One year anniversary of revised BCA accreditation scheme

Posted: 31 July 2018

1 July 2018 marks the first anniversary of the revised Building (Accreditation of Building Consent Authorities) Regulations 2006 and building consent authority (BCA) accreditation scheme guidance.
Council inspector recording details on tablet device while conducting inspection

In the last 12 months, 45 BCAs and accredited organisations have been assessed against this revised scheme, including initial assessments for two organisations wanting to become accredited.

Findings

The following are findings from accreditation assessment data which indicate:

  • Organisations assessed since 1 July 2017 under the revised scheme received an average of 15 non-compliances.
  • The three areas with the highest level of non-compliance relate to policies and procedures that a BCA must have. They are:
    1. regulation 7(2)(f) issuing and refusing to issue code compliance certificates, compliance schedules, and notices to fix
    2. regulation 7(2)(d)(iv) processing the applications to establish whether they comply with the requirements that the Act, Building Code and any other applicable regulations under the Act specify for buildings
    3. regulation 7(2)(a) giving certain information to a person who wants to apply for a building consent (public information).

Guidance and checklists

In general, assessment results show that BCAs/accredited organisations that read MBIE's online regulatory guidance and use the provided checklists as a self- assessment tool receive fewer non-compliances than organisations that do not.

The responses indicate assessments are being conducted more consistently, and this is largely due to the use of MBIE checklists. The online guidance tool also helps decision-making as it clearly indicates what constitutes non-compliance and how this is to be reported.

MBIE recently updated checklist 7(2)(d)(iv). Changes include:

  • Line item 'energy work relating to specified systems' has been incorporated into regulation 7(2)(a) checklist (consumer information) and included as part of the line item ‘requires consent,’ which requires the BCA to have consumer information about how to apply for a consent. The replacement line item in checklist 7(2)(d)(iv) refers to 'specified systems' only.
  • Reference to 'staged consents' has been altered to 'staged building work'.
  • Removal of reference to effective date for earthquake prone buildings. This came into force on 1 July 2017.

Results of BCA accreditation scheme survey

MBIE recently ran a post-accreditation survey of the revised scheme, and 28 of the recently assessed organisations responded.

Some of the questions and responses included:

  • Detailed regulatory guidance for the BCA accreditation scheme is provided on building.govt.nz/bca. Please rate how useful this guidance is for helping you understand the regulatory requirements of the scheme.

    92 per cent of respondents reported the regulatory guidance to be either somewhat or very useful.

  • MBIE's regulatory guidance for BCA accreditation includes checklists that a BCA can use to undertake self-assessment of their policies, procedures and systems. Please rate how useful the checklists are for helping you prepare for the accreditation assessment.

    92 per cent reported the checklists are either somewhat or very useful.

  • How well does the BCA accreditation scheme support BCAs to align nationally, across a region or a policy, procedure or system?

    52 per cent responded that the scheme supported this, and 40 per cent that it did not.

Tips for BCAs and accredited organisations

  • Use MBIE checklists as a self-assessment tool to contribute to a more efficient assessment.
  • Read the regulations and the guidance before your assessment.
  • Under the revised scheme there is a requirement to have a policy, procedure and system for regulation 6A. This is not included in checklists. Some BCAs have received a serious non-compliance as a result of not meeting this requirement.
  • Where possible, provide links to building.govt.nz guidance on your website, as part of regulation 7(2)(a) for public information.
  • Visit the Building Performance website and read the BCA accreditation quick reference guide

If you have any suggestions for guidance and/or checklists, or questions regarding BCA accreditation, please contact consentsystem@MBIE.govt.nz

BCA accreditation has further information on the accreditation scheme.

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This information is published by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s Chief Executive. It is a general guide only and, if used, does not relieve any person of the obligation to consider any matter to which the information relates according to the circumstances of the particular case. Expert advice may be required in specific circumstances. Where this information relates to assisting people: