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Certification Short Course

This course is designed for building professionals wishing to become registered certifiers or renew their registration. Approved by NSW Fair Trading, the Certification Short Course is a prerequisite to applying for registration as a Registered Certifier.

About this course

In accordance with The Building and Development Certifiers Act and Regulation (1 July 2020) and approved by NSW Fair Trading, successful completion of this course is a prerequisite to applying for registration as a Registered Certifier. The course will provide you with a thorough understanding of how certification fits within the NSW planning and development assessment systems, including the role of state and local level planning controls.

If you are enrolling in this course as a prerequisite to applying for registration in any of the ‘building surveyor’ classes of registration, you must first check that you hold one of the qualifications listed for these classes in Schedule 2 of the Building and Development Certifiers Regulation 2020. You must have the qualification required to apply for registration in these classes.

We strongly recommend participants confirm with NSW Fair Trading that this certification course is appropriate for your registration requirements. Enquiries can be directed to +61 (2) 8522 7800 or by email to NSW Fair Trading Customer Service Team.

Course structure 

The following content will be covered during the course:

Day 1

  • Course introduction and overview
  • The certification system
  • The NSW planning system
  • Zoning and development standards
  • The development application and assessment process
  • Conditions of consent.

Day 2

  • Development approvals and issuing certificates
  • Compliance certificates, occupation certificates, subdivision certificates and strata certificates.

Day 3

  • Setting up as a certifier

            The regulatory framework

            -  Legislative requirements

  • Running the business
  • Paperwork, records and reports
  • Handling customers and community responsibilities
  • Compliance and enforcement

            -  The enforcement provisions in the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act (EP&A) Act 1979.

            The certifier’s role and powers in enforcement.

Day 4

  • Complaints and auditing processes
  • Legal workshop
  • Insurance and liability
  • Conflicts of interest
  • Course review.

Learning outcomes 

At the completion of this course you will be familiar with:

  • The certification system, the NSW planning system, zoning and development standards, the development application and assessment process and conditions of consent.
  • Development approvals and issuing certificates: construction, occupation, compliance, subdivision and strata.
  • Setting up as a Certifier: Running the business, paperwork, records and reports, handling customers and community responsibilities, compliance and enforcement.
  • Complaints and auditing processes: Legal workshop, insurance and liability and conflicts of interest.


This course involves a package of three assessments. You must satisfactorily complete each assessment to obtain a Certificate of Completion, which is essential for your NSW Fair Trading registration process. Assessment requirements include:

  • Attendance – generally 100% of the course except for the most pressing reasons
  • Satisfactory participation in small-group activities during the course
  • Three substantial written assignments (NB: These must clearly be each participant’s own work – plagiarism and collusion are unacceptable.)

In-house training solutions

This course can also be customised and delivered in-house. Find out more >

Enrolment conditions

COVID-19 information

UTS is undertaking a number of social distancing initiatives, as informed by NSW Health advice, to help reduce social interactions in support of the government’s efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19. As part of this response, some of our short courses may be postponed to a later date.

Please note however, bookings are open for all courses offered by the Institute for Public Policy and Governance (IPPG). If a course needs to be postponed, participants will have the chance to transfer to a later date, a new course or request a full refund. IPPG will also be offering a range of online or blended learning options facilitated via zoom video conferencing. If you have any questions in the interim, please do not hesitate to contact our team at

Who is this course for?

This course is suitable for building professionals wishing to become registered certifiers or renew their registration. For those seeking to renew their registration, this course can contribute Continuing Professional Development (CPD) points, provided you did not complete this course as part of your initial registration process. For more information visit NSW Fair Trading or contact the team on +61 (2) 8522 7800.



08 November




5 wks

Meet the Expert

Danny Wiggins

Danny Wiggins
Director, Danny Wiggins (Planning, Facilitation and Education Services)

Danny has been a town planning consultant for 30 years, specialising in statutory planning systems and local planning controls. He has worked at all three levels of government and for a range of private sector clients. Examples of his work include external reviews of local council development assessment (DA) systems, advice to the State Government on DA items (and training), facilitating the IP&R framework at a range of local councils, authorship of the DUAP publication “Guiding Development: better outcomes”, and work with the Heart Foundation/ Premier’s Council for Active Living and the UNSW Healthy Built Environments Program (HBEP) on supportive environments for community health and well-being. As well as consultancy work, Danny is also an experienced educator and facilitator, having been involved in the preparation and delivery of education and training packages for a variety of State and Local Government agencies and Universities. He has an honours degree in Town Planning and a PhD in residential location theory.

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Tim Stenning

Tim Stenning
Owner, TJS Building Certifiers

Tim is a Grade A1 Accredited Certifier under the Building Professionals Board Accreditation Scheme. He has more than 18 years’ experience as a Building Surveyor and Accredited Certifier within both the private sector and Local Government. He is a presenter for the UTS Centre for Local Government Certification Short Course and has also prepared course notes for the AAC Complying Development CPD course.

With experience working as an accredited certifier in regional areas as well as the metropolitan area, Tim brings a deep understanding of the unique issues faced by Accredited Certifiers working in regional areas. TJS Building Certifiers Pty Ltd is owned and operated by Tim Stenning.

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Robert Marinelli

Robert Marinelli
Managing Director, Phillip Chun and Associates

Robert has been working in the construction industry for over 30 years as a building regulation and fire safety consultant. His extensive experience in the construction industry, ranges from residential projects to multi-storey office, hotel and retail developments. He has expertise in health and public assembly building assessment, including work on new hospitals. In addition, he has assisted as an expert witness on a wide range of legal building matters. Robert has participated in government working parties on changes to legislation and regularly lectures at the University of Technology, Sydney. He regularly assists government with issues relating to the profession of building surveying and the process of legislation relating to construction approvals as well as being a regular presenter at various industry conferences and forums. He is a founding and executive board member of the Association of Accredited Certifiers, and in 2012, was appointed a Director on the Building Professionals Board in New South Wales. Robert co-founded Philip Chun in 1990.

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Steve Watson

Steve Watson
Managing Director, Steve Watson and Partners

Founder and Director of Steve Watson & Partners, Steve’s background in construction and building regulations spans 25 years. Steve is an accredited fire safety engineer and an accredited Principal Certifying Authority in NSW.  Since founding Steve Watson & Partners, the company has grown into one of the pre-eminent certification companies. A keen surfer and sailor with an eye for the big blue expanses, Steve also has an interest in the sweet science, having retired from the boxing ring undefeated with an impressive amateur Master's fight record of 1-0-0! Steve Watson & Partners provide professional building code consulting and approvals services, adding value by taking a timely and pro-active approach to auditing of concept and detail designs, and by managing construction and defects risk via a thorough inspection and review process.

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Joshua Palmer

Joshua Palmer
Partner, Pikes and Verekers Lawyers

Joshua has extensive experience in local government and planning and environmental law, regularly acting for local government, private developers and accredited certifier clients in both Class 1 and Class 4 of the Land and Environment Court’s jurisdiction. His experience enables him to adopt a whole-of-matter approach that allows for creative yet simple solutions to complex problems. An important part of Pikes & Verekers' Planning & Environment team, Joshua works closely with local government clients. He is an excellent communicator who advises on construction and interpretation of planning instruments and Development Control Plans, existing use rights, development contributions, construction of development consents and commencement of development. His understanding of local government and planning and environmental law allows for creative legal solutions to otherwise intractable problems. Joshua also has extensive experience in development applications including Part 3A approvals, planning proposals and development benefited by voluntary planning agreement.

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Book a session

Mon 08 Nov 2021 -
Tue 07 Dec 2021
Expert: Danny Wiggins, Tim Stenning, Robert Marinelli, Steve Watson, Joshua Palmer
  • Online via a live video link
  • Online
  • 4 sessions, 32 hours total

Due to COVID-19, this class will be delivered online, via a live video link.

Mon 13 Dec 2021 -
Tue 11 Jan 2022
Expert: Danny Wiggins, Tim Stenning, Robert Marinelli, Steve Watson, Joshua Palmer
  • Online via a live video link
  • Online
  • 4 sessions, 32 hours total
Mon 24 Jan 2022 -
Tue 22 Feb 2022
Expert: Danny Wiggins, Tim Stenning, Robert Marinelli, Steve Watson, Joshua Palmer
  • Online via a live video link
  • Online
  • 4 sessions, 32 hours total
Mon 07 Feb 2022 -
Tue 08 Mar 2022
Expert: Danny Wiggins, Tim Stenning, Robert Marinelli, Steve Watson, Joshua Palmer
  • UTS City Campus
  • Online
  • 4 sessions, 32 hours total
Mon 21 Mar 2022 -
Fri 29 Apr 2022
Expert: Danny Wiggins, Tim Stenning, Robert Marinelli, Steve Watson, Joshua Palmer
  • Online via a live video link
  • Online
  • 4 sessions, 32 hours total
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