Contractor complaints

Dispute a QBCC decision

If you feel a decision we've made is incorrect, you can apply to have it reviewed independently through our Internal Review Unit, or through the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT).

What can be internally reviewed

If you are dissatisfied with a decision we've made, you can apply to our Internal Review Unit for an independent review of the decision.

Our Internal Review Unit can review certain types of decisions called 'reviewable decisions'. Examples of some of these reviewable decisions include:

  • a decision to refuse a licence application or renewal
  • a decision to suspend or cancel a licence
  • a decision to issue a direction to rectify defective building work
  • a decision that rectification/completion work is of an unsatisfactory standard
  • a decision about the scope of works for an insurance claim
  • a decision that a domestic building contract has been validly terminated leading to allowing an insurance claim for non-completion
  • a decision that a building certifier has engaged in unsatisfactory conduct or professional misconduct

The complete list of reviewable decisions is available at Reviewable decisions.

What cannot be internally reviewed

Internal reviews cannot be conducted on certain types of issues or decisions. These include:

  • a decision to issue an infringement notice (a fine) – please consider the options set out in the infringement notice
  • dissatisfaction with the conduct of one of our staff – matters about staff conduct should be lodged as a complaint using our feedback form. Customers may also contact us at 139 333 and ask a Customer Service Officer to lodge a complaint on their behalf, write us a letter or send us a fax. We will assess your concerns and identify the appropriate action to take.
  • a matter on which we have not yet made a decision – a decision cannot be reviewed if it has not yet been made. Further information about matters in progress should be given to or obtained from your QBCC contact person or by contacting one of our Service Centres
  • decisions made by, or are currently before, QCAT – internal reviews cannot be conducted if you have made an application to QCAT to consider the matter. Internal reviews that have already begun will be discontinued if you make a QCAT application during the internal review
  • dissatisfaction with decisions made or actions taken by another agency, tribunal or court – please raise these matters directly with the agency, tribunal or court or seek legal advice
  • issues that have already been internally reviewed – internal reviews will not be conducted on internal review decisions. If you remain dissatisfied, you can make an application to QCAT or another relevant external review agency, such as the Queensland Ombudsman.

Who can make an internal review application

To apply for an internal review you must be ‘affected’ by a QBCC reviewable decision. Usually this means that you received a reviewable decision from us and that decision has a direct impact on you e.g. as the licensee whose licence was not renewed. Generally, an affected person is more than someone who is simply a member of the general public or a concerned citizen.

An affected person can give written permission for someone else to make an application for internal review on their behalf i.e. an authorised agent.

When should I apply to have a decision reviewed?

Applications to review decisions must be filed within 28 calendar days of the Commission making a person aware of the decision.

If you wish our Internal Review Unit to review a decision outside of that timeframe, you will be given 3 days to provide reasons for the delay and a decision will be made about whether to accept your 'out of time' application.

Internal review process

Acknowledgement of your review application

An internal review application is acknowledged within 2 business days by email or phone.

Application pre-assessment checklist

The internal review application will then be assessed by the assessment officer to make sure that:

  • a decision has been made by QBCC (the original decision)
  • the original decision is a reviewable decision
  • the internal review application was made within 28 calendar days of the reviewable decision
  • the internal review application was made by an affected person, or their authorised agent
  • there are no other issues which prevent the internal review of the decision or decisions (e.g. such as an application for QCAT made about the same matter)

You will be contacted and given 3 days to provide all the information you wish to submit before the assessment commences.

Internal review officer assessment

The internal review officer conducting the review is independent of our previous decision. The review decision will be made by an officer at the same level as, or more senior to, the original decision-maker.

The matter will be allocated to an internal review officer who will conduct a more detailed assessment and investigation, or advise you if an internal review cannot be conducted, including the reasons why.

Internal review investigation

The review officer has the same decision making powers as the original decision maker and must consider the same legislative provisions, policies and procedures relevant to that decision.

To assist with making a new decision, the internal review officer may ask you for more information, seek professional advice (for example, from an engineer), conduct further research and/or arrange for a site visit.

The internal review officer will also advise other affected people of the internal review and ask them for information and/or to attend a site visit.

For example, if you are a builder and apply for an internal review because we directed you to rectify building works (a reviewable decision), the internal review officer will contact the home owner where the alleged defective works are located, to tell them of the internal review, get any information from the home owner that might assist with the internal review and may ask the home owner to attend any site visits, along with you and the internal review officer. This is because the home owner will be affected if a different decision is made by the internal review officer, and gives the home owner the opportunity to be involved in the internal review process before the decision is made.

The internal review officer may also obtain information from our original decision-maker about the reasons for their decision and any information they took into account, including policies, procedures, legislation, facts and circumstances.

Outcome of an internal review

A new decision will be made based on the information previously given to us and any new information you've provided.

You will be advised of the outcome of the internal review by letter and/or email and, where possible, by phone.

The internal review officer can make a new decision which is the same as, or different to, the original decision and will provide you with their findings and reasons for the decision. The internal review officer will also advise other affected parties involved in the matter of the internal review decision.

Timeframes for completing a review

In the event that an internal review cannot be completed within 28 calendar days, you (if you are the applicant who requested the review) will be contacted to discuss whether you prefer the internal review to continue on the basis that you are prepared to provide an extension of time. If you do not wish to provide a time extension, and in the circumstances the internal review cannot be completed within 28 days, then the internal review officer must consider the original decision to be the internal review decision.

More than one extension may be necessary based on various factors including complexity and whether site inspections and testing are required.

How to apply for an internal review

An internal review application should be made within 28 calendar days after receiving the original decision. There is no particular application form for an internal review, however you can send us information online.

Your application should contain the following information:

  • Your name and best contact information
  • What decision you would like to have reviewed (including the original case reference number, usually at the top right hand side of the decision letter you received)
  • The date of the decision (i.e. the date at the top of the decision letter or when you received the decision)
  • Who made the original decision (usually the person whose name is at the end of the decision letter)
  • Why you are unhappy with the decision
  • What you would like to occur
  • Whether you have been to QCAT about the matter (please provide the QCAT reference number)
  • Any new information you think will help explain why the decision should be changed e.g. new expert reports you have received, facts or circumstances that you have not advised us of that may change the decision
  • If your application is being made outside the 28 calendar day period, reasons for the delay in making your applications.
  • If you would like an agent to act on your behalf, your written authority is required.

Applications for an internal review can be made:

  • online
  • at a service centre self service computer
  • by writing to us at Queensland Building and Construction Commission, GPO Box 5099, Brisbane QLD 4001

Reviewing a QBCC decision in QCAT

You can apply to QCAT to review a decision made by QBCC, including a decision made by the Internal Review Unit. The appropriate forms and information on how to file an external review can be found at the QCAT website. Please be aware that some decisions are not reviewable by QCAT.