New amendment regulations that came into force on 3 July 2014 have amended the Building Practitioners (Complaints and Disciplinary Procedures) Regulations 2008, which set out procedures in relation to complaints about, and the discipline of, current and former licensed building practitioners under the Building Act 2004.
Under the Act, any person may complain to the Building Practitioners Board about the conduct of a licensed building practitioner in accordance with the regulations. Disciplinary procedures can then be instigated by the Board if any of the grounds under section 317(1) of the Act are satisfied. These grounds include where a licensed building practitioner has carried out or supervised building work or building inspection work in a negligent or incompetent manner and where he or she has carried out (other than as an owner-builder) or supervised restricted building work or building inspection work of a type that he or she is not licensed to carry out or supervise.
• incorporate the additional grounds for discipline inserted in section 317(1) of the Building Act in 2012 (by the Building Amendment Act 2012) into the definition of grounds for discipline; and
• remove the requirement for the Board to conduct its hearings into disciplinary matters in an inquisitorial manner. This has the effect of confirming the Board’s flexibility, under section 284 of the Building Act, to regulate its own procedures to the extent that this is consistent with provisions of the Act (for example, the requirements under the Building Act for the Board to comply with the principles of natural justice and to give written notice of, and reasons for, its decisions); and
• prescribe procedures for inquiries into the conduct of licensed building practitioners undertaken on the Board’s own motion. These—
• include a process for the Board to obtain a report on a matter from the Registrar so it can to decide whether to proceed with an inquiry into the matter; and
• also cover the situation where a matter about the conduct of a licensed building practitioner is raised by a complaint and the Board carries on an inquiry into that matter on its own motion after the complainant decides not to proceed with the complaint.