Inspections and Principal Certifying Authority


To ensure that all building work is built correctly and in accordance with the plans the property owner must nominate a Principal Certifying Authority (PCA) to carry out all the relevant inspections needed during the building process.

The Principal Certifying Authority (PCA)

The PCA is a person or organisation that is accredited to do inspections to make sure that the critical stages in the building process are built correctly. The PCA is responsible for conducting inspections at each required stage of construction, giving advice on completion of each inspection and issuing Occupation Certificates at the completion of building work.

Who is responsible for appointing the Principal Certifying Authority (PCA)?

The owner of the property where the building work is being carried out is responsible for appointing the PCA. The PCA can either be the Council or a Private Certifier.

When you have appointed Council as your PCA you are responsible for arranging the relevant inspections to be carried out at the appropriate stages of construction. Council will have issued a quote with the Development Application detailing the inspections that will be required to complete your development.

Payment of all inspection fees must be completed before commencing any work and at the time of appointing a PCA. If you are using a private certifier you must ensure you pay all relevant plumbing and drainage inspection fees to Council.

The benefits of using Council to conduct your inspections include; pre-application advice, prompt and reliable service, professional advice available on the phone or at council office, discounts for drainage inspections and on site advisory service.

How to appoint the Principal Certifying Authority (PCA)?

Prior to commencement of any work on site relating to a Development Consent the owner of the property must in writing nominate the PCA. Council will issue a Notice to Commence form with the Development Consent. The Notice to Commence form can only be submitted once a Construction Certificate has been issued. The form is to be submitted 2 days prior to works commencing on the site.

Critical Stage Inspections

For buildings that are dwelling houses, swimming pools, garages, carports, pergolas, decks and other residential construction the following inspections are considered Critical Stage Inspections:

  • prior to pouring of footings or slabs,
  • prior to covering any framework (floor, wall, roof or other building element),
  • prior to covering any waterproofing,
  • prior to covering any stormwater drainage and
  • At the completion of the building work and prior to occupation.

There may be additional inspections that will be required, including plumbing and drainage. Council must carry out these inspections even if they are not nominated as the PCA. A fee to do plumbing and drainage inspections separately will be included in the inspection quote.

Inspection advice sheets are left on site after the inspection to advice of the outcome of the inspection. If additional advice is required contact Council Building Surveyors.

How do I book an inspection with Council?

To book an inspection with Council, please call Council Sustainability and Better Living Section on 6285 6165 with the following information:

  • Address of property to be inspected
  • Type of inspection required
  • Date of inspection
  • Name and contact person on the day of the inspection.

Please be advised of the following in regard to inspections:

  • Booking of inspection should be 24 hours in advance
  • All work should be completed at the time of the inspection
  • Any dogs on the premises must be restrained or the inspection will not proceed.