A Building Certifier is a professional person with broad knowledge and experience in building legislation, design, materials and construction. A Building Certifier is not necessarily specialists in any particular building field other than the law, and are rather like the General Practitioners of the building industry.
Like your GP, Building Certifier has to identify the problems by inspecting, doing tests and research, treating the everyday problems, and calling in the specialists when needed. However, unlike your GP, the Building Certifier has the power to actually enforce the ‘treatment’ requirements.
A Building Certifier is trained to review, inspect, and question a design and it’s construction. Their role is to inspect documentation and building work in order to satisfy, to themselves, that the relevant building legislation is complied with. The word “themselves” is key to the definition of this role, and it is often here where most misunderstand the responsibility of the Building Certifier.
This should not be taken as a distrust or lack of respect of other professional disciplines by the building certifiers.”
A building certifier’s knowledge covers all of the professional disciplines in the design and construction industry as well as the application of the building law. While they are not experts in every field, their knowledge should extend enough that they can understand and relate to each discipline.
A certifier must always question anything that they do not understand or have no experience with, and they should continue to question until they are satisfied that compliance is achieved. They must also gather the necessary evidence to be able to justify their decisions. This process should not be misunderstood as distrust or lack of respect for other professional disciplines. The certifier is simply satisfying their own queries independently.
Put simply, certifiers are the ‘checkers’ that have the power, through the Building Act 1975, to question relevant professional disciplines on issues that they are not satisfied with.
There is not one certifier alive who knows it all. Like everyone, we are always learning.