What type of certifier do I need

Usually, a principal certifying authority (PCA) can issue all the certificates you need for your development. However, you may need more than one type of certifier, as advised by your PCA or council.

Your local council, or an A1, A2 or A3 certifier, can act as your PCA for building work and must be engaged before work starts.

Types of certifiers

The Building Professionals Board accredits certifiers in the following categories according to their expertise, qualifications and experience.

Most small residential developments, such as a new house, are certified by an A1, A2 or A3 certifier as the PCA for the development.

A and E categories Description of work
A1, A2 and A3

Building surveyor grades 1, 2 and 3:

  • A1 certifiers can certify all buildings
  • A2 certifiers can certify all class 1 and 10 buildings, and certain class 2-9 buildings (restrictions apply, so ask your certifier)
  • A3 certifiers can certify class 1 and 10 buildings that meet the deemed-to-satisfy provisions of the Building Code of Australia.

A1, A2 and A3 certifiers can also act as the PCA for building work, and certify compliance of swimming pools and spa pools.

A4 building inspector

Port development certifier: State Environmental Planning Policy (Three Ports) 2013


swimming pool certification:

  • inspect and issue certificates of compliance under Swimming Pools Act 1992 for existing swimming pool barriers
  • CAN NOT assess/ approve proposed plans for swimming pools.
B, C and D categories Description of work
B1 subdivision certification
C1 private road and drainage design compliance
C2 private road and drainage construction compliance
C3 stormwater management facilities design compliance
C4 stormwater management facilities construction compliance
C5 subdivision works and building works (location of works as constructed) compliance
C6 subdivision road and drainage construction compliance
C7 structural engineering compliance
C8 electrical services compliance
C9 mechanical services compliance
C10 fire safety engineering compliance
C11 energy management compliance (Building Code of Australia classes 3, 5 to 9)
C12 geotechnical engineering compliance
C13 acoustics compliance
C14 building hydraulics compliance
C15 stormwater compliance
C16 speciality hydraulic services compliance
D1 strata certification

Exempt development

Some types of development are 'exempt'; that is, you don't need approval from council or a certifier. Types of exempt development are listed on the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment's website.