NSW – Changes to the Design and Building Practitioners scheme

Amendments to the Design and Building Practitioners Regulation 2021 have come into effect.

These changes, affecting Design and Building Practitioners, Professional Engineers and architects, have been made to help practitioners adjust to the scheme and comply with building industry reforms.

End of automatic registration
Previously, Design and Building Practitioners, and Professional Engineers were automatically issued registration on application. However, from 1 March 2022, registrations will no longer be issued automatically.

If you’re applying under the Design and Building Practitioners scheme you cannot do certain work on a Class 2 building – or building with a Class 2 part – such as making declarations, lodging documents or unsupervised professional engineering work until your application is assessed and approved by NSW Fair Trading.

For more information, visit the NSW Fair Trading website.

Changes for Building Practitioners
From 1 March 2022, Building Practitioners who want to work on smaller Class 2 buildings, but do not meet the current eligibility criteria can apply to be registered in one of the new conditioned registration classes of Building Practitioner. Work under the conditioned registrations will be restricted to low- and medium-rise buildings.

Find more information on the new conditioned registration classes.

We are introducing a limited exemption for Building Practitioners to hold mandatory insurance under the Design and Building Practitioners Act until 30 June 2023.

The current exemption which applies to all practitioners will end on 30 June 2022. There are no changes to the mandatory insurance requirements for Design Practitioners, Principal Design Practitioners and Professional Engineers.

Find more information on insurance for Building Practitioners.

Eligibility criteria for architects
Starting 1 March 2022, a new pathway is available for architects to register as a Design Practitioner. This is in response to experienced architects being unable to register due to not having the required experience in residential buildings.

The new pathway allows architects who have the required experience in a broader range of building classes (not just Class 2) to register as a Design Practitioner.

We have also introduced a conditioned registration class of Design Practitioner – Architectural, allowing eligible practitioners to work on medium-rise Class 2 buildings.

Find more information on the eligibility criteria for Design and Building Practitioners.

New ground anchor requirements
From 2 March, Building Practitioners who intend to install ground anchors on a neighbouring property will be required to provide evidence of the legal authority to install the anchors prior to commencing work. Evidence of the destressing of temporary ground anchors and the removal of removable ground anchors will also be required before a development is completed.

As part of these changes, Design Practitioners who are preparing designs involving ground anchors to be installed on neighbouring property will not require evidence of a registered easement. Download the updated Ministerial Order.

More information
Visit the NSW Fair Trading website for more information on the Design and Building Practitioners scheme and the amendments to the Design and Building Practitioners Regulation 2021.

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