To support practitioners through these changes, the ABCB has developed a range of resources that explain how and why the NCC is changing, and what it means in practice. Keep an eye out for more detailed materials on each topic in the lead up to the release of the NCC 2022 Public Comment Draft in May 2021.


As part of the ABCB’s Readability Project, some changes to the code’s structure and format are required. Amongst other improvements, one of the key goals of the next edition of the NCC is to improve its readability, so both new and existing NCC readers can more easily read, understand and reference the content. There are also many other benefits to a consistent clause structure, including ensuring the code is ‘machine-readable’. This allows it to be easily integrated into multiple, customisable online formats like with your smart phone or tablet, for example.

And of course, this had to be done without altering the intent of the code in any way. So, the ABCB commissioned expert advice into how best to simplify the NCC clause structures as one of the ways of improving readability.

What’s changing?

Taking into consideration the expert advice, the ABCB developed a new, simplified and consistent clause structure for NCC 2022. It retains as much of the code’s existing structure as possible, with a few areas simply rearranged to ensure consistency within and between all volumes.

Here’s what you can expect:

  • Subclauses will be numbered in a different way to list items, so it’s easier to tell them apart. Where a clause is divided into at least two subclauses, their numbering will start at (1), while list item numbers within a clause or subclause will start at (a).
  • The number of list levels in a clause will also be capped to avoid overly complex lists. This means the lowest level of clauses will be:
  • Lower list levels such as (AA), (aa) and beyond will no longer be used.
  • Floating paragraphs (fragments of text that appear to ‘float’ between list items) will be removed, which also helps simplify reading flow.
  • Application, Limitation, Exemption, Note and Explanatory Information boxes are located directly after all the subclauses, instead of within a subclause when they are first referred to.
  • Tables and diagrams will always be located at the end of the clause that calls them up, rather than within a clause which can disrupt reading flow.
  • Clauses that are left blank (indicated by *  *  *  *  *, where content has been deleted) will be removed.

What’s next?

Check out our other articles and keep an eye out for a whole range of resources being released over the coming weeks and months, which provide more in-depth information on each of the key changes to NCC 2022. But if you have a question or concerns in the meantime, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at


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