Auditing and Compliance Publication Framework

Closes 17 Jan 2021

Opened 9 Nov 2020

Overview

The Building Confidence Report (BCR), published in 2018, identified there were regulatory and compliance deficiencies in the regulatory oversight of the construction of commercial buildings in Australia. Note the BCR defined commercial buildings as Class 2 – 9 buildings and we have continued to use this definition in this consultation.

Recommendation 7 of the BCR is: That each jurisdiction makes public its audit strategy for regulatory oversight of the construction of commercial buildings, with annual reporting on audit findings and outcomes.

In response to this recommendation, the BCR Implementation Team has developed a high-level principles-based framework to guide reporting on auditing. State and territory regulators are responsible for the development and publication of auditing strategies.

Reporting on the auditing of commercial buildings survey ran on the ABCB Consultation Hub from 29 June to 14 July 2020. The survey sought views on reporting on auditing including:

  • how reporting of auditing information would impact compliance with the National Construction Code (NCC), state and territory legislation and Australian Standards,
  • how and when auditing information should be reported,
  • what measures of auditing activities and outcomes should be reported, and
  • perceptions of the benefits or disadvantages of reporting about auditing.

There were 199 responses to the survey. The BCR Implementation Team drew on these to inform the draft Auditing and Compliance Publication Framework (the draft Framework), on which we are now seeking your feedback.

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As the BCR noted, the focus of recommendation 7 on Class 2 – 9 buildings does not mean that the auditing and oversight of Class 1 or 10 is not necessary or is unimportant. The intention of the recommendation is that audit programs for commercial buildings are prioritised but that auditing strategies might include domestic buildings in future noting that some jurisdictions are already actively auditing domestic buildings. This is in recognition that defects and non-compliances in commercial buildings usually present a higher risk to occupant safety and are more difficult and expensive to rectify.

This consultation uses the BCR's definitions of commercial and domestic buildings.

  • ‘Commercial buildings’ refers to Class 2 – 9 buildings, including multi-storey residential buildings and public buildings. The term captures both public and privately-owned buildings, including those intended to be occupied by vulnerable people, such as aged care facilities, hospitals, childcare centres and low-cost accommodation.
  • ‘Domestic buildings’ refers to Class 1 and 10 buildings which includes dwellings, whether detached or attached (such as terrace houses and villas), sheds, swimming pools and other non-habitable structures.

Additional information on building classifications is available on the ABCB website.

Why we are consulting

The draft Framework is targeted at state and territory building regulators with primary responsibility for the regulation of the construction of Class 2 – 9 buildings. The draft Framework:

  • encourages regulators and industry to have a continuous conversation about auditing with a focus on increasing compliance with the NCC, state and territory legislation and standards,
  • recognises education and training and access to information as an important aspect of conversing with industry about auditing,
  • is high-level and principles-based so that state and territory regulators can adapt each principle to their legislative and regulatory contexts, and
  • encourages collaboration between state and territory regulators to facilitate national consistency in reporting on auditing, where possible.

Your feedback about the draft Framework will help us to ensure it reflects the needs of regulators, industry and the public and will support increased compliance with the National Construction Code, state and territory legislation and standards. This will deliver better outcomes for industry and for owners, tenants and users of Class 2 – 9 buildings in Australia.

Providing comment

Comments are open until 11:59PM AEDT Sunday 17 January 2021. Only comments submitted using the online form will be considered.

A preview of the consultation form is provided below.

If you have a question about this consultation, please contact bcrimplementationteam@abcb.gov.au.

Auditing and Compliance Publication Framework

Audiences

  • Building: Commercial and Residential
  • Building: Commercial
  • Building: Residential
  • Building Certification/ Surveying
  • Architecture and Design
  • Engineering
  • Plumbing
  • Legal and Finance
  • Specialist - disability access
  • Specialist - energy efficiency
  • Specialist - fire safety
  • Specialist - health
  • Specialist - hydraulic/plumbing
  • Students and apprentices
  • Education
  • Community and Non-Government Organisations
  • Government
  • General Public
  • Building and plumbing products
  • Compliance, testing and accreditation

Interests

  • Energy efficiency
  • Fire safety
  • NCC Performance Requirements
  • Building services
  • Disability access
  • Health and amenity
  • Sanitary plumbing and drainage
  • Structural safety
  • Water services