“Go West, Young Man?”- Building Registration in Western Australia
Written by Caeli Lovell, Special Counsel at Lovegrove Solicitors
13 April 2012
Thinking of taking your construction business west to capitalise on the mining boom? Before you start bidding for building work in Western Australia you will need to go through a rigorous registration process that is substantially more onerous than in some other states.
To carry out “builder work” in WA you must hold either a Building Practitioner or Building Contractor registration issued by the Building Services Board (‘the Board’). A builder work is defined as work with the value of $20,000 where a building permit is required within the designated areas of the State.
The Board issues registrations under the Building Services (Registration) Act 2011 (‘the Act’) and the Building Services (Registration) Regulations 2011 (‘the Regulations’).
To be eligible for Building Practitioner registration an applicant must provide relevant information required by the Board, some of which may need to be provided in the form of a statutory declaration
An applicant’s identity must be verified by providing primary identification (passport or birth certificate) as well as secondary identification (drivers licence or government issued identity document).
Applicants must demonstrate that they are ‘fit and proper’ persons to be registered, and disclose any criminal convictions or pending criminal proceedings by way of a statutory declaration. Any licence cancellations or disqualifications must also be disclosed and explained in a statutory declaration.
Two original written character testimonials less than six months old will be needed from persons who have known the applicant for at least three years. The best character references come from individuals who are associated with the building industry. If there are any convictions on your criminal record, the character referees will need to indicate that they are aware of them.
Western Australia has several prescribed pathways to demonstrate sufficient building experience to obtain registration. Most interstate practitioners will be able to obtain mutual recognition of their registrations. Qualification requirements can also be met by completion of specific diplomas, membership of certain institutions or industry experience.
Applicants must also sign a statutory declaration permitting the Board to conduct enquiries into the applicant’s background. The completed application must be submitted with payment of the application and registration fees, which are set out in Schedule 1 of the Regulations.
In order to contract to provide building services in the class of builder work in Western Australia an individual, partnership or company must be registered with the Board as a Builder Contractor.
Building Contractor registration allows the holder to use a prescribed title of Registered Building Services Contractor for the licence class they are registered for. Registrants can carry out building services that meet the definition of “builder work” in Schedule 3 of the Regulations.
To be eligible for Building Contractor Registration an applicant must have at least one nominated supervisor for the relevant class of Building Service Contractor.
The applicant must demonstrate to the Board that it has arrangements in place to ensure the building services to be carried out will be managed and supervised in a proficient manner. The applicant must also comply with other requirements prescribed by the Regulations , including having the financial capacity to meet debts as and when they fall due.
A Business Profile must be included with the application, specifying the relevant Building Code of Australia classes of work that will be undertaken. The value of building services work to be performed over the next three years must also be assessed.
A company or partnership seeking registration must additionally include a Business Plan with their application and, for companies, an ASIC historical extract less than one month old. The
Business Plan must include:
- An Executive Summary (an overview of the entire business
operation including the business, the market, business potential,
business strategies, financial status and objectives);
- Details of structure and management (summary of past
performance, details of the management team and succession
- A Marketing Plan (how the applicant will fit into the market
and promote its services);
- Operational Plan (the facilities, space, capital equipment and
- Financial Plan (details of trading history and current
performance, assets and debt structure, financial statements and
- Action Plan (The who, when, what and how of being in
- Proof of working capital (to be accompanied by proof of share
issue, loans and bank statements); and
- Special Purpose Financial Statements less than 3 months old,
certified by an independent accountant and one of the applicant
company’s Directors (Financial Statements must include: profit
& loss statements; aged debtors and creditors; and work in
The written application, accompanied by payment of application and registration fees, must be submitted to the Board. Any additional information relevant to the application may need to be provided in the form of a Statutory Declaration.
Registering as a Building Contractor or Building Practitioner in Western Australia involves preparing and collating extensive information from a variety of sources. The process takes time and it is strongly recommended to seek the assistance of legal advisors at an early stage.