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All you need to know about builder licences.

When it comes to your home, you want to know that any building works you undertake –- be it a new, custom-built home, a carport or extension –- will be structurally sound and pass the test of time. Australia’s builder licensing regulations are designed to do just that, and give you peace of mind that the builder you’re hiring is fully licensed, qualified and able to do what you need them to do.

Using LicenceHero, you can conduct a builder’s licence search for registered builders who hold valid licences.

The Role of the ABCB

When it comes to building regulations, the Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) is the body that produces and upholds national, minimum building standards. Its National Construction Code (NCC) includes the Building Code Australia (BCA) standards for construction work undertaken across Australia. This includes codes on:

All Australian states and territories own builder licensing regulations are based on the BCA standards. Each state is also able to add their own rules and regulations to suit their own individual set of requirements. Each state issues its own building licences to assure that not only will the BCA standards be upheld, but that their own additional regulations will be adhered to as well.

Builder’s Licensing

As each state has its own unique set of specific building regulations and code, they also have their own licensing authority. That is to ensure that any of the small but important details of their building code that have added on top of the BCA standards are clear, fully recognised and followed. Those differences can range from how often licences need to be renewed, to rulings over when a licensed builder is necessary.

LicenceHero is a one-stop-shop that lets you search for, look up and check registered builders in your state or territory. If you want to be sure that the building work you need is completed to a high standard, and to comply with all laws and regulations, you can use LicenceHero to conduct a full builders licence check.

Typical Building Jobs that Require licensed Trades People

There are lots of building works that are undertaken across Australia, many of which require specific licences. The more common ones that are regularly done include:

The type of building licence required depends on each state and a host of considerations including cost, size and safety.


Victoria Builders Licence

The Victorian Building Authority (VBA) is responsible for building licences in the state of Victoria. Builder practitioners must register with the VBA if they:

In Victoria, there are 9 categories of building practitioner who all require specific licences:

In addition to building practitioner’s, owner-builders –- where the land owner is building on that land –- must apply for a certificate of consent if the building works being carried out cost more than $16,000.


NSW Builders Licence

In NSW, builders’ licensing is regulated by FairTrading NSW. In this state, it is unlawful for any individual to conduct any building work that costs over $1,000 -– including materials and labour –- without holding a valid builders licence.

There are three classes of builders’ licences in NSW. They are:

All NSW builders’ licences need to be renewed every three years. Any apprentices working for a licensed builder do not need a licence of their own, but they must always be supervised when they’re at work.


ACT Builders Licence

Across the ACT, builders must be licensed in order to lawfully conduct particular, compliant building works in the state. The ACT Government’s Land, Planning, Building and Housing department is responsible for issuing builder’s licences.

There are four classes of building licences. They are:

All licensed builders in the ACT must include their licensing details on all of their advertising materials. In addition, when a builder subcontracts any work to other trades people, it is the builder’s responsibility to ensure those subcontractors are fully licensed to do the work they have been employed to do. More details on this and other builder licensing information can be found here.


Queensland Builders Licence

The Queensland Building and Construction Services (QBCS) issues builder’s licences in Queensland. Any builder who carries out building works worth $3,300 or more (including materials and labour) is required, by law, to hold an appropriate builder’s licence.

Carrying out work means personally doing the work yourself, providing advisory, management or supervisory assistance in relation building work and entering into a contract, submitting a tender for a building contract or offering to carry out building work.

In Queensland, builders must renew their licences every year.

There are two broad classes of builder’s licences in Queensland, Builders and Restricted Builders. The specific classes are:

More details on exactly what types of work the different licensing classes permit can be found here.


South Australia Builders Licence

The Department of Consumer and Business Services (CBS) issues builder’s licences and authorises their registration in SA. In this state, a builder is described as being any person or business that undertakes a wide range of building related activities. These include, but aren’t limited to:

There are three types of builders’ licences in SA:

South Australia building licences must be renewed every year.


Tasmania Builders Licence

In Tasmania, the Justice Department issues builder’s licences. licensed builders here must renew their licence every year and undertake Continuing Professional Development (CPD).

There are four classes of builder’s licence in Tasmania:

There are also three types of building accreditation within each of those four licensing classes:


Western Australia Builders Licence

The Building Services Board is responsible for builder licensing in Western Australia. Only registered building professionals can undertake certain types of building works in WA. The two categories of building licences are:

Both licences must be renewed every three years.

Check a licence: