Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

GMA is one of the largest certification companies in Australia, providing a complete range of Building Surveying and Consultancy Services throughout Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Northern Territory and Western Australia.

Here we’ve listed some questions we’re often asked. If you still can’t find the answer to your question, please contact us and we’ll be happy to help.

In Queensland, most building work is approved by Private Building Certifiers, also known as Building Surveyors. Building Surveyors are licensed by the Queensland Building and Construction Committee and act as an alternative to the local Council, to approve building work when it is in accordance with the Council’s planning scheme and the relevant building codes. 

We utilise an electronic approvals database and prefer an electronic version. We can cater for hard copy plans up to A3 size, 1 set of plans will be required. Anything larger than A3 must be electronic.

24 hours Notice is required for inspections as listed on the Decision Notice. GMA must also be notified for inspections carried out by a Competent Person (Engineer).

Further Notice is required for remote areas and the GMA Branch involved should be consulted.

Inspection Bookings close at 3pm.

An Engineer is able to do inspections on particular aspects of the project but the Engineer must first be assessed by GMA as a Competent Person.

Certain Stages of the approval can only be done by GMA.

GMA do not provide these type of consultancy services. If you are in need of a pre-purchase or quality assurance inspection, you can refer to our industry partner K-Spec Building Consultants


The Building Certification System is privatised and Council now only regulate Plumbing works and Town Planning Matters.

Council are the holders of public records and will receive a copy of all documentation given to us for Archiving purposes.

As all Building Projects are different and in different Local Council areas please contact a Branch to obtain a quote.

Please note that at least a preliminary plan or your proposal is preferred to provide a no obligation accurate quotation for certification.


This documentation may be required to enable us to issue the Building Approval.

The approval process can take a minimum 2-4 weeks providing that there are no further Council approvals required.

QLeave is a Government levy that is payable on all building work with a cost of works value of over $150,000 + GST.

The Queensland Building and Construction Commission Insurance is an Insurance Levy paid by a Registered Builder for work carried out on Domestic Work and is not required for commercial construction.

QBCC Insurance is required where the cost of works is over $3,300 and work is being carried out be a licensed Builder.

An Owner Builder Permit is required when the cost of the building work is over $11,000 and is being constructed by the Owner of the property.

Applications for an Owner Building Permit are made through the Building and Construction Commission.

Alternatively, if the structure has already been constructed, you can obtain a letter from the QBCC for Building Approval for Existing Construction.


As long as they are to scale and all required information is detailed on the plans.


A Certificate of Occupancy is not a legislated document in Queensland. Duplexes, Townhouses, Commercial Buildings will receive a Certificate of Classification and Dwellings and associated buildings will receive a Final Certificate.


The Building Act 1975 classes Swimming Pools and Spas in the same category.

In most cases, the best place to start would be by meeting with a Building Designer or Architect. They will be able to advise you on what you may be allowed to build and where, or if you will need a relaxation/siting variation from Council. They will draw up plans for you that should include a site plan, floor plans and elevations. These plans are all you need to start the certification process. Once you have them, they can be lodged to us and we will advise on any further information needed to proceed with getting your building approval.

If your property is affected by specific requirements of the Council planning scheme, or if your extension is not particularly straight forward, it would be advisable to call our office and either speak with a technical team member or arrange a meeting, so that we may guide you through the certification process specific to your proposal.