Knowing which NCC referenced document to use can be confusing, especially when they are updated between NCC amendment cycles.


  • A Deemed-to-Satisfy (DTS) Solution must use the version of the referenced document listed in Schedule 4 of the NCC, even if newer versions are available.
  • A newer version of a referenced document may only be considered as part of a Performance Solution.

If you’re seeking clarification, the NCC Governing Requirements provide the rules and instructions for how referenced documents are adopted and applied. Generally:

1. NCC referenced documents can be:

  • primary, listed in Schedule 4,
  • secondary, referred to in a primary referenced document, or
  • other referenced documents, referred to by secondary and subsequently referenced documents.

2. A document referenced by the NCC is only applicable in the context in which it is quoted. This may be in whole, in part, with exceptions, or for more than one purpose.

3. Schedule 4 states the version of the primary referenced document to be used. Newer or other versions not listed in Schedule 4 are not ‘referenced documents’ for NCC purposes.

4. The version of a secondary (or other) document to use is the one that existed when the primary document was published. The exception is a secondary (or other) referenced document that is also a primary referenced document. In this case, the version listed in Schedule 4 must be used.

Check out this article for more guidance on understanding NCC referenced documents.

Let’s look at 2 examples.

Example 1 - Primary and secondary referenced documents

  • The DTS Solution, as per the DTS Provisions, references primary document AS 4100 Steel structures
  • Schedule 4 identifies the 1998 edition of AS 4100 is to be used, including Amendment 1.
  • Within AS 4100:1998 is a reference to a secondary document, AS/NZS 1559 Hot-dip galvanized steel bolts and associated nuts and washers for tower construction. As this is a secondary referenced document, we use the version that existed when the primary referenced document (AS 4100:1998) was published. In this case, the 1997 edition applies. (The exception would be if this was also an NCC primary referenced document, which it is not).
  • The DTS Solution must use NCC referenced documents in accordance with the Governing Requirements.
  • Even though newer versions of both AS 4100 and AS/NZS 1559 are available, these may only be used as part of a Performance Solution

Example 2 - Using newer referenced documents not listed in Schedule 4

The NCC allows newer versions of referenced documents to be used as part of a Performance Solution. In this example, the 2021 version of AS 3740 Waterproofing of domestic wet areas is used. As this version is not listed in Schedule 4, its use would require a Performance Solution.

For more examples of how referenced documents can be applied see our NCC CPD course on Understanding Standards and other Referenced Documents.

Note: This article is intended to provide general advice only. For more information refer to the NCC.