To further support the argument for an ‘Access Peer Review’ process the NSW Parliamentary Research Service Briefing Paper, NSW Planning Reforms – Building Regulation and Certification released in September 2013 found similar issues to that of the VAGO report. The paper examined the proposed reforms to building regulation and certification in the NSW planning system. The report supports the idea of reliance on a peer review to verify compliance.
The NSW report found that there was a:
- “Lack of confidence in the approval of building work”
- “Lack of confidence in building compliance with the Building Code of Australia (BCA)”
- “Limited assistance is available for certifiers on complex and potentially high risk technical matters“
The proposes changes outlined within the report include:
- “Peer reviews by specialist panels and qualified individuals, and referee services will be established for certain complex building matters“
- “construction approvals to be accompanied by clearer information, including information on alternative solutions“.
- It also proposed that the Building Certifier’s role in “assessing proposed alternative solutions and other matters will be specified“.
- Minimum information required to demonstrate compliance will be specified.
- Building Certifiers to prepare a BCA compliance report.
Click the link to read the NSW Planning Reforms – Building Regulation and Certification
Building Certifiers in NSW should consider an Access Peer Review for any Alternative Solutions relating to an access provision to mitigate risk and verify the design complies with the relevant performance criteria.
By Lee Wilson, Disability Access Consultant / DDA Consultant, Melbourne, Victoria. Lee is an Accredited Member of the Association of Consultants in Access, Australia Inc.