Complaints against certifiers

If you believe a building certifier has not met their legal obligations or professional standards when performing their functions, you can submit a complaint, which must include evidence and reasons.

This process relates to complaints against building certifiers only. See defective building work for advice on complaints against builders and trade contractors. 

Time limits for making a complaint against a certifier

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

Complete the Complaint against a Certifier Form (PDF), ensuring the declaration is signed and witnessed, and return via mail, or visit your nearest QBCC office.

Attach supporting documents such as:

  • engineer’s reports
  • inspection certificates
  • approval notice
  • photographs.

Note: We keep all copies.

Can I make a complaint about a company?

No. You can only make a complaint against an individual certifier who is licensed, or was previously licensed.

What happens after I send in my complaint?

We provide details of your complaint to the certifier and ask for a response. 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. Demerit points are accrued for offences against the Building Act 1975 that are prescribed demerit offences under the Building Regulation 2006.

However, the QBCC may dismiss any complaint without taking further action if:

  • we ask for further information from the complainant and do not receive the information, or
  • 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. 

Your privacy

We keep the information you provide to us during the complaint process, confidential. However, documents you supply will generally be forwarded to the building certifier. Documents can also be subject to an application for access under the Right to Information Act 2009 (PDF) and the Information Privacy Act 2009 (PDF).