PCA and Inspection Services

View from Warragamba Lookout


Are you thinking about building a new home?  Maybe you want to renovate your existing home, extend out or build up; or even install a pool for summer.

Wollondilly Shire Council has a Building Team that can provide advice with whatever you are planning and can ensure the job is completed to the Building Code of Australia and other legislation.  We are here to ensure that your building will last and be an asset for the future.

There are some buildings or structures that do not even need approval.  We can provide simple straight forward advice so that you know which is the best option for your particular project.

Types of approvals

There can be various approvals that may be required before you start building.  Our Team of experts can help with all your approval needs and assist so that you don’t experience unnecessary delays down the line.  These include:

  • Development Approvals
  • Construction Certificates (also known as building approvals)
  • Occupation Certificates
  • Complying Development Certificates
  • Building Certificates (for when you buy and sell property)
  • Swimming Pool Compliance Certificates (a check of your existing pool fence)
  • Onsite Sewage Management Approvals (septics, etc)
  • Approval to Operate Sewage Management Systems
  • Temporary Occupation of Building Sites (for rural properties)

We can also provide BAL Certificates (bushfire hazard level assessments) which can assist you in assessing potential construction costs in bushfire prone areas or to apply for Complying Development Certificates.

Once you’re selected a builder, or decide to owner build, you’ll need plans and specifications to lodge for approval. 

Who needs to inspect your building work

Once you have your approval, you will need to nominate a Principal Certifying Authority (or PCA).  The PCA should act independently of the builder or developer and is responsible to inspect and check compliance of the development with your approval and the Building Code of Australia.  A PCA is appointed by the owner and can be either the Council or a private company.  There are certain critical stage inspections that must be undertaken before the building can proceed and these need to be arranged through your PCA.  Many people prefer to use Council as their PCA as we provide a personal service, are not profit driven and have the knowledge and experience that people have trusted for many years.  Remember, the PCA is your choice.

Benefits in using Council as your PCA

  • We are a true one-stop shop with Town Planners, Building Surveyors and Civil Engineers with local knowledge at your service. 
  • In many areas, Council is the local water and/or sewer Authority under the Local Government Act.   Regardless of whether you use a private certifier, you may still need to obtain Council approval before doing any sewer (or septic) and possibly stormwater drainage works.  (This is becoming especially important with issues surrounding BASIX, recycled water and backflow prevention.)
  • Council is able to provide a service where all the necessary approvals and inspections can be dealt with as a single package, which saves time and costs.
  • We offer free advisory services where private companies may charge you a fee.
  • In most cases,  Council can issue your Development Consent and Construction Certificate concurrently (no other PCA is able to do this)
  • Council offers extremely competitive rates
  • Inspections can take place the day after booking anywhere in the Shire
  • We offer set fees that the public can view at any time.  Our records and decisions are fully transparent and any profits go directly into services for your community

Dealing with problems

If you have an issue with a builder or contractor that simply can not be resolved, NSW Fair Trading can help resolve contract disputes or licensing issues.  Fair Trading can be contacted on (02) 9895 0111.

Should you have a complaint in regards to a private PCA, it is recommended that you first contact them and try to resolve the issue.  Should you still not be satisfied with the result, you can contact their accrediting authority, the Building Professionals Board, on  (02) 9860 1800.

In the event that you have a concern with Council’s decisions or service, you can always discuss the concern with us.  Some matters are legislated and simply can not be overlooked.  But occasionally mistakes do happen and when they do, we will endeavour to resolve them with minimal inconvenience so that your project can proceed.


Inspection Reference