Building Consent Authorities

Building Consent Authorities

From 31 March 2009, only registered Building Consent Authorities (BCAs) have been permitted to perform building consenting and certifying functions in terms of the Building Act 2004. The Act provides for Territorial Authorities and private organisations to apply for registration as a BCA. Territorial Authorities also need to be registered as a BCA to carry out building control work on dams.

Accreditation Criteria

The Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) has published regulations and criteria for accrediting Building Consent Authorities. IANZ is currently contracted by MBIE to undertake the assessments of Building Consent Authorities against these criteria for registration by MBIE.

The regulations require Building Consent Authorities to have appropriate policies, systems and procedures in writing that record how it ensures that it implements effective policies, procedures and systems.  They also require BCAs to record the key decisions it makes, the reasons for them, and the outcomes and actions of those decisions.

MBIE have also published regulations that determine the fee that a BCA must pay for accreditation application and assessment. Note that the GST rate was changed from 12.5% to 15% after the publication of these regulations and additional GST is now charged over and above the stated fee.

Accreditation Guidance

To assist applicants, MBIE published the Building Consent Authority Accreditation Preparation and Self-assessment Guide (published February 2007) and the BCA Accreditation Regulation 17 Quality Assurance System Guidance (published October 2008). The purpose of the Accreditation Preparation and Self-assessment Guide was to provide good-practice guidance that could be used (or adapted for use) by building consent authorities to demonstrate compliance with the accreditation standards.  The Regulation 17 guidance provides good-practice guidance for the items that should be covered by a quality assurance system.

Accreditation Criteria

General

To clarify the process for, and requirements of, accreditation of BCAs, IANZ has published the Procedures and Conditions of Building Consent Authority Accreditation.  This document explains the process for gaining and maintaining accreditation.

Specific

As the Building (Accreditation of Building Consent Authorities) Regulations provide only generalised wording IANZ has consulted with MBIE regarding the intent of the document and has documented the requirements for BCA accreditation on a regulation by regulation basis in a specific criteria document for BCAs

Further Information

BCA Newsletters

IANZ and MBIE work closely together to ensure that the regulations are consistently interpreted across the country, with clarifications on the requirements of the Regulations and Building Act provided where required.  From time to time IANZ publishes a BCA newsletter that provides this information.

Assessment Checklists

IANZ have developed checksheets for their use as part of their assessment of BCAs.  These checklists may also provide guidance to BCAs regarding what may be reviewed during an assessment, or for internal auditing purposes.

 

Websites

The MBIE website provides valuable information for the general public and for BCAs.

BRANZ Find (formerly known as the Industry Source Resource) provides materials over a broad range of building and construction topics. It contains links to a range of articles, study reports, online tools, guidelines, Codes of Practice, technical guidance, Building Code clauses, Standards, and legislation.