Last updated: 10 April 2017
MBIE’s guidance on meeting the accreditation requirement
Checklist for regulations 7(2)(b), (c) and (d)(i) outlines the minimum criteria for compliance.
Regulations 7(2)(b), (c) and (d)(i) require a BCA to have policies, procedures and systems that meet the requirements detailed below, covering how it:
- receives building consent applications
- checks that all relevant information required by the Building Act 2004 (the Act) and associated regulations has been included
- enters a complete application into its consent processing system.
Regulation 7(2)(b): receiving an application
A BCA must have a policy, procedure and system for receiving an application which ensures:
- all relevant information required on the prescribed From 2 is completed by the applicant
- memoranda (Form 2A) from LBPs are supplied if the application contains restricted building work.
For the purposes of an accreditation assessment, a BCA will not be found to be non-compliant with regulation 7 or accreditation requirements where its application forms contain minor differences from the prescribed forms, as long as any form it uses has the same effect and captures all the relevant information outlined below.
Regulation 7(2)(c): checking an application
A BCA must have a policy, procedure and system for checking each building consent application received to ensure that all the relevant information required has been submitted by an applicant. This checking may be done at the time of receipt, or later.
An application is considered a complete application when it contains all the relevant information and complies with section 45 of the Act. A BCA’s policy, procedure and system for regulation 7(2)(b) and (c) must ensure that it records the date of receipt of a complete application.
The timeframe in which an application must be checked
The Act does not contain a statutory timeframe within which an application must be checked (to determine if it contains all the relevant information and complies with section 45 of the Act). However, the statutory timeframe in section 48 of the Act requires that a complete application must be processed within 20 working days of receipt. A BCA that takes too long to check an application, that is a complete application, will lose vital processing time.
A BCA’s policy, procedure and system for regulation 7(2)(c) must stipulate a timeframe in which an application will be checked and accepted for processing if a complete application, or otherwise returned or rejected. The BCA should meet its stipulated timeframe unless there is good reason. MBIE recommends that this timeframe is set at no greater than 48 hours (although this is not an accreditation requirement).
If an application is not a complete application, MBIE recommends returning or rejecting the application, rather than accepting it, allocating it for processing and requesting further information. A BCA does not have to process any application that does not contain the relevant information and does not comply with section 45 of the Act. It is not required to:
- issue an RFI
- provide detailed reasons for returning or rejecting the incomplete application.
Of note, section 46(3) of the Act requires a BCA to provide copies of certain applications to the New Zealand Fire Service Commission on receipt. However, it is not intended or required that a BCA provide a copy of an incomplete application that does not comply with section 45 of the Act and associated regulations. A BCA is only required to provide a copy of those applications that it accepts for processing.
Referrals to the New Zealand Fire Service Commission can be contained in the policy and procedure for regulation 7(2)(b), this regulation, or regulation 7(2)(d)(ii). In this regulatory guidance, the requirement is detailed under regulation 7(2)(d)(ii).
Regulation 7(2)(d)(i): entering an application into the system
To comply with the requirements of regulation 7(2)(d)(i), a BCA must have a policy, procedure and system that enables it to record a complete application in its building consent processing system and record:
- the date it was received
- any acknowledgement of the receipt and acceptance for processing of the application
- the date/s upon which any acknowledgments were made.
A BCA’s policy, procedure and system for entering an application into its building consent processing system should usefully align with its system for giving each application its own uniquely identified file (required by regulation 16(1)).
The Building Act 2004 is available on the Legislation website.
Complete application definition can be found in the glossary.
New Zealand Gazette notice number 2012-go2694 contains information about the referral of applications to Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ) (previously known as the New Zealand Fire Service Commission), and is available on the Gazette website.