Electrical Contractors Licensing in Australia

For any person wishing to carry out work as an electric contractor within the jurisdiction of Australia, it is mandatory to obtain the appropriate license for the work. Each of the states and territories within the country have their peculiar systems of licensing. Hence, it is appropriate to contact the respective regulators for the correct license. Thus, for persons in possession of electrical work licenses from other countries other than Australia and New Zealand will be required to make an application for a new one prior to commencing their work. However, for holders of licenses that have been issued by any Australian state, territory or from New Zealand, they are simply to apply for licenses from other states based on mutual recognition.

The case of electrical contractors with international licenses demands that they undergo a skills assessment for the Australian bodies to process their applications. Trade Recognition Australia (TRA) is the body tasked with skills assessment within Australia. It offers programs geared towards skills assessment and the facilitation of skills recognition for contractors and other tradesmen seeking to immigrate into Australia. However, the different regulators may demand for additional information or in some cases require the applicant to undergo further electrical training. Hence, it is the regulators of the work jurisdictions who may provide detailed information on what may be required.

As mentioned, electrical regulatory duties are the responsibility of the various states and territory governments. As such it may at times become difficult for electrical contractors to work across jurisdictions without a harmonized entity to facilitate the process. In this regard, there is need for some liaison among all the states and territories including New Zealand for the proper coordination of their responsibilities. Consequently, the Electrical Regulatory Authorities Council is the body established to coordinate the various regulatory policies, reforms and strategies. It is this body that provides, at the national level, a single portal of regulator contact. However, it does not wield any executive power but it is the authoritative body for the diverse electrical regulators.

In applying for an electrical contractor’s license, there are certain requirements that must be met and documents produced across various states and territories. The requirements may vary from one state to another, but having a liability insurance is an overarching requirement in all the states. Moreover, there is also the requirement of a qualified technical person capable of supervising work. Actually in some states such as Western Australia, the contractor must sit for the four module the Electrical Contractor Training Program (ECTP)

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