How to complete a Form 16

Guide to understanding Form 16’s: Second instalment

After reading the last two articles we have published on form 16’s – because we are sure you have read them, you should have a clear understanding about the use of Form 16’s and what your responsibilities are under the Building Act 1975.

We will now walk you through the form step-by-step and clearly explain each part and how to fill it out. This will ensure you only fill in the parts you need to, and therefore only certify what you actually need to certify – possibly saving you from a lawsuit in the future. See here for the previous article on this topic.

1. Indicate the type of certificate

There are two types of certificates that can be issued using a Form 16, and each has their own specifications and requirements which we will explain.

1. An inspection certificate
2. A QBCC Licensee Aspect Certificate (Only used for single detached class 1a buildings and class 10 buildings and structures)

Inspection Certificate

There are also two separate types of inspection certificates that can be issued on a Form 16:

Stage of building work, or
Aspect of building work

To explain the difference, I will refer to the required stage inspection checklist below for a Foundation/Excavation and/or Slab.



Let’s imagine I am an engineer doing a slab inspection on a dwelling. I am required to use this list as the minimum standard, however I can use a more detailed list if I like. Using this list, I need to identify if I am certifying all the aspects of this checklist  or only some of the aspects of this checklist.

If I am certifying all the aspects, I will need to issue an Inspections Certificate for a Stage of building work and fill in the first two boxes to indicate the type of certificate. See below:


However, if I am only going to check some of the aspects of the stage, I will issue an Inspection Certificate for an Aspect of building work and fill in the box indicating this as shown below.

Please Note:  This is also how a QBCC Licensee would complete the Form 16 for an aspect of building that was not for a single detached class 1a or class 10 buildings.

QBCC Licensee Aspect Certificate (Only for single detached dwellings and shed etc)

As discussed in the previous article a QBCC licensee can only provide a QBCC Licensee Aspect Certificate if the QBCC Licensee Aspects of building works is for a single detached class 1a building or a class 10 building or structure.  A QBCC Licensee can provide a Form 16 for their relevant aspect of building works for all other classes of building, however, in these cases the QBCC Licensee has to be deemed a competent person by the building certifier and Form 16 is not completed as a QBCC Licensee Aspect Certificate, it is completed as an Aspect Certificate as discussed above.

If you have carried out aspects of building works for a class 1a building or a class 10 building or structure and you are a QBCC Licensee who is responsible for the supply and / or installation of equipment, product, system or material, then this is the part of the form you use.

You must tick the QBCC Licensee Aspect Certificate and also state the scope of your license. Please note, this is NOT the scope of the work you are certifying, but the scope of your licence. Leave the Inspection Certificate part of the form blank as indicated below. Once this section is completed it should look similar to this:


2. Property description

This is obviously a simple part of the form where you have to provide the address and lot, the registered property number, as well as the local government area. Our only comment is to make sure that you are ONLY certifying work on the property where you did the work. It is critical that you ensure these details are correct.

3. Building structure description

In this part you need to describe the building that relates to your inspection. Firstly, be specific. There may be more than one building on the site e.g. “dwelling, unit 4, office, shed left hand rear corner”. It is good if you can include the class in the second part of the table. Click here for more about building classifications.

4. Description of components certified

Here you must itemise the elements of the building you have inspected and are certifying. Again, be specific and limit your certificate to the actual elements you inspected. If necessary, refer to an attached schedule or inspection checklist. You need to be sure anyone and everyone understands exactly what you inspected and what you are certifying.

5. Basis of certification

The basis of certification is where you must specify the relevant industry tests, standards, and specifications that you used to determine that the components of section 4 comply with those requirements. In this part, you need to list the recognised industry criteria that you used to determine compliance. You must list: any tests used, the rules applied, Australian Standards referenced, and the codes of practice used as the basis of your inspection. If you have an inspection checklist for these industry standards, you should include them in an attached schedule.

6. Referenced Documentation

This should be easy to complete. You must simply reference the plans and specification prepared by yourself, or other professionals, that you have relied on as compliant documentation. These would include the architectural design, as well as engineering plans and any other specifications that form part of the building approval issued by the building certifier. It may also include other certificates from other ‘Competent Persons’.
Make sure you list the plan numbers and revisions so that it is very clear which documents you relied on as compliant documentation.

7. Building Certifiers reference number and development approval number

This section is self-explanatory however, it is often left blank. This is because the information is not often provided to the person completing the Form 16. For completeness, you should request a copy of the building approval decision notice as well as any stamped plans from the builder. This ensures that you are aware of any conditions on the building approval that may affect your certification. Furthermore, it’s easy to get them as they are normally in electronic format and therefore can be emailed to you.

8. Building Certifier, Competent person or QBCC licensee details

If you are not a Building Certifier, Competent Person, or QBCC Licensee, you cannot provide a Form 16 under the Building Act 1975. A Building Certifier, Competent Person or QBCC Licensee is a PERSON not a company.

In the NAME part of the form, the full name of the Building Certifier, Competent Person, or QBCC Licensee must be provided. It stands to reason that the contact details of said person must also be completed in detail.

The License Class and Licence Number are generic terms used to cover many disciplines and their registration bodies. For example:

Queensland Building Construction Commission
 Board of Professional Engineers Queensland
 Board of Architects of Queensland
 Electrical Contractors Licence

Complete these two areas using the relevant terms and numbers of your registration.

The Date approval to inspection received by building certifier, relates to Competent Persons. Firstly the person, be they an engineer, architect or other professional, cannot deem themselves competent under the Building Act 1975. Only the Building Certifier can deem a person competent and that has to be done before the inspection is carried out. This information regarding the date you were approved as a ‘competent person’ must also be recorded on the Form 16 as indicated.

9. Signature of Building Certifier, Competent Person or QBCC Licensee

This section is pretty self-explanatory. However it is helpful to note that these forms can be electronically generated and signed by the relevant person as allowed by the Electronic Transaction (Queensland) Act 2001.


If you have an questions or something to add, please leave your comments below or contact us by email. We are always happy to hear from you.


Share on

I am a Director of Devcert and have been a Building Surveyor since 1989. I have a bachelor degree in building surveying and I am a qualified carpenter. I have been in the construction industry since 1981. I have a real passion for the building certification profession as I believe building certifiers are the general practitioners of the construction industry. Our role is not only to know building law and apply it, our role includes assisting in the development of the knowledge of all in the industry by sharing our knowledge and experience.