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/aspect certificate/QBCC licensee aspect certificate (PDF, 158KB) and provides it to a builder to confirm that a stage of construction has been completed satisfactorily.

The building approval states which inspections are required and at what stages of construction. 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):

  • footing – inspection of the foundation material and the reinforcing steel before concrete is placed
  • slab – inspection of the bearing capacity of the soil, and inspection of the moisture-proof barrier and the reinforcing steel before concrete is placed
  • frame – inspection of the frame, including timber sizes, fixing, tie-down and bracing before the cladding or wall linings are fixed
  • final – inspection of any outstanding items and the collection of certificates, such as termite protection, wet area membrane installation, glazing, and certification of engineer designed elements such as roof trusses.

The final inspection covers aspects such as:

  • the control and discharge of stormwater
  • the height of the floor above ground
  • support of any earthworks necessary to protect the building and other property
  • protection against water penetration
  • fire safety issues such as smoke alarms
  • room ventilation
  • toilet door swing
  • vermin proofing
  • sub-floor ventilation
  • termite protection and re-treatment notice
  • stairs, handrails and balustrades
  • swimming pool fencing.

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 the Guidelines for inspection of class 2 to 9 buildings (PDF, 2.9MB) 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.


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