Licensing reforms | Queensland Building Plan

Consultation has concluded


Goal: To simplify licence classes and modernise the approach to licensing

Under the Queensland Building and Construction Commission Act 1991 (QBCCAct) and the Plumbing and Drainage Act 2002 (PDA), the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) may issue occupational and contractor licences.

There are currently four grades of licences and in excess of 88 licence classes, resulting in more than 200 types of licences that can be issued by the QBCC.

A contractor licence permits the licence holder to contract, or advertise to carry out, and to perform building work under the QBCC Act. However, if the scope of work for the licence includes work that requires an occupational licence to perform the work, the contractor is not authorised to perform the work without the relevant occupational licence. An occupational licence permits the holder to physically perform and supervise the work for which they are licensed, without being able to contract, or advertise to carry out building work. Currently, occupational licence classes only exist for plumbing and drainage work, fire protection work, gas fitting and termite management (chemical) work.

On 30 November 2012, the Transport, Housing and Local Government Committee’s Report No. 14 – Inquiry into the Operation and Performance of the Queensland Building Services (QBSA) 2012 – was tabled in Queensland Parliament. The Committee recommended an independent review of all existing licences to test for fitness for purpose, eligibility requirements, costs and benefits.

Since this time other issues have arisen in relation to the QBCC licensing. These include whether to regulate medical gas, or whether to create a mechanical services licence class. Also the Service Trades Council was established in mid-2016 and it needs to be determined whether its functions should be increased.

Targeted consultation with the major stakeholder groups took place in late 2015 and throughout 2016. The industry supports the review and is keen to see it progress.

Participants involved in consultation on Security of Payments raised the matter of continuing professional development. They were interested in assisting to design a program that expands the knowledge and skills of industry tradespeople. Feedback is invited from industry on suitable content for the introduction of continuing professional development during this consultation phase.

In late February 2017, follow up technical ‘deep dive’ sessions will be held to explore content for the continuing professional development program with industry representatives. Industry stakeholders have also questioned whether, in addition to the specific proposals mentioned in this discussion paper, a full review of the licensing system is required.


Proposals

Following industry consultation, the department is investigating improvements to simplify QBCC licences, modernise the present licensing framework, increase mobility of services across jurisdiction and cut costs for licensees and consumers.

A number of areas of the licensing framework could be reviewed such as:


  • the functions of the Service Trades Council and if these should be expanded to include allied trades, such as fire protection and mechanical services
  • increasing the monetary threshold for when a licence is required
  • increasing the monetary threshold for the Queensland Home Warranty Scheme
  • whether Type A gas work licensing functions should be transferred to the QBCC
  • whether a mechanical services licence should be introduced
  • the regulation of the supply of medical gas
  • licensing of energy assessors
  • licensing of plumbing and drainage apprentices
  • whether the provisional plumbing licence should be removed
  • consolidating the functions and powers of the QBCC
  • streamlining existing licensing and technical requirements to reflect modern industry practice
  • mobility of trade services through Automatic Mutual Recognition
  • designs for the introduction of a continuing professional development scheme.



Goal: To simplify licence classes and modernise the approach to licensing

Under the Queensland Building and Construction Commission Act 1991 (QBCCAct) and the Plumbing and Drainage Act 2002 (PDA), the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) may issue occupational and contractor licences.

There are currently four grades of licences and in excess of 88 licence classes, resulting in more than 200 types of licences that can be issued by the QBCC.

A contractor licence permits the licence holder to contract, or advertise to carry out, and to perform building work under the QBCC Act. However, if the scope of work for the licence includes work that requires an occupational licence to perform the work, the contractor is not authorised to perform the work without the relevant occupational licence. An occupational licence permits the holder to physically perform and supervise the work for which they are licensed, without being able to contract, or advertise to carry out building work. Currently, occupational licence classes only exist for plumbing and drainage work, fire protection work, gas fitting and termite management (chemical) work.

On 30 November 2012, the Transport, Housing and Local Government Committee’s Report No. 14 – Inquiry into the Operation and Performance of the Queensland Building Services (QBSA) 2012 – was tabled in Queensland Parliament. The Committee recommended an independent review of all existing licences to test for fitness for purpose, eligibility requirements, costs and benefits.

Since this time other issues have arisen in relation to the QBCC licensing. These include whether to regulate medical gas, or whether to create a mechanical services licence class. Also the Service Trades Council was established in mid-2016 and it needs to be determined whether its functions should be increased.

Targeted consultation with the major stakeholder groups took place in late 2015 and throughout 2016. The industry supports the review and is keen to see it progress.

Participants involved in consultation on Security of Payments raised the matter of continuing professional development. They were interested in assisting to design a program that expands the knowledge and skills of industry tradespeople. Feedback is invited from industry on suitable content for the introduction of continuing professional development during this consultation phase.

In late February 2017, follow up technical ‘deep dive’ sessions will be held to explore content for the continuing professional development program with industry representatives. Industry stakeholders have also questioned whether, in addition to the specific proposals mentioned in this discussion paper, a full review of the licensing system is required.


Proposals

Following industry consultation, the department is investigating improvements to simplify QBCC licences, modernise the present licensing framework, increase mobility of services across jurisdiction and cut costs for licensees and consumers.

A number of areas of the licensing framework could be reviewed such as:


  • the functions of the Service Trades Council and if these should be expanded to include allied trades, such as fire protection and mechanical services
  • increasing the monetary threshold for when a licence is required
  • increasing the monetary threshold for the Queensland Home Warranty Scheme
  • whether Type A gas work licensing functions should be transferred to the QBCC
  • whether a mechanical services licence should be introduced
  • the regulation of the supply of medical gas
  • licensing of energy assessors
  • licensing of plumbing and drainage apprentices
  • whether the provisional plumbing licence should be removed
  • consolidating the functions and powers of the QBCC
  • streamlining existing licensing and technical requirements to reflect modern industry practice
  • mobility of trade services through Automatic Mutual Recognition
  • designs for the introduction of a continuing professional development scheme.