Complaint against a certifier
If you believe a building certifier has engaged in unsatisfactory conduct or professional misconduct when performing their functions, you can submit a complaint, which must include evidence and reasons.
Certifier's standard of conduct
According to the Code of conduct for building certifiers a certifier must:
- perform building certifying functions in the public interest
- maintain satisfactory levels of competence
- comply with legislative requirements
- not perform building certifying functions where there is the potential for a conflict of interest
- only perform building certifying functions permitted within the scope of their building certifier licence level
- maintain confidentiality
- abide by moral and ethical standards expected by the community
- take all reasonable steps to obtain all relevant facts when performing building certifying functions
- clearly document reasons for building certifying decisions
- ensure inspections are carried out to ensure building work complies with the Building Act 1975 and the development permit.
If a certifier breaches their code of conduct they may have their licence suspended or cancelled.
Time limits apply
Time limits apply for making a complaint about the conduct of a certifier, unless the conduct has caused, or may cause, significant financial loss or other serious harm.
A complaint about the conduct of a building certifier must be made within the following timeframes:
- if the certifier’s conduct relates to the certification of building work the subject of a building development approval: 7 years after a certificate of occupancy or final inspection certificate is issued (or the development approval lapses)
- otherwise – if the certifier’s conduct relates to building work for which a building development application has been made: 1 year after the private certifier is engaged or the application is received by the local government
- otherwise – within 1 year of the complainant becoming aware of the conduct.
How to make a complaint
Gather as much evidence as you can to support your complaint, including:
- engineer’s reports
- inspection certificates
- approval notice
- approval documents
Download and complete all sections of:
Ensure the declaration is signed and witnessed.
Attach supporting evidence and any additional documents if there is insufficient space in the form fields.
What happens next?
We provide details of your complaint to the certifier and the certifier is invited to respond. Once we have received a reply, we'll review both parties’ written submissions.
After the initial review, we may carry out a site inspection or make a recommendation for mediation. In the case where mediation fails or was not suggested, we continue to investigate all details prior to making a decision.
Depending on the outcome of the investigation, demerit points may be allocated to the certifier.
However, the QBCC may dismiss any complaint without taking further action if either:
- we ask for further information from the complainant and do not receive the information
- are satisfied the complaint is frivolous, vexatious or lacks substance or credibility.
How long will it take?
We can’t provide an exact timeframe as each case is taken on its own merits. It depends on the nature of your complaint and the time it takes to review the information and documents provided.
If the case involves professional misconduct, it may take longer to reach a resolution as we have to apply to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) to start disciplinary action.