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All you need to know about plumbing licences.

In Australia, as with other building and construction-related trades, plumbers are legally required to have an appropriate licence that permits them to carry out particular plumbing works. Each state is responsible for issuing those licences. Without the correct plumbing licence, plumbers can be fined and clients will have to find a fully licensed and registered plumber to assess the works or re-install certain aspects.

All plumbers working in Australia must also adhere to the Plumbing Code of Australia (PCC) devised by the ABCB’s Plumbing Code Committee. This clearly defines the minimum standards of work required by plumbers working across Australia. It was created to ensure that all plumbers who work in Australia do so safely and to a standard that ensures the best processes are followed.

Plumbing Licences

Each state of Australia is responsible for issuing licences and permits for plumbers working in their jurisdiction. While those licences must all incorporate the PCC regulations, they also include rules that are specific to each state. In some states, there are more plumbing licence classes than others. In addition, some states include gas fitting and drainage in certain classes of plumbing licences.

Licensed plumbers are able to complete a wide number of different plumbing related jobs. They can be pure plumbing, relate to gas fitting, maintenance or installation of complete plumbing systems when a property is being built. The more common tasks plumbers in Australia are employed to undertake include:

We have more information on the requirements of licensed plumbers on a state-by-state basis below.

Victoria Plumbing Licences

The Victorian Building Authority is responsible for issuing plumbing licences across Victoria. The VBA can authorise three levels of licensed plumber. They are fully licensed by the VBA, registered by the VBA (or have provisional registration) and working under the supervision of a licensed plumbing practitioner or in training under the supervision of a licensed plumbing practitioner. Only fully licensed plumbers are permitted to undertake plumbing work in the state of Victoria.

The eight main classes of plumbing licences in Victoria are:

In addition to the eight classes, there are six specialised classes:

Only a plumber whose licence clearly lists the type of work you require is legally authorised to undertake it. Licences are valid for between one and three years.

NSW Plumbing Licences

When it comes to licensing in New South Wales, plumbing is specifically defined as “the work of water plumbing, work of sewerage or the work of sanitary plumbing, but does not include the work of drainage or roof plumbing.” Draining is covered by a separate licensing class, while roof-related plumbing work comes under a class of residential building work.

Looking at the “Water plumbing” licence, there are four classes of licensing. They are:

There are two levels of licences for all four areas: tradesperson certificate and contractor licence/supervisor certificate.

For draining there are two levels of licensing: tradesperson certificate and contractor licence/supervisor certificate.

Draining licences cover the work of sanitary drainage, connecting or intending to connect directly or indirectly with a sewer. This includes work on a house drain connected to an onsite wastewater management system.

The specific details, abilities and restrictions are detailed on each specific licence which are typically issued for between one and three years.

ACT Plumbing Licences

In the Australian Capital Territory, all plumbers must be licensed in order to undertake any plumbing works in the state. Access Canberra, an ACT Government office, is responsible for the checking and issuing of plumbing licences.

There are six plumbing licensing classes in ACT. They are:

None of the above licences automatically authorise the licensee plumber to undertake backflow prevention testing; a separate permit must be applied for.

Any plumbing licence can be issued with certain restriction that will be clearly detailed on the individual licence. Licences are issued for between one-to-three years.

Queensland Plumbing Licences

The Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) holds the details on plumbing licences for the state. A licence is always required for all types of plumbing work in Queensland. Licensed plumbers are authorised to install, commission, maintain and test plumbing and drainage. This can include roof repair and restoration work, rainwater tank installation and also jobs related to solar panel and hot water systems.

There are two plumbing licence grades in Queensland:

Plumbers should always carry their licence and credentials which will clearly state what class of plumber licence they have. As in other states, licences tend to be issued for one to three years.

South Australia Plumbing Licences

The body that governs and issues plumbing licences in South Australia is the Consumer and Business Services. Licences are required for all domestic and commercial work, including:

There are two classes of licences for individuals:

Any specific details or restrictions associated with plumbing licences in South Australia are listed on the licence, and they are issued for between one and three years.

Tasmania Plumbing Licences

Tasmania’s Department of Justice presides over plumbing licences there. Licences are required for any type of plumbing work, of which there are a number of classes – all of which have three categories. The plumbing licence classes in Tasmania include:

The three categories of licence for all the possible classes – details of which will be clearly listed on the licence itself – are:

Licences are valid for one to three years. All the details of what class of work your plumber is licensed to do – which can include additional electrical and gas fitter classes – will be clearly detailed on the licence.

Western Australia Plumbing Licences

The Western Australian Plumbing Licensing Board (PLB) is responsible for the issuance of plumbing licences in WA. Only individuals with a PLB licence are legally entitled to conduct plumbing work in WA.

Six different classes of plumbing licences are issued in WA and all the details of what each individual plumber is licensed for is clearly labelled on their licence. The classes are:

A plumbing contractor must complete higher qualifications than a plumbing tradesperson. Meanwhile, a restricted permit is typically granted to electricians or gas fitters to enable them to complete particular plumbing works. The scope of authorised work varies from each licence. As with other Australian states, licences tend to be issued for one to three years.

Check a licence: