When you need a licence or certificate to do swimming pool building work, including eligibility requirements, and how to apply.
On this page
- In NSW, you need a licence or certificate to do any residential building work valued at more than $5000 in labour and materials (including GST).
- There are different types of licences available depending on the work you need to do.
- You must have the right qualifications and experience before you can apply for a licence or certificate.
- You can apply for a 1, 3 or 5 year licence or certificate.
When you need a swimming pool building licence
You must have a licence before you do any residential building work in NSW, including swimming pool building, that is valued at more than $5000 in labour and materials (incl GST).
What is swimming pool building work?
Swimming pool building refers to all work involved in the construction, renovation, alteration, repair, extension, maintenance, decorative or protective treatment of a swimming pool.
It includes all other work directly associated with a swimming pool installation such as landscaping, safety fencing, pool water filtration and heating.
Any other work not directly associated with the correct and safe installation and functioning of a swimming pool is excluded.
Swimming pool building also includes all work referred to in the swimming pool repairs and servicing licence category.
A swimming pool is defined under the Swimming Pools Act 1992 as an excavation, structure or vessel:
- that can be filled with water to a depth greater than 300 millimetres, and
- that is only or mainly used, or that is designed, manufactured or adapted to be only or mainly used, for swimming, wading, paddling or any other human aquatic activity.
It includes a spa pool, but does not include a spa bath or anything in a bathroom.
Any contract for swimming pool building can include any specialist work that needs to be done as part of the overall job, and any specialist work can be appropriately subcontracted.
However, this work must be carried out by the holder of an endorsed contractor licence or qualified supervisor certificate in that specialist category.
To learn more about what is considered swimming pool building work, see the definition in schedule 4 of the Home Building Regulation 2014.
There are different types of licences available in NSW depending on whether you want to contract for another party, supervise work, do the work, or a combination of these roles.
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 apply for a 1, 3 or 5 year licence.
Qualified supervisor certificate
A qualified supervisor certificate allows you to supervise and do the work described on your certificate. Qualified supervisor certificates are only issued to individuals. A qualified supervisor certificate does not allow you to contract for work.
You can apply to have a qualified supervisor certificate issued for 1, 3 or 5 years.
Endorsed contractor licence
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 also equivalent to a qualified supervisor certificate.
To get a licence or certificate to do swimming pool building work, you must complete one of the qualifications listed below.
To find organisations that deliver nationally recognised training, go to training.gov.au and search for 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 working.
If you hold a licence from interstate or New Zealand, and want to work in NSW, see Working interstate and mutual recognition.
If you trained overseas, see Overseas Trained Applicants.
- CPC40820 (current) Certificate IV in Swimming Pool and Spa Building, including the following electives:
- CPCSPS4003 Install swimming pool & spa subsoil drainage, and
- CPCSPS4004 Install swimming pool & spa circulation systems & components, and
- CPCSPS4008 Install above-ground swimming pool, or
- CPCSPS4011 Install precast concrete swimming pools, or
- CPCSPS4006 Apply sprayed concrete to shape and finish swimming pools and spas, or
- CPCSPS4005 Install prefabricated fibreglass swimming pools; and
- CPCCBC4003 Select, prepare and administer a construction contract; and
- BSBOPS304 Deliver and monitor a service to customers; and
- CPCCBC4024 Resolve business disputes.
- CPC40808 Certificate IV In Swimming Pool and Spa Building
- A Licence Skills Assessment formerly conducted by the Building Industry Skills Centre and a minimum of four years acceptable practical experience if you started or completed both the assessment and experience prior to 29 March 2010.
Previous licence or certificate holders
You do not need to show your qualifications if:
- you have ever held an endorsed contractor licence or qualified supervisor certificate in swimming pool building that had no restrictions or conditions. If you apply for a new endorsed contractor licence or qualified supervisor certificate, we will accept your previous licence or certificate in place of the current qualification requirements.
- you have held an endorsed contractor licence or qualified supervisor certificate in the last five years in swimming pool building that had restrictions or conditions (not including the endorsements listed above). We will assess your application and reissue you a licence or certificate that reflects the scope of work that your licence or certificate covered. This may include some conditions or restrictions.
If your application is approved, you will be issued the same licence or qualified supervisor number you had before.
Apply for a licence or certificate
This information is for individual applications. See information for company and partnership licences.
Once you know what type of licence you want, and you have checked you have the right qualifications, you can apply for a licence or certificate.
Note: if you’re an apprentice or trainee, you can’t apply for a licence or certificate.
What you need
Before you begin your application make sure you have:
- an application form - individual
- an application checklist - individual
- additional details form/s as indicated on your application form (if applicable)
You can also ask for these forms at your nearest Service NSW centre.
You will also need:
- proof of identity (such as driver’s licence or passport)
- an original copy of your qualifications
- details of any licence or certificate you currently hold (or previously held)
- details of your employment and experience
- details of any past compliance issues, insolvency matters, or criminal offences (if applicable)
- certificate of eligibility to obtain insurance (if applicable)
- one passport sized photo
- payment for the fee.
How to apply
Licence applications are lodged with Service NSW. If needed, you can book an appointment online to complete your application at a Service NSW centre.
This is for new applicants only. Find out how to renew your licence below.
Your application will be reviewed and assessed to check it meets eligibility requirements.
We might contact you (by email or SMS) if we need more information.
Note: If we need to request additional information, the processing time will increase, so it’s important that you submit all the required information and documents with your original application.
If your application is successful, we will contact you via SMS and send you a licence card in the post. Your approved licence details will be added to the public register.
If your application is unsuccessful, you’ll be advised of the reasons in writing and be provided with your options. For more information about the internal review process see Reviews of Fair Trading decisions.
Detailed information about application reviews and current processing timeframes can be found on Our assessment process page.
Renew or restore a licence
You need to renew your licence or certificate before it expires.
If your licence or certificate isn't renewed by the due date it will expire, and you will no longer be authorised to work in NSW.
We will send you a renewal form several weeks before the expiry date with details on how to renew. We may also send you an SMS reminder.
If your licence is going to expire soon and you have not received your renewal form, contact us on 13 32 20. It is your responsibility to renew your licence on time.
If eligible, you can renew your licence or certificate online.
You're not able to renew online if you need to make changes to your licence other than your contact details and address.
You can also renew in person at your nearest Service NSW centre.
If we approve your application, we will post your new licence to you. Read about reasons why an application may not be approved.
Restoring your licence after expiry
If your licence or certificate expired less than three months ago, you can restore it for a fee at a Service NSW Centre.
You can use the details on your renewal form to apply to restore your licence or certificate.
If your licence is renewed or restored, you’ll keep your existing licence number. In this instance, your licence is considered to have been renewed from the day the licence expired.
If your licence has been expired for more than 3 months, restoration may not be an option and you will need to reapply. You cannot trade until your new licence is issued.
To check the status of your licence, you can search the public register .
Replace your licence
If your licence or certificate has been damaged, lost or stolen, you can apply for a replacement at a Service NSW Centre.
To replace your licence you will need:
- an Application for duplicate licence, certificate or permit form
- your personal details and certificate number
- payment for the fee.
Change the details on a licence
As a licence holder, it is your responsibility to tell us within 7 days if your name, address or other details change.
Change of address and contact details
If you hold a current licence or certificate and your address or contact details have changed, you can update them online, as long as your current email address or mobile phone number is recorded with NSW Fair Trading.
Note: Only your address and contact details can be changed online.
Update your name
If you want to change your name, you'll need to visit a Service NSW Centre with:
- an original copy of the name change document, such as a marriage certificate, and
- a completed change of name and use of other names or aliases form.
Change of licence class
If you gain further qualifications that allow you to work in additional classes, you can add or change a class on your contractor licence or qualified supervisor certificate at a Service NSW Centre.
Before you begin your application, make sure you have:
- an Application Form - Individual
- a relevant Checklist for Individuals (if applicable)
- the Additional Details Form/s as indicated on the application form (if applicable)
- proof of identity
- one passport size photograph
- documentation that validates the change of class
- your referee's statement (if applicable)
- a certificate of eligibility to obtain insurance (if applicable)
- payment for the fee.
Change the conditions on a licence
Your licence or certificate allows you to do and/or supervise the work described on your licence card, subject to any specified conditions.
These conditions may be imposed for a number of reasons to 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 your circumstances change (such as your qualifications), and this affects the conditions under which your licence or certificate has been issued, you must let us know within 7 days and you'll need to amend your details. You can do this at a Service NSW Centre.
Before you begin your application, make sure you have:
Working interstate and mutual recognition
There are different ways that make it easier for many licensed or registered professionals to work interstate.
If you trained overseas see Overseas Trained Applicants. Qualifications from overseas are not approved for licensing in NSW.
Automatic mutual recognition
Automatic Mutual Recognition (AMR) allows individuals who hold some specified licences issued in other Australian States and Territories to work in NSW under that licence without the need for a local licence or paying additional fees (please note: Queensland is not a participating state).
The AMR scheme does not apply to New Zealand occupational registrations and licences. However, existing processes under the Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition Arrangements continue to apply.
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 must follow the same laws as NSW licence holders. Fair Trading can take disciplinary and enforcement action if these obligations are not met.
Swimming pool building work is included in the AMR scheme. If you hold an eligible interstate licence, you are required to notify NSW Fair Trading of your intention to work in NSW .
If not eligible, other licence holders may still be able to apply under mutual recognition to have their licence recognised in NSW.
Mutual Recognition (MR) arrangements enable a licensed tradesperson or registered professional to work in another state or territory by having their qualifications recognised in NSW and vice versa.
Under MR you can practise an equivalent occupation in NSW if the activities you're authorised to carry out under your original licence are substantially the same as those under the occupational licence in NSW.
To apply for recognition of your existing licence, you need to:
Applications, payment and supporting documents must be lodged at a Service NSW Centre.
For more information see Working interstate and in New Zealand.
Builders continuing professional development (CPD)
If you are an individual who holds a building or pool building licence or certificate, you are required to complete continuing professional development (CPD) each year as a condition of your licence renewal.
You must keep a diary record of your CPD participation, including documentary proof where possible. You are not required to send these records to Fair Trading, however, you must be able to prove that you complied with CPD requirements, or face the possibility of losing your licence.
Details of the current CPD program are explained on our Commissioners guidelines for continuing professional development page, or the information booklet CPD Keeping you up to date .
Subscribe to Foundations, the e-newsletter for the home building industry, for news and information on CPD, legislative reform and other topics to help you keep up-to-date.
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 website for more information.
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), a contractor’s licence may be granted with the condition 'contracts not to exceed $20,000 in value'.
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 the condition:
- contracts not to exceed $20,000 in value, or
- contracts not to exceed $20,000 in value, except for subcontract to licensed contractor.
Cancelled or suspended 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 unfinished 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 about automatic licence suspension.
Need help applying?
If you need help with your application or have a question, please call 13 32 20.
If your application is unsuccessful, you can ask for a review.
A review involves another officer from Fair Trading, who was not involved in the original decision, reviewing the decision on your application.
For more information about the process see reviews of Fair Trading decisions.