Stages of a building inspection

How building certification works

Building certification (i.e. inspection) involves independently checking and approving building work to ensure it complies with the safety, health, amenity and sustainability standards specified in legislation and building codes.

The building certifier signs a Form 16 – Inspection certificate (PDF, 158KB) and provides it to a builder to confirm that a stage of construction has been completed satisfactorily.

The building approval addresses the inspection schedule. The builder must notify the building certifier when building work is ready for inspection.

Read more about the role of building certifiers.

Mandatory inspections of class 1a and 10 buildings

The Building Regulation 2021 requires mandatory inspections at the following stages for new houses (single detached class 1a buildings):

  • excavation – after excavation of foundation material and before the concrete for the footings, or slab, for the building are poured
  • footings – if the building is to have footings—after the placement of formwork and reinforcement for the footings but before the concrete for the footings is poured
  • slab – if the building is to have a slab—after the placement of formwork and reinforcement for the slab but before the concrete for the slab is poured
  • frame – inspection of the frame (note the breakdown of the framing stage under section 44 of the Building Regulation 2021)
  • final – inspection of any outstanding items and the collection of certificates, such as termite protection, wet area membrane installation, glazing, smoke alarms and energy efficiency.

The final inspection of a single detached class 1a building covers aspects such as:

  • siteworks and drainage
  • termite management systems
  • damp and weatherproofing
  • fire safety
  • health and amenity
  • safe movement and access
  • construction of wet areas
  • glazing
  • sub-floor ventilation
  • energy efficiency
  • water saving measures.

Under the Building Regulation 2021, the only mandatory stage of inspection for class 10 buildings and structures (other than swimming pools) is the final stage of inspection. However, a building approval may list additional stages that require inspection.

The inspection guidelines contain further information regarding aspect inspections.

The requirements for stage inspections of swimming pools are outlined in section 44(1)(e) of the Building Regulation 2021 and the QDC MP 3.4. Building certifiers must adhere to the requirements for undertaking inspections personally as per the provisions under the QDC MP 3.4 The certifier must also personally inspect the final stage and sign the certificate of inspection for the final stage.

Inspections of class 2 to 9 buildings

While the Building Regulation 2021 requires mandatory inspections for class 1a and 10 buildings, it doesn't provide similar requirements for class 2 to 9 buildings.

These building classes include multi-storey residential buildings, office buildings, shops, public halls, and commercial and industrial buildings.

Therefore, we have developed inspection guidelines to give building certifiers advice on meeting their responsibilities for inspections under the Building Act 1975 and Building Regulation 2021.

The guidelines:

  • apply a risk-based approach to the inspection of class 2 to 9 buildings
  • provide practical and effective methods for meeting statutory duties and obligations
  • include a risk matrix, with examples of application for specific buildings.