The Regulatory Process

Regulatory Framework

The National Construction Code

The National Construction Code (NCC) is produced and maintained by the Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) on behalf of the Australian Government and each State and Territory Government.

The NCC is a uniform set of technical provisions for building work and plumbing and drainage installations throughout Australia whilst allowing for variations in climate and geological or geographic conditions. The NCC comprises the Building Code of Australia (BCA), Volume One and Two; and the Plumbing Code of Australia (PCA), as Volume Three.

How the NCC is Administered

The National Construction Code (NCC) is given legal effect by relevant legislation in each State and Territory. This legislation prescribes or "calls up" the NCC to fulfill any technical requirements which have to be satisfied when undertaking building work or plumbing and drainage installations.

Each State's and Territory's legislation consists of an Act of Parliament and subordinate legislation which empowers the regulation of certain aspects of building work or plumbing and drainage installations, and contains the administrative provisions necessary to give effect to the legislation.

Administrative provisions typically covered in the enabling or subordinate legislation include—

  • Plan submission and approval procedures
  • Issue of permits
  • Inspections and audits
  • Provision of evidentiary certificates
  • Issue of certificates
  • Review and enforcement of standards
  • Fees and charges


Regulatory Reform and National Economic Benefits

The building and construction industry has undergone significant regulatory reform over the last twenty years. A number of these reforms have related to the work of the ABCB, including:

  • the creation of a single, nationally consistent Building Code of Australia (BCA), which occurred in 1992;
  • the move to a performance-based BCA, which occurred in 1996; and
  • the consolidation of building and plumbing regulation, resulting in the National Construction Code, which occurred in 2011.

In an effort to ascertain the benefits of a national performance-based construction code the ABCB commissioned the Centre for International Economics to quantify the impact of building regulatory reform to date and identify any past, present, or potential barriers that may be preventing the full benefits of reform being realised.

The report has now been released and estimates annual national economic benefit of $1.1billion from the suite of building regulatory reforms introduced through the ABCB over the past 20 years. The full report is found below.

Benefits of Building Regulatory Reform CIE Report
Published: 09 April 2013

Updated: 30 July 2014