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 Northern Territory (NT)
Plumbers and Drainers Licensing Board is the Northern Territory authority that regulates Journeyman registration cards and Advanced Tradesmen plumbers licenses.
Once you have completed your apprenticeship, you may apply for Journeyman registration as a drainer or plumber. As a registered journeyman, you may perform draining and plumbing work supervised by an Advanced Tradesman.
In order to carry supervise apprentices or journeymen, or to complete plumbing and drainage work in your own right, you must hold an Advanced Tradesman licence.
In order to become a licenced Advanced Tradesman, you require the following:
- 2+ years of post-trade work experience (gained as a registered unconditional Journeyman)
- A statement of attainment for completing the following units of competency:
- CPCPCM4011A Carry out work based risk control processes
- CPCPCM4012A Estimate and cost work
- BSBSMB401A Establish legal and risk management requirements of small business
- CPCPDR4011B Design and size sanitary drainage systems
- CPCPDR4012B Design and size stormwater drainage systems
- CPCPDR4013B Design and size domestic treatment plant disposal systems
- CPCPSN4011B Design and size sanitary plumbing systems
- CPCPWT4011B Design and size heated and cold water services and systems
- CPCPWT4022A Commission and maintain backflow prevention devices
- CPCPWT4023A Commission and maintain hot water temperature control devices
How to Apply
Lodge your plumbing licence application with the Territory Business Centre in Alice Springs, Darwin or Tennant Creek, or send it by email or conventional mail. In addition to the standard requirements, you must also provide evidence of access to Australian Standard ASNZS3500.
New Zealand, Interstate & Overseas Recognition
Individuals who hold licences from another state or territory may still obtain a plumber licence in NT by completing the Mutual Recognition Building Practitioner Application forms from the TBC office, or on the NT Plumbers Licensing website.
The Australian building and construction industry is highly regulated, which results in the highest quality of international standards. The above processes outline how you can obtain your plumbers licence by state.
It's good to remember that other options do exist. Experienced individuals need not be required to spend any unnecessary time in the classroom in order to become qualified plumbers.