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 Western Australia (WA)
The Plumbers Licensing Board, a division of the Department of Commerce, regulates plumbers licensing. The state offers two types of plumbing licences:
Tradespersons Plumbing Licence - An individual with this licence may perform plumbing related to water supply, drainage and sanitary plumbing. A plumbing tradesperson may also supervise an apprentice who carries out this type of work under a plumbing contractor licence.
Contractors Plumbing Licence - A plumbing contractor may carry out work or instruct, direct or supervise authorised plumbing work. The plumbing contractor may also submit notices to the Plumbers Licensing Board, and certify plumbing work.
Applicants wishing to obtain a plumbers licence in Western Australia must have at least one of the following qualifications:
- Certificate III in Plumbing (Mechanical Services), including sanitary stream
- Certificate III in Plumbing (CPC32413)
- Certificate III in Plumbing (CPC32513)
- Equivalent courses approved by the Plumbers Licensing Board
How to Apply
Follow the process set out below to apply for your Plumbing Tradesperson Licence:
- Obtain Form 102 from the Plumbers Licensing Board.
- Complete the form, including any further requirements or details.
- Refer to the Building Commission fee schedule for current application and licensing fees to include with the application.
Follow the process set out below to apply for your Plumbing Contractor's Licence:
- Obtain form 101 from the Plumbers Licensing Board.
- Along with your completed application form, also include:
- 2 hardcopy passport-sized photos
- National Police Certificate (original or certified copy)
- 100 points of identification
- Statement of Attainment of Required Competencies
- Licence and application fees
- Submit the application along with supporting documents to the Plumbers Licensing Board.
New Zealand, Interstate & Overseas Recognition
Individuals who hold licences from another country, state or territory may still obtain a WA licence under the Mutual Recognition Act. Notify the local authorities and apply for an equivalent licence.