Regulation 15 – Keeping organisational records

Last updated: 10 October 2017

Building consent authorities must record their organisational structure.

The objective of the regulation

The objective of regulation 15 of the Building (Accreditation of Building Consent Authorities) Regulations 2006 (the Regulations) is that a building consent authority (BCA) considers and then records its organisational structure, including reporting lines and external relationships. It also requires a BCA to detail the powers it grants to its employees and any contractors to perform building control functions.

It is important that all parties performing building control functions have a clear understanding of their respective roles, responsibilities, powers and authorities to ensure that they are legally exercised.

Regulation 15 is available on the Legislation website.

Regulation 15 must be read in conjunction with regulations 5 and 6.

The policies and procedures required by regulation 15 must be written and/or electronic, and appropriate for purpose.

A BCA must ensure that the policies, procedures and system required by regulation 15 are consistently and effectively implemented. BCAs must ensure they record the decisions they make under regulation 15, including the reasons for the decisions, as well as the outcomes.

MBIE’s guidance on meeting the accreditation requirement

Checklist for regulation 15 outlines the minimum criteria for compliance.

If a BCA’s organisational chart with roles and responsibilities, and powers and authorities required by this regulation are maintained through a BCA’s parent organisation’s system, the accreditation body will require access to that system for the purposes of an accreditation assessment.

It is not the intent of this regulatory requirement that a BCA must record every external relationship in which it participates. It is sufficient for a BCA to record relationships with external organisations that directly relate to the performance of its building control functions (as defined in regulation 3). It is not a requirement for a BCA to record relationships with those providing facilities, equipment or services to support it to perform its building control functions.

Recording organisational structure

Compliance with regulation 15 requires a BCA to have and maintain an organisational chart. The complexity of the chart may depend on the complexity of the BCA, and its organisational and operational structure. The chart may need to be broken down into components, such as the management team, processing team, inspection team, and other supporting staff.

As a minimum, a BCA’s organisational chart must identify:

  • where the BCA is placed in the management structure of its parent organisation (if applicable)
  • any relationships the authority has with external organisations ie other BCAs, accredited organisations or contractors performing building control functions on its behalf
  • lines of accountability for employees and contractors
  • the number of employees performing building control functions (in full-time equivalent)
  • outstanding vacancies.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) recommends, but does not require, that a BCA’s organisational chart is focused on roles, not its individual employees and contractors. This should make the chart easier to maintain, and make it easier to maintain compliance with this accreditation requirement. Focusing on roles means that the chart would detail job titles, such as ‘Building Control Official – Processing’, rather than the names of individuals, such as ‘A. Hammer – Processing’.

Example of a role-based organisational chart

Diagram: Example of a role-based organisational chart

Recording organisational structure for BCAs operating as a cluster

Organisational charts for BCAs operating as a cluster must include all the required information, and do not need to be any different to that of a BCA operating singularly. It is important, however, that the organisational chart is cluster-wide and details:

  • management structure for the cluster (and across all the BCAs) – there should be clear administrative and management authorities
  • the roles of employees and contractors who will be performing a building control function within the cluster regardless of where they are located.

A cluster may wish to record the location of employees and contractors, to make its organisational chart more functional, but this is not an accreditation requirement.

Recording roles, responsibilities, powers and authorities

Roles, responsibilities, powers and authorities of employees and contractors performing building control functions can be clearly recorded in position or job descriptions and/or in a delegation framework. These are two appropriate mechanisms through which a BCA can demonstrate it is meeting the requirements of regulation 15(2). Regardless of the system used, the following information must be recorded for all employees and contractors performing a building control function:

  • objectives of their role
  • required competencies of their role
  • tasks/activities their role is responsible for undertaking
  • key responsibilities and accountabilities
  • powers to perform building control functions, and what functions
  • administrative authorities (including any delegated authorities)
  • any limitations on the powers and authorities in their role
  • reporting lines and key relationships.

Recording roles, responsibilities, powers and authorities for BCAs operating as a cluster

The recording of roles, responsibilities, powers and authorities for BCAs operating as a cluster does not need to be any different to that of a BCA operating singularly as the cluster should have a single, agreed organisational framework and system. Powers and authorities should be recorded in the same way across the cluster regardless of the physical location in which building control functions are performed.

Recording a limitation on a power or authority is not the same as recording a limitation of competency under the National BCA competency assessment system (NCAS).

The BCA may appoint an individual into a ‘BCO – inspections and compliance’ role which comes with the powers to perform the relevant building control functions. The individual can then be assessed as competent under the NCAS and allocated work appropriately under the system required by regulation 9.

National Building Consent Authority (BCA) competency assessment system has further information.

Administrative authority definition can be found in the glossary .

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: