Inspection and certification of fire safety systems installation

Closed 26 Sep 2021

Opened 19 Aug 2021

Feedback updated 21 Dec 2021

We asked

The Building Confidence Report (BCR) Implementation Team asked for your feedback on installation, testing and certification of fire safety systems to improve building outcomes and compliance with the National Construction Code.

You said

We received 61 responses. Responses were received from industry associations, businesses, governments, educational institutions and individuals. Responses were positive and supportive of a nationally consistent approach to  installation, testing and certification of fire safety systems. There was strong support to ensure that work is only undertaken by registered practitioners.

We did

The BCR Implementation Team used your feedback to inform a model guide on Fire safety systems. The model guide was endorsed by Building Ministers and is available for state and territory consideration and implementation.

Published responses

View submitted responses where consent has been given to publish the response.


In 2017, Building Ministers authorised an assessment of the effectiveness of compliance and enforcement systems for the Australian building and construction industry. Recommendation 19 of the resulting Building Confidence Report (BCR) is that each each jurisdiction requires registered fire safety practitioners to design, install and certify the fire safety systems necessary in commercial buildings.

In response, the BCR Implementation Team within the Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) Office is developing national model guidance to provide assistance to governments and industry, and to facilitate national consistency.

The paper is presented as five principles, which are considered fundamental to the installation, testing, certification and maintenance of fire safety systems. The paper also provides context and objectives to support each principle.

Finally, the paper recommends a number of matters to be considered by stakeholders. Stakeholder input will assist in the development of model guidance and will provide a robust, transparent and a nationally consistent model to the inspection and certification of fire safety systems installation. The national model guidance will be considered by Building Ministers towards the end of the year.

You can access the full discussion paper below or download a copy at the bottom of this page. You can also access a preview of the consultation via the ‘consultation preview’ attachment at the bottom of this page.

Your browser does not support inline PDF viewing. Please download the PDF.

Why your views matter

BCR recommendation 19 and the installation, testing, certification and maintenance of fire safety systems impacts building occupant safety. The requirement to test, inspect, certify and maintain fire safety systems aims to:

  • detect any observable non-compliance issues
  • ensure that the systems are installed in accordance with the relevant approvals, plans and specifications of the design
  • ensure the building is compliant with the NCC and applicable standards including any other relevant jurisdictional requirements
  • ensure the building is suitable for occupation and use prior to an occupancy certificate being issued, and
  • ensure that the building continues to operate as design through ongoing inspection and maintenance.

This discussion paper acknowledges the interdependencies associated with the BCR recommendations. It also reflects on those matters relating to recommendation 19 that have been addressed in response to other BCR recommendations. 

The paper explores the outstanding matters identified in recommendation 19. It does not cover fire system design matters such as fire brigade vehicular access as it is not considered to be a system requiring independent installation, testing and commissioning.

Stakeholder feedback on proposed minimum requirements for this recommendation is essential to informing the development of appropriate guidance for jurisdictions to consider.

What happens next

The BCR Implementation Team appreciates your feedback and will consider all responses received.

The responses will help refine and enhance the model guidance. Once the model guidance is finalised, it will be presented to the Board of the ABCB for its review and then to Building Ministers for consideration later this year.


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