The Building Commissioner is responsible for monitoring and reviewing the operation of the building services Acts and administering the Building Services Board (the Board) that governs the registration of building surveyors in Western Australia. The building services Acts set out the obligations that registered building service providers must adhere to.
General registration obligations
Written notice must be given to the Board within seven days of any of the following occurring:
- You change your address.
- There is a change in your eligibility.
- You are suffering financial difficulty.
- You have been charged with a serious offence.
- You are convicted of an offence against the law of the Commonwealth or another jurisdiction in connection with the provision of a building service.
- You no longer have an eligible nominated supervisor.
If your registration is amended, suspended or cancelled you must return your registration certificate to the Board no later than 14 days after you are notified.
Certificates and standards
As a registered building surveying contractor you are responsible for issuing certificates of design compliance, certificates of construction compliance and certificates of building compliance. It is essential that all parts of a certificate are completed and accompanied by required prescribed items.
Prior to issuing a certificate, you as a building surveyor should be satisfied that the design or completed building complies with each applicable building standard, and that adequate documentation has been provided and referenced in order to demonstrates compliance with the standards.
Display of certificate of registration, signage and advertising requirements
You must ensure that your contractor certificate of registration is displayed in a prominent location at the premises where you principally carry out business. The certificate of registration of any practitioner who is a nominated supervisor is to be displayed in the same manner.
A building surveying contractor who carries out building surveying work as a person issuing a compliance certificate must ensure that there is a sign displayed at the premises where the contractor principally carries on business. The sign must be in a prominent position and be able to be read by a person entering the premises.
The signage must contain the registered name of the contractor, the trading name if different to the registered name, the class of registration, the contractor’s registration number and the name and registration number of at least one nominated supervisor for the contractor.
A building surveying contractor who carries on a business at a private residence is not required to display the registration certificate or signage where no part of the premises is used for meeting with clients or prospective clients.
Any advertising published must also contain your registration number.
The registration of a building surveying contractor is subject to the condition that the work of any building surveying practitioner technician employed or engaged by the contractor must be supervised by a building surveying practitioner level 1 or a building surveying practitioner level 2.
Compliance audit program
The compliance audit program monitors that:
- building surveying services are being carried out effectively;
- the appropriate approved forms are completed and the correct statements are being made;
- performance requirements are being adequately addressed;
- correct building standards being identified and addressed; and
- the registration system works as intended.
Written notice of an audit will be issued to the registered building surveying contractor to allow adequate time to prepare documents for the audit. During the audit, the registered building surveyor contractor will have the opportunity to discuss any compliance related matters with the auditing officer. Officers of the Building Commission are bound by the Department of Commerce Code of Conduct. Any information obtained during the audit will remain confidential unless the Board or the Building Commission is required to disclose the information by law.
A technical inspection of certifications may also be conducted during a compliance audit. This part of the audit process usually takes up to two hours provided these documents are available for examination. If there is a large amount of documentation it may be required to carry on the assessment of documents at the Building Commission’s offices, in these cases a copy of the relative documents should be supplied.
What happens after an audit is completed?
The Building Commission acknowledges compliance efforts and will support registered building surveying contractors and practitioners who are endeavouring to comply with their requirements. When necessary, actions taken for non-compliance may include prosecutions seeking the imposition of penalties, the use of a public warning to protect consumers from serious non-compliance and/or the commencement of disciplinary action.
In addition to its audit activities the Building Commission also undertakes general inspections to monitor how building services are being carried out and how building standards are being applied. Information arising from general inspections is reviewed and may be used to inform and amend the schedule of audits.
Further information regarding responsibilities and obligations, including internal quality assurance checklists, are located on the Building Commission website. Copies of the building services Acts are available on the State Law Publisher website.