Electrical Licence Recognition

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Electrical Licence Recognition.

August 2009

The Chair of the Western Australian Electrical Licensing Board has released the following statement on the board’s position on recognition of overseas electrical licences.

Recently the Electrical Licensing Board became aware that persons were “shopping” for licences around Australia. The purpose of “shopping” around was to find a state regulator who would issue an Electrician’s Licence after they attended a short bridging course. These persons then applied for a WA Electricians Licence under the Mutual Recognition Act. Under this Act, the WA Electrical Licensing Board is obliged to issue an unrestricted Electrician’s Licence.

In most such cases, the applicant is from overseas and presents initially with an Australian Recognised Trade Certificate issued by Trade Recognition Australia stating they are qualified as an electrical fitter only. Clearly such applicants will not have the required twelve months practical installing experience required to gain a full WA licence.

The Electrical Licensing Board is not satisfied that such licence holders will have the level of competence required for a WA Electrician’s Licence. Accordingly, in all such cases the Board will require the licence holder to undertake a competency assessment. If the person fails the assessment, his or her licence will be suspended forthwith and remain suspended until adequate competency can be demonstrated. Usually, this will require gaining the required twelve months of on-the-job experience and successfully completing the Electrical Trades Licensing (ETL) Course at a registered training organisation (RTO).

The recommended approach for such applicants is to complete the 80-hour ETL Course at an RTO. The Licensing Office will then issue the applicant a three-year Electrical Worker’s Permit. This allows the applicant to perform electrical fitting work unsupervised and should enable him or her to accumulate twelve months of appropriate electrical installing experience under supervision on the job, while gaining immediate employment. After completing the experience requirement they will then be required to complete the ETL Course again if they took longer than two years to accumulate the required installing experience.


Australian Capital Territory

You must be licensed to carry out any electrical work. http://www.actpla.act.gov.au/topics/hiring_licensing/licence_registration/electricians

New South Wales

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You must have a contractor licence or employ the holder of a qualified supervisor certificate to contract, subcontract or advertise to do electrical wiring work. http://www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au/Tradespeople/Home_building_licensing.html

Northern Territory

Electrical industry workers in the Northern Territory must obtain a licence and meet certain requirements before any electrical work is carried out. http://www.electricallicensing.nt.gov.au


Unlicensed electrical work is illegal in Queensland. http://www.deir.qld.gov.au/electricalsafety/training/licences

South Australia

Any person (including a company) who carries on business or holds himself or herself out as a plumber, gas fitter or electrician, must be licensed as a contractor under the Plumbers, Gas Fitters and Electricians Act 1995. http://www.sa.gov.au




To contract, or offer to contract, to carry out electrical installation work, a licensed electrician must also be registered as an electrical contractor. http://www.esv.vic.gov.au/ForElectricityProfessionals/LicensingandRegistration/ElectriciansLicence/tabid/196/Default.aspx

Western Australia

In Western Australia, the law requires that all electrical and gasfitting is carried out by a person who holds the relevant electrical or gas licence. https://bizline.commerce.wa.gov.au/energysafety/index.cfm


Australia Mutual Recognition of Contractor Licence

By agreement between Australian states, territories and the Commonwealth, people registered to work in an occupation in one jurisdiction are entitled to have their registration (in the form of a licence, permit, etc) recognised by another jurisdiction.


Equivalent Licence Search

On this linked page you can enter the licence details from one State, and check to see what the equivalent is in another State.


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