Australia's painting and decorating trade is growing steadily along with the ever-burgeoning construction industry. As more homes are built, the demand for qualified painters increases, too.
Due to the low barrier to entry into the painting trade, professionals can easily enter and or exit according to demand. This makes the trade highly competitive.
In order to take advantage of employment prospects in the painting and decorating trade, it is important to carry a painting licence, which will afford you the right to operate legally in Australia.
Below, we will lay out the various ways in which you can get the recognition you deserve as a professional painter, and to maximize employment and profit opportunities.
Australian Painting Licence
A painting licence permits you to run your painting and decorating business in the state or territory in which you are registered.
Only suitably qualified painters will be granted such a licence. The requirements vary depending on your state, but most states require that painters have one of the following nationally recognised qualifications in the painting industry:
- BCG30603 Certificate III in Painting and Decorating
- CPC30608 Certificate III in Painting and Decorating
- CPC30611 Certificate III in Painting and Decorating
Individuals who are not yet qualified have two available options. If you have less than four years painting experience, you should complete a painting apprenticeship. If you have more than four years' painting experience, consider obtaining recognition by means of recognition of prior learning in order to gain an equivalent qualification.
Do I Really Need a Painting Licence?
States and territories have strict regulations in place, requiring painters to be licensed or registered before advertising, contracting or subcontracting painting jobs. Registration is a means for identifying your business and holding you accountable for your work and to protect consumers.
Any unlicensed individual who contracts a painting project may be fined, prosecuted or otherwise penalised. In most cases, individuals who flout the regulations will be banned from obtaining a licence in the future.
Applying for a Painting Licence
Each state has its own processes and requirements for obtaining a painters licence, and specific organisations handle the registration process. You will have to present your qualifications during application.
If you have the required experience and skills, but you don't have a complete qualification, you may consider using Recognition of Prior Learning as a means to obtain an equivalent qualification without having to spend time, effort and money on unnecessary classroom work.
Painting Licence in Victoria (VIC)
The state of Victoria does not issue specific painting licences, however, tradespeople who wish to advertise, conduct, subcontract or contract residential paint work must be registered under the Domestic Builder - Limited (DB-L) licence class, with a supplementary Q code, which authorises them to perform sundry works. Sundry includes painting and plastering as well as other building related work.
To obtain the Domestic Builder - Limited (DB-L) licence, you must have a CPC30611 Certificate III in Painting and Decorating. If you don't have this qualification, you must have your painting and decorating skills assessed against the competency units in the course.
The Victorian Building Authority will assess you based on the information and evidence you provide on your statement of experience and your knowledge of the Australian Standards and National Construction Code. You will have to provide evidence of your experience, which includes a minimum of four different residential painting and decorating projects.
How to Apply
The Victorian Domestic Builder - Limited (DB-L) licence registration process is uncomplicated.
- Obtain and complete the application form and checklist provided on the VBA website.
- Download and complete the National Police Checking Service Informed Consent Form.
- Submit the above documents as well as a Technical Referee Report and supporting documents to the VBA.
Visit the Victorian Building Authority in person, or mail your application to them. If accepted, you will receive an acceptance letter with your next steps.
New Zealand, Interstate & Overseas Recognition
Professional painters with occupational licence or registration in other countries or states are entitled to an equivalent licence in NSW, provided they apply for mutual recognition, according to the 1992 Mutual Recognition Act (MRA).