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OBC Partnership

Case Study: Rebuilding Confidence in the Construction Industry with The Office of the NSW Building Commissioner

When a series of high-profile defective building events shook faith in the NSW construction industry, it was clear that action needed to be taken.

As a key part of its efforts to restore public confidence in NSW’s built environment, the Office of the NSW Building Commissioner (OBC), who was tasked with implementing the Construct NSW reform strategy, decided to explore how increasing awareness of standards may help.

Implementing industry education reforms

For David Chandler, NSW Building Commissioner, it was clear that there was a need to re-educate NSW construction workers on the importance of Australian Standards in attaining quality building outcomes.

With education a key pillar of the reform strategy, Chandler and the OBC initiated a shift in how Australian Standards are taught, to upskill and educate the workforce.

Working hand in hand with TAFE NSW and Standards Australia, the OBC has created an online digital learning module called “The Value of Australian Standards”. The course provides an introduction to how and why Australian Standards are used in construction, the different types of standards that exist, and the possible repercussions when relevant Australian Standards are not adhered to.

The benefits of new training materials

So far, over 8,000 construction industry workers have undertaken the course, with many more to come. This outcome couldn’t have been achieved without close collaboration between OBC and Standards Australia.

“Understanding the value of Australian Standards was one of the first things that we did. Because that’s where we found a gap where very few people had any time on the subject when they were undertaking formal or informal training,” Chandler says.

“It’s been fantastic working with Standards Australia. Because we both understand what the challenges are, we’ve been able to work with them to help us build the skills of an entire industry. It’s been a terrific collaboration.

”The partnership with Standards Australia has ultimately resulted in a course that benefits not just building and design practitioners but the wider NSW construction industry too.

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