Australia's plumbing services sector is an important part of the building and construction industry, supplying plumbing installation, maintenance and repair services to fittings and fixtures that form part of the processes of catchment, treatment and distribution of waste, liquids, and gases. In order to ensure quality compliance with industry-related guidelines and building standard of the predominantly small-scale contracting firms which comprise it, the industry is highly regulated.
Plumbing Licence Facts
Strict building standards ensure the health and safety of the people of Australia, which is why the industry regulates the tradespeople who perform draining, gasfitting and plumbing services by providing licences per state or territory in which the services will be provided.
Quality plumbing services are in constant and growing demand and licensed plumbers can take advantage of better employment opportunities. Below is a full guide on how plumbers can obtain licensing for their preferred state.
Do I Really Need a Plumbing Licence?
Most states and territories in Australia require plumbers to be registered and licenced in order to work on gasfitting, drainage or plumbing projects. Licensing is only granted when a person has shown sufficient skills, knowledge and experience to ensure that the tradesperson will maintain the integrity of fittings and fixtures used in the catchment, treatment and distribution of waste products, liquids and gases. Therefore, only licenced gas fitters and plumbers may work on these types of systems.
How to Apply for a Plumbing Licence
While the rules vary by state and territory, most regulations require that a plumber is registered and licenced in order to perform any gasfitting, draining, and plumbing work. Most states and territories do share procedures, such as the nationally recognised qualification, which is either:
- Certificate III in Plumbing BCP30103/CPC32408/CPC32411/CPC32412/CPC32413 (incl. apprenticeship in plumbing)
Experience plumbers who lack formal qualifications can use Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) to accelerate the licence application process by having their skills assessed and recognised based on past evidence.
Plumbing Licence in New South Wales (NSW)
Any individual wishing to perform any type of commercial, industrial or residential draining, plumbing, or gasfitting work in New South Wales must possess a plumbing license issued by New South Wales Fair Trading.
NSW plumbing licences are limited to water, sanitary and sewerage plumbing only. Roof plumbing is covered by a subclass under residential building work and drainage is covered by a different specialist licence class.
Within the plumbing licence classes, you may obtain additional classes to add to your plumbing licence, provided you have fulfilled the required academic and experiential requirements. The streams include:
- Water plumbing
- Water plumbing for urban irrigation, fire sprinkler systems and fire protection systems
- Roof Plumbing
- LP Gasfitting (restricted LP gasfitting)
Applicants require any of the following qualifications to obtain a plumbing licence in NSW:
- Certificate III in Plumbing
- BCP30103/CPC32408/CPC32411/CPC32412/CPC32413, + the sanitary stream
- BCP30103/CPC32408/CPC32411/CPC32412/CPC32413, + the sanitary stream + an apprenticeship in plumbing
- a Plumbing apprenticeship + Certificate III in Plumbing
How to Apply
Applying for a plumbing licence, you would typically need to complete the application forms and checklists, and submit the required supporting documents, which can be obtained from the NSW Fair Trading website or your nearest Service NSW or Government Access Centre.
The application should be delivered in person to one of the above offices.
Interstate, Overseas & New Zealand Licences
You may be able to practise plumbing in NSW if you posses a licenced from another Australian state or territory, New Zealand or elsewhere overseas by using the Mutual Recognition Act (MRA).