Councils and certifiers can choose from different options to report data about building certification to the NSW Government, to meet reporting requirements for principal certifying authorities (PCA) that will be mandatory from 1 July 2018.
The best reporting option for each certifying authority depends mainly on the software used for recordkeeping, but the volume of certification work is also a factor.
- Some software providers have updated their product to meet the data reporting requirements.
- The API (application programming interface) allows bulk data upload and suits certification practices that use cloud-based software.
- The SFTP (secure file transfer protocol) allows bulk data upload and generally suits most councils and some medium-sized private certification practices.
- The CertAbility mobile app requires manual data entry for each project and suits low-volume certification practices (council or private).
You can change your reporting option if your business needs change. Each option suits a different business model, so it’s unlikely you’ll use more than one option.
Data reporting options
The following software products and providers are the only products/providers verified by the Government as compliant with the data reporting requirements.
- Better Built Software
- Building Certification Systems (BCS) certification software
- Digital Fusion
- GeekHQ spreadsheet template for SFTP
- Greenlight Online Permit Manager
- PermAssist certification software
- Sentia (contact company directly for details)
- Sol1 (contact company directly for details)
- Visual Approvals certification software
Important note: Certifiers are responsible for checking any certificate, or other statutory document, generated from these products meets legislative requirements.
The API suits councils or certifiers that use or are considering cloud-based certification software.
Other software providers are updating their products - contact your provider for details.
Software providers and IT specialists, download the:
- API specifications from the NSW Government API website
- API descriptions (Excel | 80K) reference file
- presentation from our April 2018 technical roadshow (PDF | 586.9K) - slides 24-28 explain the API.
When you’re ready to test your product, email email@example.com with your name and phone number to request access to the ‘Building Certifiers API’. You will initially be given access to a testing environment, to ensure error-free data transfers, before you can register for the production environment.
The SFTP suits councils or certifiers that:
- use a database or software package for recordkeeping, but it’s not necessarily certification software nor cloud-based
- have, or can access, IT capacity to make the necessary data and network changes to adopt the SFTP option (further IT support shouldn’t be required once the SFTP is set up).
If this sounds like you, download the:
- technical documentation (Excel | 69.3K) for the SFTP channel
- presentation from our April 2018 technical roadshow (PDF | 586.9K) - slides 16-23 explain the SFTP.
Note: the SFTP specifications are not forms to fill out – they are instructions for how to configure the data file. If you are a certifier or do not have expertise in software development, forward the documents without alteration to your IT/ software provider.
When you're ready to test your system:
- email firstname.lastname@example.org with your contact details, organisation name and IP address.
- if needed, ask your IT service provider to white list our IP addresses/names ( 188.8.131.52 | sftp.uat.onegov.nsw.gov.au ) and ( 184.108.40.206 | sftp.onegov.nsw.gov.au ).
You will initially be given access to a testing environment, to ensure error-free data transfers, before you can send data to the production environment.
Update: In early 2019 a web-based app will replace the mobile version. More information will be posted here when it is available.
The free CertAbility mobile / tablet app suits certification practices that:
- have a low volume of certification work (e.g. fewer than 50 PCA appointments per year)
- have limited or no in-house IT capacity
- use spreadsheets or similar documents for recordkeeping, rather than a database or dedicated certification software, and do not intend to upgrade
- have a mobile phone or tablet with an iOS (Apple) or Android system.
If this sounds like you, download CertAbility from the Apple store or Google Play store, then contact the Board to request access.
If you need help using the app, download the CertAbility user guide (PDF | 1.5M).
Minimum software requirements: iOS version 10.0; Android version 5.0 (6.0 or later recommended).
The app requires manual data entry for each project and is not suited for high-volume certification practices. If your practice is growing, consider either the API or SFTP for more long-term convenience.