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Compliance information for kitchen and bathroom businesses

In ACT, in general terms, you must be licensed to complete work that requires building approval. The type of licence you will need to have depends on the type of work that you intend to carry out. It’s important that you know what licence you need and that you do not do work outside the scope of that licence. All licence classes have different experience and qualification requirements as a condition of that licence.

What licence do I need?

There are four classes of builders in the ACT and these licence categories are explained below.

Class A

Building work other than specialist building work or handling asbestos.

Class B

In general terms this licence authorises:

  • building work (other than specialist building work or handling asbestos) in relation to a building that is three storeys or lower
  • basic building work.

Class C

In general terms this licence authorises:

  • building work (other than specialist building work or handling asbestos) in relation to a building that is two storeys or lower and is a Class 1, Class 2 or Class 10a building
  • building work (other than specialist building work or handling asbestos) in relation to a building that is a Class 10b structure (other than a swimming pool or swimming pool fence) and is ancillary to a building mentioned in paragraph (a)
  • basic building work

Class D

In general terms this licence authorises non-structural basic building work specified by the licence, other than specialist building work or handling asbestos.

Other frequently asked questions

What if I want to get an equivalent licence in another state or territory?

Mutual recognition is available for some licensees from other states or territories.

Do I need to have a written contract?

Although building contracts in the ACT are not regulated, HIA strongly recommends that you have written contracts as evidence of your agreement.

HIA has contracts available that are specific to kitchen, bathroom and laundry installation.

What rules apply to advertising?

When a licensed corporation, partnership or individual advertises their construction service, they need to include in the advertisement their name as recorded on their licence, their licence number and, for a corporation, its ABN or ACN number.

Do I need to register a business name if I want to trade under another name?

If you are an individual, you need to register a business if you trade under a name that isn’t your own.

If your business is a registered company, you need to register your business name if it is different from your registered company name. To register your business name, go to the business names tab on the ASIC website. [LINK TO: http://www.asic.gov.au/asic/asic.nsf]

What warranty insurance do I need?

If you are undertaking residential building work valued at $12,000 or more the law requires that you take out a  Home Warranty Insurance (HWI) policy or obtain a fidelity certificate from an approved fidelity fund scheme before starting the work.

You must insure ‘residential building work’ (that is, building work in relation to a residential building – a building intended mainly for private residential use, or a part of such a building) if:

  • the building has no more than three storeys at any point, excluding any storey used exclusively for parking, or
  • for a part of a building – the part provides structural support or forms an integral part of the building. 

Do I need to undertake Construction Induction Training? 

Yes, possession of a Construction Induction card (a White Card) is mandatory for work on a construction site in the ACT. 

What if I am going to be handling asbestos? 

You must be licensed to remove asbestos over 10m2. There are two classes of asbestos removalists: 

  • asbestos removalists Class A – licensees can handle (include disturbing) asbestos in buildings, and remove and dispose of asbestos from buildings, and 
  • asbestos removalists Class B – licensees can handle (include disturbing) only bonded asbestos in buildings, and remove and dispose of only bonded asbestos from buildings. 

Bonded asbestos is asbestos in a form where the asbestos fibres are held within another material (for example, cement) but does not include friable asbestos. 

Friable asbestos is asbestos, whether or not contained in other material that is crumbly, dusty or powdery, or when dry can be crumbled, pulverised or reduced to powder by hand pressure. Examples of friable asbestos are sprayed asbestos coating or insulation, asbestos lagging, loose asbestos and in its raw form. 

Building work that involves handling asbestos is exempt building work if: 

  • the asbestos is bonded asbestos, and not more than 10m2 of asbestos is handled during the building work and each person who handles the asbestos :
  • works in a prescribed occupation, and 
  • has a relevant asbestos qualification, and 
  • the asbestos is handled by each person who handles it in the course of the person’s occupation. 

To find out more, contact HIA's Contracts and Compliance team

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