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

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

  • class 2 buildings
  • buildings with a class 2 part.

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

Design practitioner registration classes include:

  • architectural 
  • architectural (medium rise)
  • architectural (low rise)
  • body corporate
  • building design (medium rise)
  • building design (low 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

  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.
    Note: You can save and resume your application, but if you have not submitted it within 60 days, any details you’ve entered will be deleted. 
  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’.

More information

When you apply for registration, you'll:

  • need to wait for your application for registration to be assessed and approved by NSW Fair Trading before you can declare or lodge designs
  • be contacted by NSW Fair Trading if further information is needed
  • be notified about the result of your application within 28 days of submitting it (unless placed on hold, pending further information)
  • receive your registration ID if approved.
Last updated: 17 November 2022