In process Domestic Building work is labor that entails the construction, improvement, renovation or maintenance of a home. A home is any residential properties including any part of a commercial or industrial building that is used as a residential premise. A home is not:
• Any residence that is not meant for permanent inhabitancy
• A nursing home, hospital or accommodation correlated with a hospital
• A rooming house within the definition of the Residential Tenancies Act 1997
• A caravan within the definition of the Residential Tenancies Act 1997, or any vehicle used as a residence
• A motel, hotel, residential club or a residential portion of licensed premises under the Liquor Control Reform Act 1998
• Any residence that the Regulations say is not a home. A full definition is in sections 5 and 6 of the Domestic Building Contracts Act 1995
There are various reasons why a contractor may need to register as a building practitioner for Domestic Building work such as:
• If a builder plans to perform, manage or arrange the construction of domestic building work for another person, and the cost of the work is more than $5000. As well, both parties must enter a major domestic building contract.
•A builder cannot endorse a major domestic building contract unless they are registered as a building practitioner under the Building Act 1993. If the work is valued at $16,000 or over, all work must be protected by domestic building insurance. As well, no work can be started until it has been authorized by the registered building surveyor who issued the building permit for the work (if a permit is required).
• A building surveyor cannot issue a building permit for domestic building work to be done under a major domestic building contract. Not unless they are content in knowing that the work is to be done by a builder who is (1) properly registered in the right class of Domestic Builder, and (2) covered by the mandatory insurance.
In addition, all registered building practitioners must do their work proficiently and to professional standards. Plus they need to adhere to the health and safety of the people who use the residence.
Who Needs to Registration
The Building Act requires that certain specialties or performances involved in the building industry need to be registered. For instance:
• Building surveyors
• Building inspectors
• Building supervisors
• Demolition workers
• Domestic and commercial builders
Moreover, an application for registration needs to be in writing, plus the category of registration has to be specified. Additionally, the applicant must comply with the regulations and be accompanied by approved information that pertains to the integrity of the applicant. Likewise, the applicant needs proof of insurance and must pay the requisite fee.
The Next Step
There are three classes of Domestic Builders; Domestic Builder (unlimited), Domestic Builder (limited) and Domestic Builder (manager). To learn how to register for any of the three classes of a Domestic Builder, visit the Victorian Building Authority (VBA) website. As well, the VBA lists the necessary skills and experience required for registration in each element of domestic building work.
Prior to Registration
There are certain requirements that need to be completed before registration. The first step is to complete the following:
• A Registration Application Form
• A National Police Check Consent Form
• Finish the Part L Statement to support your application
• Finish the Part M Technical Referee Report
There are also 53 Online Multiple Choice Questions that needs to be completed. Additionally, there are separate plan tests to be completed at the Victorian Building Authority (VBA) offices at the Docklands. Moreover, a 2-4 hour interview is required with a VBA Assessor plus a Plan test or tests at a location chosen by the Assessor.
You will also need to make a portfolio that supports your expertise and experience. Along with the portfolio you need documents that prove your experience such as working drawings, OH & S requirements, site plans and so forth.
Once the builder’s registration application is completed send it with your portfolio to the VBA to be accessed by an assigned officer. Generally, the assessment takes around 2-4 weeks.