Inspection certificates for plumbing and drainage

All plumbing and drainage permit work (previously called 'compliance assessable work') is inspected by local government or a representative from the public sector.

The Plumbing and Drainage Regulation 2019 sets out the:

  • inspection process
  • alternatives to local government inspections
  • requirements for issuing inspection and final certificates.

Calling for an inspection

As the person responsible for the work, you must request that local government inspect the permit work.

Generally, work must be inspected either:

  • before being covered
  • no more than 5 days after a stage has been reached.

Read the Plumbing and Drainage Regulation 2019 for more information about the stages of work that have to be inspected.

Inspection certificate

The inspection certificate is a form that a representative from local government or the public sector uses to record the results of an inspection.

The certificate states that the permit work complies with the code requirements. Depending on the stage, it may also state that some or all of the work is operational and fit for use.

To receive an inspection certificate, you must make a written request to the local government.

The government must issue the certificate within 2 business days after either:

  • the inspection is complete
  • the local government receives your covered work declaration (as an alternative to an inspection).

Alternatives to local government inspections

In some cases, a local government may accept a declaration or report instead of completing an inspection.

Form 3—Covered work declaration (PDF, 256KB)
Use this form if you cover work before an inspector has inspected the work, and the local government has allowed the form to be used to certify the work is compliant.

Form 5—Testing or commissioning report (PDF, 113KB)
Use this report to certify the plumbing and drainage work was tested or commissioned in compliance with the code requirements.

Form 6—Remote area compliance notice (PDF, 142KB)
For local governments who have declared remote areas, the work doesn't have to be inspected. However, you must provide the local government a notice within 10 days after the work has become operational and fit for use.

Form 8—On-site sewage work declaration (PDF, 191KB)
Instead of inspecting the on-site sewage work, the government may allow an appropriate person declare that the work has been inspected and is compliant.

Final inspection certificate

The local government or public sector entity uses Form 19—Final inspection certificate (PDF, 88KB) to certify that the permit work is compliant, operational and fit for use.

They can issue the form when all work under the permit or a distinct part of the work (e.g. 1 or more townhouses in a complex) is complete.

You'll receive a copy of the form, and copies are issued to the permit holder and owner.

Using plumbing and drainage before inspection

No one can use plumbing or drainage that is the result of permit work unless an inspection certificate or final inspection certificate has been issued stating that the work is operational and fit for use.

A maximum penalty of 250 penalty units applies ($33,362).

When inspection certificates aren't issued

A local government cannot issue an inspection certificate or final inspection certificate if you've received an action notice relating to the work or part of the work, and you:

  • haven't complied with the action notice
  • have appealed the action notice and the appeal hasn't ended
  • needed to get an amended permit, and the permit hasn't been amended yet.

Next steps if a certificate isn't issued

If the local government doesn't issue an inspection certificate or final inspection certificate, you should receive an information notice.

An information notice about a local government decision states:

  • the decision
  • reasons for the decision
  • that the person receiving the notice may appeal to the Development Tribunal.

If a certificate hasn't been issued, the plumbing and drainage work can't be used.