Design and Building Practitioners Act 2020 – Additional Provisions Commenced 1 July 2021


We refer to our preliminary Article 29 July 2020 in relation to the Design and Building Practitioners Act 2020 (“DBP Act”) as from 1 July 2020 further particular requirements have commenced. 


The DBP Act applies to Class 2 buildings including building work which is in buildings which are in part Class 2.  A Class 2 Building for the purpose of the Building Code of Australia is defined as:


“(1)     A Class 2 building is a building containing two or more sole-occupancy units.

(2)      Each sole-occupant\cy unit in a Class 2 building is a separate dwelling.”


As from 1 July 2021, there are requirements relating to the registration of Design Practitioners and Building Practitioners, which we briefly referred to in our Article 29 July 2020.


There is now a requirement for the preparation of regulated designs relating to particular works to be undertaken such to be by an approved, appropriately qualified and registered Design Practitioner.  Those regulated designs and appropriate declarations by the registered Design Practitioner are required to be lodged with the NSW Planning Portal, prior to commencement of the building works. 


Further the Building Practitioner must be registered.  The Building Practitioner is:


(a)      A person who agrees under a Contract or other arrangement to do building work; or



(b)      If more than one person agrees to do building work, a person who is the Principal Contractor for that work.


The Principal Contractor means a person who agrees to do the building work under a Contract or an arrangement (the Head Contractor) and for whom work is to be carried out under one or more other Contracts or arrangements as part of or incidental to the work carried out, under the Head Contractor (Section 7 of DBP Act). 


Further, pursuant to Section 7 a Building Practitioner is taken to do building work if the Practitioner:


(a)      Agrees to do building work under a Contract or other arrangement; or


(b)      Is the Principal Contractor for the work.


The regulations can prescribe additional persons and exclude persons from the requirements. 


Where the work commences before 1 July 2021, on a Class 2 building pursuant to a

Construction Certificate or a Complying Development Certificate, the requirements that now apply for Design Practitioners to undertake the design and to register the design in relation to work that commences after 30 June 2021 under the DBP Act do not apply where the said work commenced before July 2021.


There are additional transitional conditions in relation to circumstances where the work commences between 1 July 2021 and 30 June 2022.  In such cases where the design was prepared before 1 July 2021 by a person who is illegible to be registered as a Design Practitioner, the design must be reviewed and assessed and certified as compliant with the Building Code by a registered Design Practitioner.  Further the work must be undertaken by a registered Building Practitioner.





In the event that there are changes in the design, those changes will be required to be undertaken by a registered Design Practitioner and appropriately certified and lodged with the NSW Planning Portal. 


There are numerous requirements including qualifications and experience required by a person who seeks registration as a Design Practitioner or Building Practitioner.


If you are considering constructing a new home or undertaking a renovation to your exiting home, be aware of the requirements relating to the registration of Design and Building Practitioners.  At Watson & Watson Lawyers our highly experienced Building & Construction and Strata Lawyers can assist you in all areas of construction from residential granny flats to duplexes and strata complexes.  Please contact Richard Watson, Accredited Specialist Commercial Litigation specialising in Building and Construction or his Personal Assistant Shereen Da Gloria to discuss your matter and seek appropriate and timely advice.

This is only a preliminary view and is not to be taken as legal advice without first contacting Watson & Watson Solicitors on 9221 6011.


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