How to become an owner builder?

How to become an owner builder?


An owner builder is someone who assumes authority on any construction-related projects undertaken on their domestic property. Many people prefer the autonomous nature that comes with being an owner builder, as they are able to build anything they desire on their land at their own discretion, with secondary input from other qualified experts being a bonus. The question at hand is, how exactly do you become an owner builder?



Prove your eligibility 


Before anything, the most important part of becoming an owner builder is to demonstrate that you are eligible for a Certificate of Consent. There are many conditions which are outlined in Section 25E of The Building Act 1993 (which can be accessed from the VBA’s website ( that are in place to ensure that you are ready to perform and/or oversee building on a domestic front.


Such conditions include:


  • Being the owner of the land,
  • Intending to reside on the property, or
  • Not having previously been equipped with a building permit in the past five years for a different property.


Ensuring you’re eligible goes a long way to fulfilling owner builder requirements.



Read the study guide


Upon proving your eligibility, you should also download and read the owner builder study guide from the Victorian Building Authority (VBA) website. The study guide consists of key information about the requirements of being an owner builder, the risks associated with being an owner builder, the type of professions you would normally engage with, and the culpability that you will possess on a construction site. Understanding this information is key, especially at the beginning of the process of becoming an owner builder.



Complete the e-Learning Assessment


You must also complete the e-Learning Assessment, which is provided by the VBA. The e-Learning Assessment is a test based on the owner builder study guide (mentioned above) that you will need to pass in order to progress to the next stage of the application.



Complete an owner builder course


It is very imperative that you complete an owner builder course when attempting to become an owner builder. An owner builder course is a construction course that educates you on becoming an owner builder. Typically, the accredited course – Certificate IV in Building and Construction (Building) covers most if not all the units required for your skills and knowledge upgrade.


The certificate course will benefit you in the event that you decide that domestic house construction or renovation is a career you would like to pursue. It is the precursor to the Diploma of Building and Construction (Building) course that is a requirement for application for a Builders Registration.


Additionally, you will need to undertake a construction induction course on ‘Prepare to Work Safely in the Construction Industry’. Upon completion of this course, you will receive a white card, which will be your proof of having completed the course and will allow you to enter other construction sites.



Start application


When you have completed all these steps, you will finally be able to begin your application with the VBA. The application process will ask you a variety of questions, such as whether you have relevant documentation (proof of identity), your personal details like age, date of birth mobile phone number etc., and other mandatory questions like the estimated cost of construction on your domestic land. When you have submitted your application, it will be viewed by the VBA and you will also be able to track its progress. Successful acceptance by the VBA will mean that you have finally become an owner builder!


Becoming an owner builder is quite a simple process, and following through on these steps will ensure you can easily obtain your permit, thus officially giving you the freedom to undertake construction on your land at your own leisure, with control mostly in your hands.


Parker Brent offers courses in Building and Construction such as a Certificate IV and Diploma. To find out more, visit our courses page at