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How to register as a building practitioner for Class 2 work

Builders who are wanting to work on Class 2 buildings in NSW are required to register under the Design and Building Practitioners Regulation. There are different options for low-rise, medium-rise and unconditional registration.

Who needs to register?

Only the principal contractor for a Class 2 project needs to be registered as a building practitioner under the Design and Building Practitioners Regulation. Building practitioners can apply for an unrestricted registration, or with a conditional registration limiting to low-rise or medium-rise construction.

Engineers and designers working on a Class 2 building will also need to register for their respective work – so make sure to check this as part of your due diligence before commencing a project. 

Where can I register?

Registration is via Service NSW.

What are the eligibility requirements?

To register you should check the specific criteria for your class of registration on the NSW Fair Trading website. Generally, you should gather or complete the following before commencing an application:

  • Proof of identification
  • Evidence of recent relevant experience (see Experience Requirements below) plus copies of any licences and qualifications you possess
  • Designers and builders are required to complete these training courses on Construct NSW TAFE portal:
    • The Value of Australian Standards
    • Navigating the Design and Building Practitioner Legislation
  • Complete a national police check.
  • Check and pay the registration fees applicable to your application
  • To maintain you will need to complete 3 hours of approved courses (i.e. Construct NSW or ABCB NCC CPD courses) as part of your 12 points of builder CPD per 12 month period.

Builders will require either an endorsed contractor license for general building work or a qualified supervisor certificate as defined in the Home Building Act 1989 (see ‘Builder registration or body corporate registration – which one do I need?’).

Interstate applicants will need to apply for mutual recognition of their builder license through NSW Fair Trading, or apply for a NSW license. See this NSW Fair Trading page.

What are the experience requirements?

Experience requirements depend on the size of the building you are planning to construct. Builders can register unrestricted, or with a condition restricting to low-rise or medium-rise. You will need to list out the projects you have worked on, and the dates you commenced and completed work, as well as provide details of a referee who can confirm.

The requirements for the different builder registrations are outlined in Table 1 below:

Experience requirements

Column 1 Conditional - Low-rise Conditional - Medium-rise Existing
Classes of building Class 1, 2, 3, 9a or 9c Class 1, 2, 3, 9a or 9c Class 2, 3, 9a or 9c
Experience required 3 years in the last 7 years 3 years in the last 7 years 5 years in the last 10 years
Amount in Australia 2 years 2 years 2 years
Amount that is coordination or supervision of works 1 year 2 years 5 years

What is a low-rise or medium-rise building?

The following definitions of low-rise and medium-rise apply, and are related to ‘type of fire-resisting construction’ required under the National Construction Code:

  • Low-rise building means a Class 2 building or a building containing a class 2 part that has a maximum gross floor area of no more than 2,000m2, but does not include a building that is Type A or Type B fire-resisting construction
  • Medium-rise building means a class 2 building or a building containing a class 2 part, limited to:
    1. a rise in storeys of no more than 3; or
    2. a rise in storeys of no more than 4 (where the ground level or first storey is classified as a Class 7a (carpark))
    and not including Type A construction (for Class 4, 5, 6, 7b and 8)

Builder registration or body corporate registration – which one do I need?

A project will always require an individual builder to be registered; the choice of the registration structure will then relate to the nature of the project and the business structure.

  • If your business holds the contractor license, and is listed as the principal contractor, then the business will need to be registered as a ‘Builder – body corporate’. This will also require the business to appoint a registered ‘Builder – body corporate nominee’ or registered ‘Builder – general’ for the project.

    A business may appoint multiple builders (e.g. supervisors on different projects); and must notify Fair Trading within 7-days if they no longer have any individual registered builders appointed/employed.
  • A ‘Builder – body corporate nominee’ cannot contract directly and works only under a registered business. Either a qualified supervisor certificate or an endorsed contractor license is required to register.
  • If you are a builder who contracts individually directly as the principal contractor, you will need to register as a ‘Builder – general’. You aren’t required to work under a registered business but may choose to do so. This registration requires holding an endorsed contractor license – a qualified supervisor certificate is insufficient.

The qualification, knowledge, skill and experience requirements only apply to the individual practitioners. Therefore, low-rise and medium-rise conditional registration only applies to ‘Builder – general’ and ‘Builder – body corporate nominee’.

A ‘Builder – body corporate’ will be limited to the types of work their appointed nominee(s) are eligible for.

Do I need additional professional indemnity insurance?

Additional insurance is not required at this point of time. Insurance requirements are planned to commence in July 2023.

Related HIA Information Sheets.

To find out more, contact HIA’s Building Services team.

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