Principal certifying authority (PCA) - Shoalhaven City Council
Principal certifying authority (PCA)

What is a PCA?

The person having the benefit of a development consent or complying development certificate must appoint a PCA if the development involves any building work.

It is the role of a PCA to:

  • Administer the conditions of consent and progress of the development from commencement to completion and conducts a proper inspection of each required stage of construction.
  • Advise the applicant, after any relevant inspection, of any outstanding work.
  • Issue the applicant with an Occupation Certificate for any building or change of building use when the relevant application has been lodged.
  • Receive and investigate any complaints from the public concerning the development.

Council or a private certifier can act as your PCA and issue the occupation certificate and/or subdivision certificate at the end of the work. In relation to building work, the PCA must assess whether the building complies with approval and is suitable for occupation or use in accordance with its classification under the Building Code of Australia before issuing an occupation certificate. In other words, the building generally complies with required building standards and is safe to occupy. The PCA can also issue subdivision certificate where Council’s Local Environmental Plan (LEP) allows. If you appoint a private certifier as your PCA you must notify the local Council of the appointment at least two days before building or subdivision work commences.

The specific roles and responsibilities of the PCA are set down in the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 and Regulation 2000. 



Who can be a PCA?

Accredited private certifiers and Councils can undertake the functions of a PCA for a development. 




How to appoint a PCA?

The person having the benefit of the development consent or complying development certificate must appoint the PCA. This is usually the owner of the land or someone authorised to act on their behalf.

The builder cannot appoint the PCA unless they are the person with the benefit of the development consent – this is important because the PCA checks aspects of the builder’s work. If you are appointing an accredited private certifier as the PCA you must appoint an individual rather than any company for whom the individual works.

Remember that applying for a construction certificate is not the same as appointing a PCA. The certifying authority who issues the construction certificate does not have to be the PCA. The PCA must be specifically appointed in writng to undertake inspections and issue the occupation certificate.

When you have appointed a PCA, you must notify the Council of the appointment at least two days before building or subdivision work commences by submitting the Notice of Commencement of building or subdivision work and appointment of PCA form.




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Appoint Council as PCA

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