As stated on the front page of the National Capital Authority’s (NCA) website, the health and safety of our staff and the community is very important to us as we continue to take action to mitigate the risk posed by the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. Read more here.

Currently, there are no changes to the Works Approval process. However, please be aware that there may be resourcing limitations during this period which could lead to minor delays in the processing times for Works Approval applications. NCA will endeavour to process applications in a timely manner and will advise applicants if there is a potential for any delays to their application(s). The NCA is limiting face to face pre-application meetings and we ask that you call or email the NCA in the first instance to discuss your proposal by phoning 02 6271 2888 or by emailing

In addition, we will be refreshing this, and our main website page, with any major changes in action and we ask that you check in regularly.

The NCA is closely monitoring the developing situation regarding the Coronavirus and will continue follow all advice from authorities. We ask for your patience and understanding during this time.

Using the WAeL Portal

The portal allows for electronic lodgement of works approval applications. Prior to lodging an application please review the information provided and the WAeL user guide which is available for download

Creating a WAeL account

Creating an account with Works Approval eLodgement is a simple process which can be completed online. Simply navigate to the WAeL Portal and click 'Register a a new user'.

It is suggested that organisations create a single login for the WAeL portal and use the contact details section of the online form to identify specific project officers.

The Lodgement Process

The lodgement process follows six distinct steps, similar to filling out an online job application or purchasing from an online store. These are:

1. Acceptance

This step includes a description of the Works Application process and description of the issues an applicant will need to consider before submitting an application. Once you have read and understand the process, check the “I understand the Works Approval process” checkbox.

Please Note: Do not check the box if you do not understand the process. Please email or call 02 6271 2888 to get advice from the NCA Works Approval Team.

2. Applicant Details

Please complete all the mandatory fields related to the applicant. These details will be determine which email accounts will receive information related to requests for further information and approval. These contact details may differ from the login details of the account used to lodge the application.

3. Application Details

You are required to fill in all the mandatory fields regarding the application. This is the description of the works proposed, category of works and estimated cost of the works. The estimated cost of the works is used to calculate the applicable application fee.

Please note: The estimated cost of works should be guided by using the Building Cost Guide made by the ACT Government’s Environment and Planning Directorate’s Building (General) (Cost of Building Work) Determination available from the ACT Legislation Register.

4. Upload Attachments to your application

There are mandatory documents required for all applications. Attaching the documents to be submitted with the application requires the user to upload the files and assigning each file an 'Attachment Type'. Please consider the following when uploading attachments:

  • Attachments must be in PDF format.
  • Use the 'Attachment Type' function to assign a Locality Plan, Lessee Consent form etc.
  • Whilst you can upload multiple documents at one time, uploads greater than 20 Mb may cause the website to time out

For a full list of the types of information required for various types of applications click here

5. Review and Submit

Please review all the information. Contact details such as phone or email cannot be changed once an application is lodged.

6. Secure Payment

There is a cost for submitting a works approval application. 

  • At time of submission, payment is to be made by credit card or direct debit 
  • After submission, payment by invoice is only available by direct debit

Further details on paying fees is available here.

What information is required for Works Approval

A checklist for information required for applications can be downloaded from the links below.

There are mandatory attachments required for all applications.

1. Lessee / Land Custodian Authorisation Form
If the applicant is not the lessee or the land custodian, this document is required. This form is available for download here.

2. Locality Plan
A locality plan is to be included which identifies the site and its context.

3. Planning Report or Written Description of Works
For major applications, a planning report addressing the relevant design and planning matters will be required.
For minor applications, a written description of the works including construction timing, project context and an overview of the planning context is required.

Additional information will likely be required for your application. It may be useful to contact the NCA prior to lodging an application to ascertain what details will be required.

Viewing the status of a previously submitted application

The WAeL system allows users to view, in real time, the status of applications. The users will receive notification via the portal and to the contact officer’s email address when applications changes status. 

To view the status of an application simply login to WAeL and view the status column next to your application details.

Lodging further information requested by the NCA

Further information required by the NCA will require attaching further documentation or amending the application details.

In order to lodge further information and resubmit the application:

  1. Login to WAeL
  2. Click 'Edit' on the application you wish to change.
  3. Navigate to the 'Attachments' tab.
  4. Upload the files required. 
  5. Navigate to the 'Review and Submit' tab and press Submit Application

Lodging an amendment to an approved application

Lodging an amendment follows largely the same process as submitting a new application. Select 'New Amendment' to begin the process and enter the WA number of the original approval. 

The WAeL user guide is a helpful resource including screenshots on how to lodge an amendment. 

If the original approval was provider before 1 September 2017, the WAeL system will not recognise the original approval and a new Works Approval application will be required. Please contact the NCA on 02 6271 2888 or email to discuss requirements. 

Technical Issues

Browser compatibility

The WAeL system works on all major browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer) however, there are some know issues with saving attachment types on old versions of these browsers. The NCA recommends Internet Explorer 11 and above, Firefox build 54 and above, Chrome build 58 and above. 

The WAeL system uses the Westpac Payment Gateway 'Qvalent' to process Works Approval fees. Some browsers may not be able to access Qvalent and Westpac applications after 9 October 2017 unless you support the encryption standard known as 'TLS 1.2'. Further information on browser compatibility and 'TLS 1.2' is available by contacting the NCA Works Approval Team on 02 6271 2888 or emailing

Problems registering account

If you experience errors or do not receive an email when registering an account please contact the NCA on 02 6271 2888 and advise the email address you used to register.