Building Act 1993 (review)

This page provides general information and should not be considered as legal advice. Seek legal advice if you are unsure about your legal rights. Be aware that the law can change.

VCAT can review certain decisions made by the Building Practitioners Board and Victorian Building Authority under the Building Act 1993.

These types of decisions were previously reviewed by the Building Appeals Board.


'Building practitioner' means:

  • building surveyor, building inspector or quantity surveyor
  • engineer engaged in the building industry
  • draftsperson who carries on a business of preparing plans for building work or preparing documentation relating to permits or permit applications
  • builder, including a domestic builder
  • person who erects or supervises the erection of prescribed temporary structures
  • person responsible for a building project or any stage of a building project and who belongs to a class or category of people prescribed to be building practitioners.

Cases we can hear

Registration decisions

Applications for review following the Victorian Building Authority refusing (or failing to within a reasonable time) to register an applicantDefinitionThe person or organisation applying to VCAT. as a building practitioner.

Conduct decisions

Applications for review following the Building Practitioners Board deciding to:

  • reprimand
  • require payment of costs of or incidental to the inquiry
  • require the doing of a specified thing, including to complete or rectify specified building work
  • require an undertaking not to do a specified thing
  • require completion of a specified course of training
  • impose a fine (there are preconditions)
  • suspend registration for not more than three years
  • cancel registration or disqualify the person from being registered for a specified period of up to three years
  • impose a condition or limitation on registration.

This will follow the Building Practitioners Board making findings such as that a practitioner:

  • is guilty of unprofessional conduct
  • has failed to comply with the Building Act or Regulations
  • has been guilty of gross negligence or gross incompetence, concerning building work
  • is not a fit and proper person to practice as a building practitioner.

Appeals against suspension pending inquiry

Applications for review following the Building Practitioners Board suspending the practitioner's registration, pending the holding and determination of an inquiry, if the Building Practitioners Board considers it is in the public interest to do so.

Owner builder certificate refusal appeals

Applications for review following the Building Practitioners Board refusing to issue an owner builder a certificate of consent for domestic building work.

Applications for review of a decision by the Building Practitioners Board

Decision by the Building Practitioners Board:

  • suspending a person's registration due to not paying an annual fee and/or not providing proof of insurance
  • suspending a person's registration on becoming aware that a person's insurance has ceased
  • cancelling or suspending a licence, under section 180, because of physical or mental disabilityDefinitionA condition that restricts a person's physical or mental capacity to interact in their environment. Disability can be temporary, situational or permanent. .

Transfer of existing Building Appeals Board cases to VCAT

At the request of an appellant to the Building Appeals Board (where the board has not accepted a written submissionDefinitionA document that sets out your side of a case or dispute. It should be sent to all parties. Depending on the type of case it will be your responsibility or ours to send the submission to all parties. from a partyDefinitionA person or organisation directly involved in a VCAT case, including a person or organisation that has brought the case before VCAT or who is defending claims made against them. or commenced conducting a hearingDefinitionThe time and place at which VCAT hears the parties argue their case and makes a decision. ) the board must transfer the proceeding to VCAT.

Legislation that gives VCAT the power to hear these applications

If you have a decision document, use it to help you complete the VCAT application form and attach a copy of the document to your application.

Time limits

For owner builder certificate refusals, the applicant has 30 days to apply for a review.

For registration appeals and conduct appeals, the applicant has 60 days to apply.

In conduct appeals, the Building Practitioners Board's decision will be automatically stayed under section 146, until VCAT makes a decision.

 VCAT has power to extend those times.

What can VCAT order?

Unless the relevant Act of Parliament gives us different powers, VCAT can:

  • affirm the original decision, in which case the original decision will stand
  • vary the decision
  • set aside the decision and substitute our own decision
  • set aside the decision and remit (send back) the matter for reconsideration by the decision makerDefinitionA person who makes or has made a decision under legislation that gives them this authority. giving directions or recommendations
  • invite the decision-maker to reconsider their decision at any time during the case.

Do I need a lawyer or professional representative?

You do not need to have legal or other professional representation to appear at VCAT. If you wish to be represented by a lawyer or a professional advocate, usually you must ask for VCAT's permission. Be aware that the regulatory body in most cases uses legal representation.

Find free or low-cost legal services that may be able to assist you.

Need help with your application?

We can explain the application process and what the form is asking you for. Contact us to get support.

We cannot give you legal advice. This means we cannot tell you what to write in your application or recommend how to get the outcome you want.

Seek legal help if you are unsure about your options or need advice about your claim. The following services may be able to help you:

Access and privacy

VCAT hearings and files are usually public.

VCAT has limited authority to restrict who can access cases and files but, in certain circumstances, you can apply for confidentiality.