The information below is designed to assist government agencies that undertake construction activity as a client of the building and construction industry.
About the Code and Guidelines
The National Code of Practice for the Construction Industry (the Code) is the standard of practice for building and construction work for Government funded projects. The Code and Australian Government Implementation Guidelines for the National Code of Practice for the Construction Industry (the Guidelines) set out the responsibilities of all parties on construction projects funded by the Australian Government. The Guidelines outline the process for complying with the Code. The Guidelines were developed to assist the government and interested parties to interpret and implement the Code.
Purpose of the Code and Guidelines
The Code and Guidelines aim to:
- establish higher standards of workplace relations behaviour
- provide greater flexibility and productivity.
They ensure the building and construction industry:
- is client focussed
- has relationships built on trust
- observes ethical principles in tendering
- is committed to continuous improvements and development of best practice.
How to get copies
Who the Code and Guidelines apply to
The Code and Guidelines apply to:
- all Australian Government Departments, Agencies and CAC Act bodies funding building and construction projects
- all companies/ contractors working on these projects (including subcontractors, consultants, project managers and sole traders)
- all related entities undertaking Australian Government funded building and construction activities (to any of the parties listed above).
When the Code and Guidelines apply
The Code and Guidelines apply to:
Directly funded Australian Government projects, which means:
any construction activity undertaken by or on behalf of Australian Government agencies including the refurbishment and maintenance of offices and fit-outs.
Indirectly funded government projects which means all construction projects indirectly funded by the Australian Government through grant or other programmes where:
- the Australian Government funding contribution is at least $5 million and represents at least 50% of the total construction value
- the Australian Government contribution to the project is $10 million or more irrespective of the proportion of Australian Government funding.
Privately funded projects (from 1 November 2005).
More information on privately funded works is available on the FWBC website.
Where the Code and Guidelines apply
The Code and Guidelines apply to all directly and indirectly funded building and construction activities in Australia undertaken by Australian Government agencies and funding recipients including:
- building refurbishment or fit out, installation of building security systems, fire protection systems, air conditioning systems, computer and communication cabling, and building and construction of landscapes (section 3.1 of the Guidelines refers).
- all organised activities concerned with demolition, building, landscaping, maintenance, civil engineering, process engineering, mining (excluding mining operations) and heavy engineering.
- The Guidelines, issued July 2009, apply solely to parties who participate in on site activities.
Activity that does not fall within the scope of the Code and Guidelines includes:
- mining operations;
- The maintenance of building systems;
- landscaping such as lawn mowing, pruning and other horticutural activities; and
- cleaning buildings.
Which version of the Guidelines applies to your project
Most building and construction activities undertaken by Australian Government agencies will need to comply with the current version of the Guidelines (purple cover). However, if the expression of interest or tender applicable to the project occurred before 1 August 2009, then the 2006 Guidelines (blue cover) will normally apply.
Copies of the Guidelines are available from the Publications page
If you are unsure which version of the Guidelines apply to your project, contact the head contractor or funding agency.
Model Tender and Contract Documentation
For copies of the model tender and contract documentation go to the Publications page. Government agencies should use these clauses when preparing expressions of interest, tenders and contracts, and funding agreements for building and construction projects funded directly or indirectly by the Australian Government.
The model contract clauses require contractors to:
- undertake to comply with the Code and Guidelines and ensure all related entities engaged in Australian construction activity comply with the Code and Guidelines
- ensure that subcontractors', and consultants' workplace arrangements comply with the Code and Guidelines before engaging them on the project
- continue to ensure that all contracts on the project include the requirement to comply with the Code and Guidelines
- agree to allow the FWBC to monitor Code compliance on the site and to investigate any breaches of the Code and Guidelines
- acknowledge that the Commonwealth may impose a sanction should contractors not comply with the Code and Guidelines
- agree to comply with the Code and Guidelines on new privately funded construction projects.
What does being Code compliant mean?
Only companies and contractors (including head contractors, project managers and consultants) who are Code compliant can tender to undertake building and construction activities on Australian Government funded projects.
For further information on code compliance contact:
- the National Code Hotline:1300 731 293
- the National Code Mailbox: email@example.com
There are fact sheets available to assist agencies for each version of the Guidelines to assist Australian Government agencies in meeting their requirements under the Code and Guidelines, including once the project commences. These are available from the Publications page.