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Council as Your PCA

Before starting approved building works, you need to appoint a Principal Certifying Authority (PCA). The PCA is responsible for determining what works require inspection and to carry out those inspections at various times throughout the construction.

On-site inspections must be carried out by the PCA at different stages of construction, including:

  • Reinforcement of footings, slabs, columns etc before concrete placement
  • Structural framework before covering
  • Storm water drainage systems before back filling
  • Wet area waterproofing before tiling
  • Operation and placement of essential fire services
  • Final inspection before occupation to ensure conditions have been complied with and the building complies with the Building Code of Australia (BCA)

Rockdale City Council has professional staff that can act as your PCA.  In this way, Council offers:

Efficient, streamlined service

  • Council has already dealt with the Development Consent and are familiar with the proposal
  • Only Council has the authority to amend or vary the approved Development Consent plans or conditions
  • Council can easily co-ordinate service connections, such as stormwater and external driveways

Professional Service

  • Council's inspectors have the qualifications, experience, local knowledge and technical back up to ensure that your building work runs smoothly


  • Council guarantees its inspections will be carried out on the day that you request. Council is open for business and inspections on all business days in the year

Savings in time and money

  • Our inspectors are within close proximity of any job in the Rockdale Local Government Area, ensuring prompt and reliable service
  • Our inspection fees are competitive with the industry average
  • Inspection fees cover processing and approval of engineering details, essential and other fire safety services, maintenance of construction documentation from approval to occupation

Note that the Environmental Planning & Assessment Act requires that prior to the commencement of building works a person is to be appointed to inspect the building work under construction so as to be able to issue the required certificates, including an occupation certificate.

You must complete the Notification of Commencement and Principal Certifying Authority Service Agreement form and submit it to Council a minimum of 2 days prior to any works starting.

Council will endorse your application form and return a copy to you with advice as to the required critical stage inspections. For more information refer to Construction Certificates.

What is Council's role when a private certifier has been appointed the PCA?

When a private certifier has been appointed the PCA, the Council generally becomes the "keeper of the records", but is not directly involved in the inspection of the development site. By not being appointed as the PCA - it means that Council does not have ready access to various professional reports that may be produced during the construction phase, including the structural engineer's certification and survey information. Such information and reports are not required to be submitted to Council until the final occupation certificate has been issued. This is a significant impediment to Council's ability to respond to general enquiries on a development site. Nevertheless, Council retains its regulatory role and enforcement powers regarding unlawful building activity and will take action if and when required.

What is a Principal Certifying Authority (PCA)?

The Principal Certifying Authority (PCA) is chosen by the owner or applicant for an application that:

  • Administers the conditions of consent and progress of the development from commencement to completion and conducts a proper inspection of each required stage of construction
  • Promptly advises the applicant, after any relevant inspection, of any outstanding work
  • Issues the applicant with an Occupation Certificate for any building or change of building use when the relevant application has been lodged
  • Receives and investigates any complaints from the public concerning the development

Council or a private certifier can act as your Principal Certifying Authority and issue the Construction Certificate and the Occupation Certificate and oversee the construction process. If Council is not the PCA, Council must be notified of who has been appointed at least 2 days prior to building work commencing.

Who are Private Accredited Certifiers?

The State Government, through the Building Professionals Board has set up a system that allows certain individuals to become accredited as certifiers and approve Construction Certificates. The Building Professionals Board has a current list of Certifiers.

Complaints about a private certifier should be forwarded to the Building Professionals Board. They must be in writing and forwarded to:

Team Leader Complaints
Building Professionals Board
PO Box 3720

Further information can be found at

Where Council is the PCA, and you are unhappy with the response from Council, any complaints should be forwarded in writing to the General Manager, Rockdale City Council, 2 Bryant Street, Rockdale or email

Alternatively, you can write to the Office of Local Government, Locked Bag 3015, Nowra, NSW 2541 or email Further information can be found at

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