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 Queensland (QLD)
Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) regulates all matters regarding compliance, disciplinary functions and plumbing licensing in Queensland. Plumbing is categorised into drainage and plumbing. Gas plumbing licensing is handled by the Department of Natural Resources and Mines.
The three plumbing licence classes include:
- Provisional Plumbers Licence - This plumbers licence is available to individuals who have completed a plumbing apprenticeship.
- Occupational / Open Licence - Applicants must have completed a minimum of one year as a provisional licence holder before applying for this plumbers licence.
- Plumbing & Drainage Contractor / Nominee Supervisor - Individuals who have completed the Certificate IV in Plumbing and are able to meet the associated financial requirements, may apply for this licence.
In order to qualify for a Queensland drainage or plumbing licence, you must complete:
- Certificate III in Plumbing (CPC32413) or Certificate III in Plumbing (Mechanical Services) with sanitary stream included
- Certificate III in Plumbing (CPC32513)
Additional requirements may include the Certificate IV in Plumbing and Services (CPC40912), which consists of the following units of competency:
- Carry Out Work-Based Risk Control Processes (CPCPCM4011A)
- Design and Size Sanitary Plumbing Systems (CPCPSN4011B)
- Design and Size Sanitary Drainage Systems (CPCPDR4011B)
- Design and Size Stormwater Drainage Systems (CPCPDR4012B)
- Design and Size Heated And Cold Water Services And Systems (CPCPWT4011B)
- Design and Size Domestic Treatment Plant Disposal Systems (CPCPDR4013B)
- Estimate and Cost Work (CPCPCM4012A)
- Establish Legal and Risk Management Requirements Of Small Business (BSBSMB401)
How to Apply
Follow these three steps to apply for your plumbers licence in Queensland:
- Visit your nearest Queensland Government Access Centre or the QBCC website to obtain the application forms
- Attach all the supporting documents. If you are a trade contractor, provide ample demonstration that you have completed the Certificate IV in Plumbing and Services.
- Mail or deliver your application in person to the QBCC offices.
New Zealand, Interstate & Overseas Recognition
Individuals who hold licences from another country, state or territory may still obtain a Queensland plumbers licence by completing the Mutual Recognition Building Practitioner Application forms via the QBCC.