Skip to main content

Registration and licensing of trades

August 12, 2019

After many years, the Victorian government has passed legislation around registration of trades.

If you work as a tradesperson in the building industry, this change is likely to have a major impact on your future. This is what we know so far about this change.

Who will be affected?

The Government has suggested in parliamentary debate that carpenters, bricklayers, water-proofers, plasterers, and footing and slab workers will be subject to the new requirements. It could be as soon as September 2020, but the introduction of the proposed registration and licensing schemes may, however, be staggered over a number of years with a phase in time expected together with provisional registration and licensing arrangements.

What is the difference between registration and licensing?

A trade who is registered may work as a contractor or employee. A trade who holds a licence only, can only work on a building site as an employee. A licensed trade cannot be a contractor.

How do I get registered?

Unless changes are made to the legislation passed by Parliament last year, to be a registered trade you will need registration by the Victorian Building Authority (VBA) as a domestic builder – most likely a form of domestic builder – limited (DB-L) registration. As such you will need to hold domestic building insurance eligibility with the Victorian Managed Insurance Authority (VMIA) and therefore be eligible to work for both builders and home owners.

What can I do to get a licence?

The Government has not indicated these requirements yet. But it is likely that you will require a trade qualification, such as a Certificate III or completion of an apprenticeship, and satisfy some personal probity tests. This is to be advised.

What if I’m working as one of the trades listed but don’t get registered or licensed?

You will not be able to undertake building work in Victoria. It will be an offence for a trade to work on a site and not be registered or licensed. It will also be an offence for the owner or builder to have anyone in these trades working on the site without being registered or licensed, or in the process of gaining a trade qualification such as an apprentice.

You should start considering the impact of this new legislation on you and your business.

If your trade is one of the potentially selected trades you will need to carefully consider whether you want to work as a contractor or an employee. If you wish to continue working as a contractor in one of the potentially selected trades, you could investigate the option of obtaining of obtaining domestic building registration (DB-L). This can be done now and it is recommended that if possible, you apply sooner rather than later as the VBA may have a lot of applications to process next year and historically has not been quick to process applications for registration.

HIA assistance

HIA members can call on 03 9280 8200 to speak to a workplace services adviser.

HIA is also offering a course that will give you the business management qualifications to help you apply for a domestic building registration (DB-L). HIA also offers mentoring for domestic building registration applicants.