The Role of a Design Certifier

Building Control (Amendment) Regulations 2014 and the Code of Practice for Inspecting and Certifying Buildings and Works (September 2016) requires the building owner to appoint a Design Certifier at the outset of a construction project.  The Design Certifier can be a registered architect, building surveyor or chartered engineer.

The Design Certifier is responsible for co-ordinating, compiling and scheduling the plans, calculations, specifications and particulars of the project.  He/she must certify that all designs comply with the relevant requirements of the Building Regulations.

The role of the Design Certifier includes:

  • Coordinating and compiling the plans, calculations and specifications that are to be included on the schedule lodged at commencement stage of the project.
  • Reviewing the scope of requirements of the Building Regulations (and Technical Guidance Documents) that apply to the works concerned.
  • Carrying out a review of the proposed drawings and specifications as prepared by the design team.
  • Highlighting any areas of non-compliance with Building Regulations within the design drawings and proposing or requesting appropriate solutions required to achieve compliance from the relevant design team members.
  • Identifying the necessary ancillary design certificates, including specialist designers, required for submission at commencement stage.
  • Identifying any areas of the design which have not been completed, and providing an undertaking that when complete, these will be certified and submitted to the Building Control Authority.
  • Ensuring that the documentation to be submitted as part of the commencement notice is appropriate.
  • Preparing and issuing the design certificate for submission to BCMS at commencement stage.

When the certified design is finalised, it becomes the reference document during construction. The builder and design team must ensure that any changes to the certified design approved by the design certifier at commencement stage are coordinated and agreed with the assigned certifier during the construction stage.

In comparison, the Assigned Certifier is responsible for ensuring that the works carried out are in accordance with Building Control Regulations.  The Assigned Certifier must sign statutory documents for building control and oversee all other certifiers on the project.

ORS has acted as Design Certifier on some of Ireland’s most significant construction projects, including Center Parcs Longford Forest and on large pharmaceutical, technological and educational facilities. For further details on the importance of the role and how it can guarantee compliance and the smooth running of a project, contact Gerard Fagan, Associate at

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