection, an email address that can receive attachments, a newer version of a web browser, and word processing software.
Contact or 1300 892 829 for course and technical enquiries.
What if I do not do the course?
If you don’t successfully complete the course before your next accreditation period ends, the Board may refuse to renew your certificate of accreditation or the Board may impose conditions on your certificate of accreditation.
Must I do the complying development CPD course before applying for accreditation in category A3?

No, you are not required to undertake the complying development CPD course before applying for A3 accreditation.

If you become accredited in category A3, you will be required to complete the complying development CPD course in your first year of A3 accreditation.