The Independent Construction Industry Rating Tool (iCIRT) was launched by the NSW Government in late 2020 to tighten building regulations and inspections. This strategy aims to rebuild public confidence in building professionals following numerous construction failures such as with Sydney’s Opal Tower and Mascot Towers. In this article, we explore how the iCIRT is used to rebuild trust in construction projects and improve the credibility of building practitioners.

What is iCIRT?

iCIRT uses a five-star rating system to offer transparency on the track record of builders, developers, sub-contractors, certifiers and consultants. Building professionals are awarded star ratings based on their ‘capability and willingness to deliver reliable and trustworthy built assets’. To be considered trustworthy, construction experts are assessed on the following key areas:

  • Character – trustworthiness determined by proof of credentials or adverse media checks
  • Capability – trading history as well as current licences and insurances
  • Conduct – track record of any current or past litigation, penalties or debts
  • Capacity – ability to achieve project targets whilst maintaining stable cash flow
  • Capital – sufficient capital to sustain operations, funding, debts and borrowing capacity
  • Counterparties – related party transactions to support sustainable sourcing of materials and market exposure.

The data that is gathered for this assessment is procured either directly from the practitioner (with their consent) or is accessed through insurers, financiers, large suppliers or the government. An iCIRT star-rating is compiled by Equifax Australasia Credit Ratings Pty Ltd (Equifax), a credit rating agency.

How can iCIRT re-build public confidence in construction?

Consumers can search on the iCIRT portal for proven track records of construction industry professionals. You may search by property location, business entity or individual. Not only does the portal provide access to industry-based comparisons and ratings, it also provides detailed reports which may indicate certain risk areas that need further consideration. It should be noted that there is a fixed-fee framework for reports. The pricing is based on the type of report chosen and the amount of detail included in the assessment.

When using iCIRT, consumers can access reputable information about construction professionals, giving them the confidence to make informed decisions when pursuing a construction project.

How can iCIRT be used to improve the credibility of building practitioners?

iCIRT is currently available to developers, builders and certifiers of Class 2 buildings. A Class 2 building is typically an apartment building which contains two or more sole-occupancy units. In line with the Class 2 industry reforms under the Design and Building Practitioners Act 2020, iCIRT aims to provide a database for reputable building professionals to ensure that residential constructions are safe and secure. In due course, the register will expand to include designers, manufacturers and suppliers. If you would like to learn more about the new obligations for Class 2 builders, designers and engineers, please read our blog.

Whilst registering with iCIRT is voluntary, it is worthwhile for building and construction practitioners to use a star-rating to gain a competitive edge. Consumers are more likely to choose professionals with a higher star-rating whose track record is transparent and whose brand is reputable. Registering with iCIRT can improve your credibility as a building professional, build confidence in your business and assist your market differentiation.

How Etheringtons Solicitors can help

A solicitor at Etheringtons Solicitors can provide clarification of the relevant law and its relation to your individual circumstances. If you require assistance with a Class 2 development matter or are needing further advice on strata law, please contact one of our experienced solicitors on (02) 9963 9800 or via our online contact form.