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To ensure apartments are being built to the required standard, and to restore consumer confidence, new legislation has been introduced in the construction industry.

Compliance declarations and regulated designs must now be lodged on the NSW Planning Portal before building work can begin on:

  • class 2 buildings, and/or
  • buildings with a class 2 part.

Under the legislation, designers who make compliance declarations and/or lodge these documents must be registered design practitioners or principal design practitioners.

There are 18 classes of registration for design practitioners:

  • architectural
  • body corporate
  • building design (low rise)
  • building design (medium rise)
  • civil engineering
  • drainage
  • drainage (restricted)
  • electrical engineering
  • façade
  • fire safety engineering
  • fire systems (detection and alarm systems)
  • fire systems (fire sprinkler)
  • fire systems (fire hydrant and fire hose reel)
  • fire systems (mechanical smoke control)
  • geotechnical engineering
  • mechanical engineering
  • structural engineering
  • vertical transportation.

Registration is for 1, 3 or 5 years. Fees are applicable.

Note: If eligible, you can also apply for 2 other registration types in the same digital application:

  • professional engineer – if you do some types of engineering work on class 2 buildings or buildings with a class 2 part
  • principal design practitioner – if you’ll coordinate and lodge designs by other design practitioners for the building practitioner.


To be eligible to apply, you need to:

What you need

  • a MyServiceNSW Account
  • proof of identity such as an Australian driver licence, passport or Medicare card
  • your National Police Check certificate that is valid for 4 months when you submit your application (Name and Date of Birth Check only) 
  • copies of your:
    • degree, postgraduate degree, diploma or National Vocational Education and Training Regulator (NVR) course certificates and/or transcripts
    • certificates of completion for your learning modules
    • membership of accrediting bodies and/or letters of authorisation from recognised accrediting bodies.
  • your contact details
  • a current credit card for payment.

How to apply

You can save your progress in the application and return later.

  1. Check the eligibility criteria for the registration types and classes you want to apply for.
  2. Gather your certificates and other required documents.
  3. Select the ‘Apply online’ button.
  4. Log in or create your MyServiceNSW Account.
  5. Select and verify your 2 identity documents.
  6. Select the registration types and classes you’re applying for.
  7. Select the duration of your registration.
  8. Answer all questions in the digital form, including those on your suitability to perform the work and your background.
  9. Upload your supporting documents.
  10. Review your answers and give consent to process your application.
  11. Enter your payment details.
  12. Select ‘Submit’.
    • Note: this must be done within 60 days of starting your application.

More information

If you apply for registration on or before 31 December 2021, you’ll receive a ‘deemed’ registration ID. This means:

  • you can keep working while NSW Fair Trading assesses your application
  • NSW Fair Trading will contact you if more information is needed
  • if your application is successful, your registration ID will stay the same.

If you apply on or after 1 January 2022, you'll:

  • need to stop declaring and/or lodging designs while NSW Fair Trading assesses your application and approves your registration
  • be notified about the result of your application within 28 days of submitting it (unless placed on hold, pending further information).