Electrical

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    Electrical

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    All the information you need to get a licence or certificate in electrical work. Use the menu on the right to find what you need.

    You need an electrical licence before you can do any electrical wiring work in NSW, regardless of the cost of the work and regardless of whether the work is residential, commercial or industrial.

    Electrical wiring work means the actual physical work of installing, repairing, altering, removing or adding to an electrical installation or the supervising of that work.

    An electrical installation means any fixed appliances, wires, fittings, meters, apparatus or other electrical equipment used for (or related to) conveying, measuring, controlling and using electricity in a particular place. It does not include:

    • any electrical equipment (other than a meter) used, or intended to be used, to generate, transmit or distribute electricity that is:
      • owned or used by an electricity supply authority, or
      • located at a place that is owned or occupied by such an authority
    • any electrical article connected to, and extending or situated beyond, any electrical outlet socket
    • any electrical equipment in or around a mine
    • any electrical equipment operating at not more than 50 volts alternating current or 120 volts ripple-free direct current
    • any other electrical equipment, or class of electrical equipment, prescribed by the regulations.

    Remember, it is an offence to do electrical wiring work without a licence or certificate. You can be fined $22,000 as an individual or $110,000 as a company for doing unlicensed electrical work.

    To learn more about what is considered electrical wiring work or an electrical installation, see the definitions used in NSW laws. For licensing purposes, electrical wiring work is defined in schedule 1 of the Home Building Act 1989 as having the same meaning as it has in the Gas and Electricity (Consumer Safety) Act 2017.

    Also refer to the Australian/New Zealand Wiring Rules called AS/NZS 3000:2018, Electrical Installations, published jointly by Standards Australia and Standards New Zealand.

    Licence types

    Electrical work is Specialist Work.

    There are different types of licences available in NSW depending on whether you want to contract or supervise work.

    A contractor licence allows you to contract and advertise to do work. You can only do the types of work described on your licence card. Contractor licences can be issued to individuals and to companies and partnerships. You can choose to have a contractor licence issued for one or three years.

    A qualified supervisor certificate allows you to supervise and do the work described on your certificate. Qualified supervisor certificates are only issued to individuals. Certificates are issued for three years. A qualified supervisor certificate does not allow you to contract for work.

    An endorsed contractor licence is issued to individuals who apply for a contractor licence and who also have the qualifications and experience needed to be a qualified supervisor. Endorsed contractor licence cards have ‘contractor licence (Q)’ printed on them to show they are equivalent to a Qualified Supervisor Certificate.

    Apply for a licence or certificate

    This information is for individuals. See information for companies and partnerships.

    Once you know what licence type you want, and you have checked you have the right qualifications and experience, you can apply for a licence or certificate.

    How to apply

    You must lodge your application and payment in person at a Service NSW centre.

    What you need

    Forms you will need:

    You will also need:

    • details of any past or current licences or certificates you hold
    • an original copy of your qualification/s, such as your certificate. See Qualifications for more information on what you need to have
    • details of your employment and experience
    • details of any past compliance issues, insolvency matters, or criminal offences (if applicable)
    • one passport size photo
    • proof of identify
    • payment

    The application form and checklist have more information about each of these items.

    You can also ask at your nearest Service NSW centre for these forms.

    Fees

    These fees are for individual licences. See company and partnership licence fees.

    Licence typeLicence fee*Processing feeTotal
    Specialist contractor licence - 1 year $161$151$312
    Specialist contractor licence - 3 years $472$151$623
    Specialist qualified supervisor certificate - 3 years $138$88$226

    *Licence fees are refundable if your application is refused or withdrawn. Processing fees are not refundable.

    Vary your licence or certificate

    The information on this page is for individuals. See information for companies and partnerships.

    Add a category to your licence or certificate

    If you gain more qualifications that allow you to do more types of work, such as other building work, trade work or specialist work, you can apply to add a category to your individual contractor’s licence and/or your qualified supervisor’s certificate.

    How to apply

    You must lodge your application in person at a Service NSW centre.

    What you need

    Forms you will need:

    You will also need:

    • details of past or current licences or certificates you hold
    • an original copy of your qualification/s, such as your certificate. See Qualifications for more information on what you need to have
    • details of your employment and experience
    • details of any past compliance issues, insolvency matters, or criminal offences (if applicable)
    • one passport size photo
    • proof of identify
    • payment

    The application form and checklists have more information about each of these items.

    You can also ask at your nearest Service NSW centre for these forms.

    Fees

    These fees are for individual licences. See company and partnership licence fees.

    Add a building category to:Licence fee*Processing feeTotal
    Building contractor licence -$296$296
    Trade or specialist contractor licence-$296$296
    Building qualified supervisor certificate -$88$88
    Trade or specialist supervisor certificate-$88$88
    Add a trade or specialist category to:Licence fee*Processing feeTotal
    Building contractor licence -$151$151
    Trade or specialist contractor licence-$151$151
    Building qualified supervisor certificate -$88$88
    Trade or specialist qualified supervisor certificate-$88$88
    Tradesperson certificate -$88$88

    *Licence fees are refundable if your application is refused or withdrawn. Processing fees are not refundable.

    Change a condition on your licence

    Your licence or certificate allows you to do and/or supervise the work described on your licence card, subject to any specified conditions. Conditions may be imposed for a number reasons and limit the scope of work you are able to do, or place other requirements on the licence or certificate holder. They may be as a result mutual recognition processes, disciplinary action, bankruptcy, external administration or other factors.

    If circumstances change, and this affects your ability to do the work described on your licence card, you must let us know within seven days. If you wish to have your licence or certificate updated to remove limitations on your category of work, you will need to make an application to vary your licence or certificate. Refer to the 'Add a category to your licence or certificate' section above.

    Qualifications and experience needed

    There are multiple ways to get your electrical licence or certificate. Each pathway is listed and explained below. You need to meet all of the requirements of one pathway only.

    To find organisations that deliver nationally recognised training, go to training.gov.au and search via the course code or name.

    If you are currently an apprentice or trainee, you cannot apply for a licence or certificate. You must apply as soon as you finish your apprenticeship or traineeship to be able to keep doing electrical work.

    If you hold a licence from interstate or New Zealand, and want to work in NSW, see Mutual Recognition.

    If you trained overseas, see Overseas Trained Applicants.

    Pathway A

    Complete Certificate III in Electrotechnology Electrician (UEE30806 or UEE30807 or UEE30811) and have all of the following:

    • A certificate of proficiency as an electrician or an electrical mechanic from the Vocational Training Review Panel of NSW (the VTRP) or its predecessors. The VTRP was formerly the Vocational Training Tribunal (VTT).
    • At least 12 months relevant electrical wiring work experience using knowledge and understanding of the wiring rules AS/NZS 3000:2018. This experience must be in the residential, commercial and/or industrial areas required by our ‘Referee’s Statement Electrical Work’ form.

    We may require the following to verify you are able to do or supervise electrical wiring work:

    • an assessment of your understanding of the current edition of the wiring rules AS/NZS 3000-2018
    • evidence of your employment to confirm any employment periods.

    We will contact you if we need you to do this assessment or give us this additional information.

    Pathway B

    You hold a current licence or certificate as an electrician.

    For example, if you hold a current endorsed contractor licence as an electrician, and you need to apply for a qualified supervisor certificate as an electrician, you can submit your current licence number instead of providing qualifications.

    Pathway C

    You held a licence or certificate as an electrician within five years of lodging your application.

    We may require you to do an assessment on the current edition of the wiring rules AS/NZS 3000-2018 to verify you are able to do or supervise electrical wiring work.

    We will contact you if we need you to do this assessment or give us additional information.

    Pathway D

    You held a licence as an electrician more than five years before lodging your application,

    and

    you have completed the TAFE Digital assessment on the current edition of the wiring rules AS/NZS 3000:2018 (Re-Licensing for Electricians Course 357-27213V02), to verify that you are able to do and supervise electrical wiring work.

    Pathway E

    You have completed one of the following superseded qualifications within five years of lodging your application, including having completed 6077AC Capstone Assessment:

    1. Certificate  III in Electrotechnology (UTE31199)
    2. Certificate III in Electrical Mechanic, Fitter/Mechanic – Trade TAFE course 7793
    3. Electrical Fitter/Mechanic, TAFE Trade course 1001
    4. Electrical Mechanic, Trade course 1020
    5. Electrical Trades TAFE course 1027
    6. Electrical Trade TAFE course 1093
    7. Electrical Trade TAFE course 6029.

    And have all of the following:

    • A certificate of Proficiency as an Electrician, Electrical Mechanic, Electrical Fitter/Mechanic, or Electrical Tradesperson from the Vocational Training Review Panel of NSW (the VTRP) or its predecessors. The VTRP was formerly the Vocational Training Tribunal (VTT)
    • At least 12 months relevant electrical wiring work experience using knowledge and understanding of the wiring rules AS/NZS 3000:2018 in the residential, commercial and/or industrial areas required by our ‘Referee’s Statement Electrical Work’ form
    • Completed the TAFE Digital assessment on the current edition of the wiring rules AS/NZS 3000:2018 (Re-Licensing for Electricians Course 357-27213V02), to verify you are able to do  or supervise electrical wiring work.

    We may require evidence of your employment to confirm any employment periods and to verify that you are able to do or supervise electrical wiring work.

    Pathway F

    You have completed one of the following superseded qualifications that does not meet the requirements of Pathway E:

    1. Certificate III in Electrotechnology (UTE31199)
    2. Certificate III in Electrical Mechanic, Fitter/Mechanic – Trade TAFE course 7793
    3. Electrical Fitter/Mechanic, TAFE Trade course 1001
    4. Electrical Mechanic, Trade course 1020
    5. Electrical Trades TAFE course 1027
    6. Electrical Trade TAFE course 1093
    7. Electrical Trade TAFE course 6029.

    And have all of the following:

    • A certificate of Proficiency as an Electrician, Electrical Mechanic, Electrical Fitter/Mechanic, or Electrical Tradesperson from the Vocational Training Review Panel of NSW (the VTRP)  or its predecessors. The VTRP was formerly the Vocational Training Tribunal (VTT)
    • At least 12 months relevant electrical wiring work experience using knowledge and understanding of the wiring rules AS/NZS 3000:2018 in the residential, commercial and/or industrial areas required by our ‘Referee’s Statement Electrical Work’ form
    • Completed the TAFE Digital assessment on the current edition of the wiring rules AS/NZS 3000:2018 (Re-Licensing for Electricians Course 357-27213V02), to verify you are able to do or supervise electrical wiring work.

    We may require evidence of your employment to confirm any employment periods and to verify that you are able to carry out electrical wiring work.

    Pathway G

    You have completed the superseded qualification Certificate III in Electrical Wiring TAFE course 9968, provided you were enrolled immediately before 3 July 2009 in the course or program relating to that qualification.

    And have all of the following:

    • A Craft  Certificate as an Electrician, Electrical Mechanic Electrical Fitter/Mechanic, or Electrical Tradesperson from the Vocational Training Review Panel of NSW (the VTRP) or its predecessors. The VTRP was formerly the Vocational Training Tribunal (VTT)
    • At least 12 months relevant electrical wiring work experience using knowledge and understanding of the wiring rules AS/NZS 3000:2018 in the residential, commercial and/or industrial areas required by our ‘Referee’s Statement Electrical Work’ form
    • Completed the TAFE Digital assessment on the current edition of the wiring rules AS/NZS 3000:2018 (Re-Licensing for Electricians Course 357-27213V02), to verify you are able to do or supervise electrical wiring work.

    We may require evidence of your employment to confirm any employment periods and to verify that you are able to carry out electrical wiring work.

    Assessing experience

    Where we say “experience” is required, this means experience you have gained as an employee who has been paid in line with an award or enterprise agreement. You can get the experience during or after completing an apprenticeship. You must get referees to verify your experience via the ‘Referee Statement for Electrical work’ form.

    We may require evidence of your employment to confirm the time periods you were employed and to verify you are able to do or supervise the categories of work you are applying for.

    Transitional arrangements

    The qualification pathways listed above came into effect on 1 January 2019.

    If you gained 12 months experience in electrical wiring work before 1 January 2019, we will consider experience you have from using knowledge and understanding of AS/NZS 3000:2018 or AS/NZS 3000:2007 when assessing your application.

    If you enrolled in TAFE’s Re-Licensing for Electricians Course 357-27213V02 before 1 January 2019, we may accept your completion of an assessment on wiring rules AS/NZS 3000:2007. If you enrolled on or after 1 January 2019, your assessment must be on wiring rules AS/NZS 3000:2018.

    Renew or restore a licence or certificate

    This information is for individuals. See information for companies and partnerships.

    We will send you a renewal form in the mail several weeks before your licence or certificate is due to expire.

    How to renew

    You can use the details on the renewal form to renew your licence online at Service NSW. You can also renew in person at your nearest Service NSW centre.

    What you need

    • your licence number
    • renewal form
    • payment
    • additional details form/s (if applicable)
    • details of any past compliance issues, insolvency matters, or criminal offences (if applicable)
    • details of change of any circumstances to the licence or certificate

    If we approve your application, we will post your new licence to you. Read reasons why an application may not be approved.

    If your licence is going to expire soon and you have not gotten your renewal form, contact us on 13 32 20. It is your responsibility to renew your licence on time.

    Renewal fees

    These fees are for individual licences. See company and partnership licence fees.

    A discount of 10 per cent or $5 (whichever is more) applies to the processing fee when you renew your licence online.

    Licence typeLicence fee*Processing feeTotal
    Specialist contractor licence - 1 year $181$51$232
    Specialist contractor licence - 3 years $503$51$554
    Specialist qualified supervisor certificate - 3 years -$51$51

    *Licence fees are refundable if your application is refused or withdrawn. Processing fees are not refundable.

    Late renewals 

    If you do not renew on time and your licence expires, you may have to apply to have your licence restored and pay a restoration fee. You can use the details on your renewal form to apply to restore your licence at a Service NSW centre.

    Restoration fees

    These fees are for individual licences. See company and partnership licence fees.

    Licence typeLicence fee*Processing feeTotal
    Specialist contractor licence - 1 year$234$51$285
    Specialist contractor licence - 3 years$558$51$609
    Specialist qualified supervisor certificate - 3 years-$51$51

    *Licence fees are refundable if your application is refused or withdrawn. Processing fees are not refundable.

    If your licence expires and you do not apply to have it restored within three months, you will have to apply for your licence to be reissued. Follow the steps in ‘Apply for a licence or certificate’. Having your licence reissued takes time and you cannot trade until you have it.

    Our assessment process

    Once we have your completed application form, supporting documents, and fee payment, we will assess your application.

    If your application for a licence is approved, we will send you a licence card.

    Sometimes we do not approve applications. Reasons for this can include:

    • you have not met the qualification or experience requirements
    • you failed to provide details requested by Fair Trading
    • you have been disqualified from holding a licence
    • you owe money to Fair Trading as a result of a judgement
    • you hold a provisional licence or certificate
    • you are an apprentice or trainee
    • you have not complied or are unable to comply with insurance requirements
    • you are bankrupt or were bankrupt within three years before the date of the application
    • you are or were a director or a person concerned in the management of a company:
      • that is or was the subject of a winding up order or
      • for which a controller or administrator has been appointed or
      • when a controller or administrator was appointed (within three years prior to your application for licence). This includes where you stop being a director or a person concerned in the management of a company within 12 months prior to the external administration.
    • you are subject to an unsatisfied tribunal order
    • you have had an unreasonable number of:
      • complaints
      • penalty notices
      • formal cautions
      • paid insurance claims
    • you used false information in your application
    • a close associate (who is not a fit and proper person to hold a licence) has significant influence over you or the operation and management of your business
    • you are considered to be an unfit or improper person to hold a licence or certificate.

    It is an offence to make a false statement or leave out information when applying for a licence. If it is found that your licence has been issued on misleading grounds, you may be prosecuted and your licence may be cancelled.

    If we refuse your application, only part of the fee may be refunded, the rest is to cover processing costs.

    Update your licence details

    This information is for individuals. See information for companies and partnerships.

    If you change your name, address or other contact details, you must let us know within seven days.

    Update your address, phone number or email address

    How to update

    You can update your details online at Service NSW. Your current email address and mobile phone number needs to be registered with Fair Trading to be able to update online.

    You can also update your details in person at a Service NSW centre.

    What you need

    • your licence number
    • your new contact details
    • completed notification of change of address form (only needed by individuals who want to update their details in person at a Service NSW centre rather than online).

    Update your name

    How to update

    You must lodge your application in person at a Service NSW centre.

    What you need

    Replace a licence

    If your licence or certificate has been damaged, lost or stolen, you can order a replacement at a Service NSW centre.

    What to do

    You must lodge your application form and payment in person at a Service NSW centre.

    Fees

    Licence typeLicence fee*Processing feeTotal
    Replacement contractor licence or supervisor certificate-$47$47

    *Licence fees are refundable if your application is refused or withdrawn. Processing fees are not refundable.

    Interstate and New Zealand licences

    Mutual recognition

    Most licences granted in other States and Territories or New Zealand are recognised in NSW. Under this mutual recognition system, a person registered to practise an occupation (such as carpentry) in one state or territory is entitled to practise an equivalent occupation in another state or territory. First, you must notify the local registration authority.

    For a form and explanatory notes for applying for a licence to do residential building work in NSW under mutual recognition, refer to the Applicant’s Checklist for Individual Applicants for Mutual Recognition.

    Automatic Mutual Recognition

    Automatic Mutual Recognition allows individuals who hold some specified licences issued in other Australian States and Territories or New Zealand to work in NSW under that licence. The NSW Mutual Recognition (Automatic Licensed Occupations Recognition) Act and Regulation commenced on 1 December 2014.

    Recognised interstate licensees will not need a NSW licence unless they relocate their primary place of residence to NSW. This is similar to someone with a driver’s licence issued by another state being able to legally drive on NSW roads; only if they move to NSW do they need a NSW driver’s licence. While working in NSW, a recognised interstate licensee is subject to the same laws as NSW licence holders. Fair Trading can take disciplinary and enforcement action against them.

    The provisions that do not require a NSW licence only apply to specific occupations contained in the Regulation - see the tables below.

    Licensees in other occupations must apply under mutual recognition to have their licence recognised by NSW.

    Queensland, Victorian or ACT electricians working in NSW

    If you hold a recognised licence in the following list, you can work under the NSW equivalent licence without applying for a NSW licence.

    Recognised licence issued under law of another jurisdiction

    Local NSW licence that is equivalent to that licence

    Unrestricted electrician’s licence held by an individual person under the Construction Occupations (Licensing) Act 2004 of the Australian Capital Territory

    An endorsed contractor licence under the Home Building Act 1989 authorising a person to do electrical wiring work without supervision

    Unrestricted electrical mechanic licence held by an individual person under the Electricity Safety Act 2002 of Queensland

    A supervisor certificate under the Home Building Act 1989 authorising a person to do electrical wiring work without supervision

    Unrestricted electrical mechanic licence and an electrical contractor licence, both held by the same individual, under the Electricity Safety Act 2002 of Queensland

    An endorsed contractor licence under the Home Building Act 1989 authorising a person to do electrical wiring work without supervision

    An electrician’s licence held by an electrical installation worker under the Electricity Safety Act 1998 of Victoria

    A supervisor certificate under the Home Building Act 1989 authorising a person to do electrical wiring work without supervision

    An electrician’s licence held by an electrical installation worker who is also a registered electrical contractor under the Electricity Safety Act 1998 of Victoria

    An endorsed contractor licence under the Home Building Act 1989 authorising a person to do electrical wiring work without supervision

    While working in NSW, you have to follow the same laws as NSW licence-holders, and NSW Fair Trading can take disciplinary and enforcement action against you.

    Queensland, Victorian or ACT electricians that have moved to NSW

    If you’re an electrician holding a recognised licence and relocate your primary place of residence to NSW, you will need to apply for a NSW licence (using the mutual recognition application form). Go to the interstate and New Zealand licences page for more information.

    NSW electricians working in Queensland

    NSW Electrician licence held

    Equivalent local QLD licence

    A qualified supervisor certificate or an endorsed contractor licence

    Permitted to work in QLD and will be employed as an electrical mechanic (electrician) in QLD.

    Note: to be contractor in Queensland, you need to apply for the Queensland Electrical Contractor Licence under Mutual Recognition. Visit the <WorkCover Queensland website> or call WorkCover Queensland - Electrical Safety on 1300 362 128.

    NSW electricians working in Victoria

    NSW Electrician licence held

    Local VIC requirements

    A qualified supervisor certificate or an endorsed contractor licence

    Permitted to work in VIC after you have notified Energy Safe Victoria to receive access to the online system to lodge a safety compliance certificate when you have completed work (check also any other Victorian requirements to do work).

    Contact Energy Safe Victoria, Licensing and registration on the enquiry line 1800 815 721 (free call) or email licensing@esv.vic.gov.au.

    NSW electricians working in the ACT

    NSW Electrician licence held

    Local ACT requirements

    A qualified supervisor certificate or an endorsed contractor licence

    You will need to apply under Mutual Recognition to have your licence recognised by ACT Environment and Planning Directorate

    Contact the ACT Environment and Planning Directorate on (02) 6207 8096 for more information.

    Insurance requirements

    If you are a licensed builder or tradesperson in NSW, you need to get home building compensation (HBC) cover for each home building project over $20,000 including GST.

    HBC cover, which used to be called ‘home warranty insurance’, protects homeowners as a last resort if you cannot complete building work or fix defects.

    Visit the State Insurance Regulatory Authority's website for more information.

    Insolvency matters

    Current bankruptcy and external administration 

    If you are applying for a licence and are currently bankrupt or the director of a company that is under external administration (other than external administration resulting from a member's voluntary winding up of the body corporate), and if we grant an authority and it is a contractor licence, it may come with the condition: 'Only for contracts up to $20,000'.

    Bankruptcy or external administration within three years

    If you are applying for a licence and have been discharged from bankruptcy or were previously a director of a company in external administration (other than external administration resulting from a member's voluntary winding up of the body corporate), and if we grant you a contractor licence, it may come with conditions.

    Cancelled or suspended building licences

    Your licence or certificate can be cancelled or suspended if you:

    • become involved in unlawful activity
    • get a licence by misrepresentation or fraudulent means
    • become bankrupt or subject to a winding up order

    Also, if the holder of a company or partnership licence goes more than 30 days without an acceptable nominated supervisor, without prior consent from Fair Trading, the licence will be cancelled.

    If your licence is cancelled, we will not refund any of the fees paid.

    Immediate action required

    If your licence or certificate has been cancelled or suspended you must immediately:

    • stop all business activity that relates to the licence or certificate
    • remove any sign or advertisement which indicates the conduct of business activity that relates to the licence or certificate
    • return the licence or certificate to NSW Fair Trading by mail or at a Service NSW centre.

    You should also let your clients know, either verbally or in writing, that your licence has been cancelled or suspended and you are unable to complete any unfinalised work.

    Automatic licence suspension

    Your licence will be automatically suspended if you do not comply with an order by a court or the NSW Civil or Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) to pay money for a building claim. Read more.