Last updated: 28 September 2022
MBIE's guidance on meeting the accreditation requirement
Checklist for regulations 7(2)(d)(ii) and (iii) outlines the minimum criteria for compliance.
A BCA must have a policy, procedure and system in place for assessing the content of a building consent application that enables it to:
- classify the application using the work classification framework required by regulation 9
- allocate it to one or more competent employee(s) or contractor(s) as required by regulation 9
(Note: where a self-allocation process is used, ensure there is a record confirming the work is within the employee’s competency)
- identify if technical leadership or specialist expertise may be required
- decide when to provide a copy of the consent application to Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ).
An assessment of an application to classify it, and allocate it to a technically competent building control official (BCO) can be undertaken at the same time it is received and/or checked. There is no requirement for separate staff to undertake the receipt and checking of an application, and the assessing and allocating of an application. There is also nothing to prevent an application from being reallocated where the employee or contractor to whom it is allocated decides that it should be classified at a different level.
Although assessing applications against the work classification framework required by regulation 9 and allocating them for processing is not a technical job, a BCA’s policy, procedure and system for regulation 7(2)(d)(ii) and (iii) may provide that it can refuse a materially insufficient application at the time it is initially assessed, prior to being allocated and processed. As refusing a building consent application is a technical job, the staff member undertaking the assessment must seek approval from a technically competent employee or contractor to refuse the application at this stage (if they are not competent themselves).
Identifying if technical leadership or specialist expertise may be required
Identifying the need for technical leadership or specialist expertise before processing begins enables copies of a consent application to be distributed to relevant employees or contractors in a timely manner. This may assist the BCO responsible for processing the consent to decide to make a request for information (RFI) or to decide the consent in a timely way.
A BCA will not be found to be non-compliant with this accreditation requirement if the BCO makes the decision to seek technical support as part of processing the consent under regulation 7(2)(d)(iv).
Copying a consent application to Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ)
The requirement for providing a copy of certain building consent applications to FENZ is set out in sections 212 and 238 of the Building Act 2004 and applies to every application for a building consent of a kind specified by notice in the Gazette.
The Gazette notice refers to building consents for types of buildings described in section 21A of the Fire Services Act 1975. This Act has since been repealed and replaced by the Fire and Emergency New Zealand Act 2017. As a result of this change, reference to section 21A of the Fire Services Act 1975 in the Gazette must now be taken to be a reference to section 75 of the Fire and Emergency New Zealand Act 2017 (which corresponds to the section from the 1975 Act).
Section 75 of the Fire and Emergency New Zealand Act 2017 now provides the list of buildings for which consent applications must be referred to FENZ (provided the other requirements of the Gazette notice are applicable).
In summary, this requirement applies to any consent application for building work that requires, changes or affects fire safety systems. The exception is where the effect on the fire safety system is minor.
Where an application is refused before any meaningful processing has been undertaken, the application does not need to be referred to FENZ.