Making a quality building warrant application: what you need to know

This guidance provides useful information on how to make a good quality building warrant application.

2 Roles and Responsibilities

It is important to know the roles and responsibilities of those involved in the building warrant process and the wider building standards system.

Key roles Design and building warrant application stage

Applicant is the person applying for a building warrant. This may be a property owner, tenant, or developer.

Agent is the applicant’s nominated representative to act on their behalf throughout the building warrant process. It is strongly recommended that this person is a suitably qualified and experienced building professional, such as an architect or building surveyor. Depending on the complexity of the design, other building professionals may also be required, such as a structural engineer.

Approved Certifiers of Design or Construction are suitably qualified and experienced professionals and tradespeople who operate under, and are registered to a Certification Scheme approved by Scottish Ministers. The scheme allows individuals to certify certain work that is subject to a building warrant.

When work at the design or construction stage is certified it is not checked by the local authority building standards verification service. Specific aspects of work that can be certified are structural and energy design and/or electrical, drainage, heating and plumbing installation.

Building Owner is the legal owner of a property/building. The owner is ultimately legally responsible for ensuring that all work complies with the building regulations and the local authority can take enforcement action against the building owner where this is not the case.

Key roles Building standards system

Building Standards Division (BSD) of the Scottish Government is responsible for developing and maintaining the building standards system and supporting its effective application. The division prepares and updates building standards legislation and guidance documents, conducting any necessary research and consulting on changes as the Building (Scotland) Act 2003 requires.

The division carries out functions on behalf of Scottish Ministers. These include giving views to help verifiers make decisions in particular cases, dealing with applications to relax standards for particular matters, and appointing verifiers and scheme providers for Approved Certifiers of Design and Construction. The division also monitors how verifiers and certification scheme providers are operating the system.

Verifier – the 32 local authorities are appointed as verifiers by Scottish Ministers to administer the building standards system for their own geographic area. They are responsible for the interpretation of building regulations.

The role of the verifier is to protect the public interest by providing an independent check of applications for building warrants to construct or demolish buildings, to provide services, fittings or equipment in buildings or to convert buildings. This includes checking during the design phase before granting a building warrant and checking during the construction phase before accepting a completion certificate.

Relevant person – the role of the relevant person is only applicable at the completion stage of the project, however it is important to be aware of the responsibilities associated with this role from the outset. The relevant person is usually the owner, tenant or developer who is doing the work themselves, or who employs a builder to do the work for them and ultimately the building owner.

It is the responsibility of the relevant person to submit the completion certificate to the verifier. The relevant person, by signing the completion certificate, is certifying that the work, or conversion, was carried out in accordance with the building warrant, and the building, as constructed, complies with the building regulations. Refer to section 8 of this guidance for further information about the completion stage of a project.


The responsibilities associated with the roles established by the system, begin when an application is made for a building warrant, and continue throughout the process until the completion certificate is accepted by the verifier.

Responsibility during the design and building warrant application stage, lies with the applicant, agent, approved certifier and the building owner, to ensure work is designed in accordance with building regulations.

The responsibility that the work being done complies with the building regulations ultimately lies with the building owner. It is therefore important that where a person is representing the building owners interests they understand the building standards system, their role and responsibilities.



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