01.05.2015

Beware of Those Calling Themselves ‘Interior Designers’

If you are engaging an interior designer, and the domestic building works is worth more than $5,000, they must be registered with the VBA

You may have seen the article in the VBA Mail on 25 February 2015 titled “If you’re not registered or licensed, you can’t call yourself a building or plumbing practitioner”:

  • If you work in the building or plumbing industries but you’re not registered or licensed, you cannot claim to be a registered building practitioner or a registered or licensed plumbing practitioner.
  • This reminder comes after 10 people appeared in the Magistrates’ Court in the past three months, with the VBA prosecuting them for, among other offences, falsely claiming they were a registered or licensed practitioner. All ten were found guilty, with fines totalling $58,576.
  • It is an offence under the Building Act 1993 for someone to call themselves a registered or licensed practitioner when they are not registered or licensed to carry out the building or plumbing work. This applies to all categories of registration/licensing, such as builders, building surveyors, mechanical services plumbers and gasfitters.
  • Anyone carrying out domestic building work in Victoria that is worth more than $5,000 (including labour and materials) must be registered with the VBA. Likewise, only plumbers who are registered or licensed with the VBA can carry out plumbing work in Victoria.

It is really important to remember that this also extends to building designers in the Draftspersons (Architectural), (Interior) and (Services) categories.

There are a lot of interior designers in the Victorian marketplace – 936 in a search of the Yellow Pages classifications in May 2015 – which is a real concern when there appears to be only 172 registered interior designers with the VBA, of which only 85% of these are based in Victoria.

Therefore, if you are engaging an interior designer, and the domestic building works is worth more than $5,000, they must be registered with the Building Practitioners Board.
Check the Victorian Building Authority website – Find a Practitioner, to ensure their registration credentials.