What is a Complying Development Certificate?
A Complying Development Certificate (known as a CDC) is an approval to carry out development that can be approved by a Private Certifier without the need to seek approval from the local council or have a neighbour consultation period, this can reduce the process from a few weeks to a few days. The requirements for a Complying Development Certificate is set in the NSW State Environmental Planning Polices. Typically the most used is the Exempt and Complying Development Codes 2008 and Affordable Rental Housing 2009.
These can be viewed at www.legislation.nsw.gov.au

What is a Construction Certificate?
A Construction Certificate (Known as a CC) is the second half of the traditional approval process. After a Development Approval has been given, the assessment for a Construction Certificate is done to ensure that any conditions that have come from the Development Approval are addressed and that the development will comply with the Building Code of Australia when completed. Private Certifiers can issue the Construction Certificate but cannot issue the Development Approval.

What is the Principle Certifying Authority?
The Principle Certifying Authority (known as a PCA) is an Accredited Certifier who has been appointed to take care of the critical stage inspections, assess the standard of the construction and ensuring the development is being carried out according to the approved plans and conditions, every development that requires approval must have a Principle Certifying Authority appointed.

What is a Critical Stage Inspection?
The critical stage inspections are inspections of the work that MUST be carried out at stages of construction set out in legislation, the stages of inspections varies depending on what is being built. Whoever has been appointed as the Principle Certifying Authority must notify you when these inspections are to be done, but it is the responsibility of the owner/builder* to book these inspections once the works are ready for inspection.
If an inspection is missed it means the Principle Certifying Authority usually cannot legally issue the Occupation Certificate at the end of the construction. For further information, see the following link with details provided by the Building Professionals Board. http://bpb.nsw.gov.au/news/unavoidably-missed-inspection
* It is recommended to discuss with your builder who will be responsible for the booking of the inspections.

Who can Apply for Approval?
The owner of the land can assign another person to make an application for a Complying Development Certificate, but only the owner of the land can make an application for a Construction Certificate.
Likewise, only the owner of the land can appoint the Principle Certifying Authority and make the application for the Occupation Certificate.