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Mandatory Trades Registration and Licensing

 

Updated October 2020

Due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the commencement date of the new mandatory trades registration and licensing scheme has been delayed until the start of 2022.

A Regulatory Impact Statement and draft Regulations are now expected to be released in the first quarter of 2021 for public consultation.

Master Builders Victoria (MBV) welcomes the postponement as we have advocated for a delay in its introduction in our submission and consultations with the government in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and the pressures it is placing on building practitioners.

Members can access our response to the Victorian government’s Options paper for Registration and Licensing of Carpenters here in which we noted our longstanding support for a mandatory trade registration system that is simple, effective and practical to ensure the quality of construction work conducted. However, minimising duplication, administrative burden, and business disruption is key for its success. 

While there has been a postponement, we nevertheless encourage members to prepare in advance for it. Under the proposed trades registration and licensing scheme in which carpentry will be the first trade to be considered for it, it means:

  • A carpenter will need to be registered if they run their own business and subcontract to builders or clients
  • A carpenter will need to be licensed if they are an employee.

This is relevant to everyone that either carries out carpentry work themselves or has carpenter subcontractors or employees. 

Different options are being considered, including separate or combined registration/licensing for domestic and commercial works, and registration options that enable subcontracting only, or also working directly for owners. 

If you have any questions about the above information, please feel to contact Master Builders Victoria on (03) 9511 4555 or registration@mbav.com.au.

Trades Registration and Licensing overview

If you work as a tradesperson or employ a tradesperson in the building industry, this change will have a major impact on your future. To help you better understand how the change may affect you, we have provided answers to our most commonly asked questions.

What is mandatory trade registration and licensing?

Mandatory trade registration and licensing is the introduction of

  • registration for tradespeople who run a business and subcontract to builders, and
  • licensing for people who are employees of builders.

This change will bring Victorian builders into a similar structure to electricians and plumbers.

The first trade that is becoming mandatory is Carpentry.

This is intended to be introduced as of 2022.

The government has not provided us with a clear indication of how mandatory trade registration and licensing is going to be introduced. We are hoping to have a clearer understanding by June 2021 and we will keep members informed along the way.

What is the difference between registration and licensing?

In Victoria we currently only have builder registration.
Registration is currently needed if a tradesperson (most trades) or builder, carries out work that is worth more than $10,000, including materials and labour, directly for a client.
People interchange the term, but the correct term for what we have currently is registration. This is about to change, as in early 2022 mandatory trade registration and licensing is being introduced.

A registration will be needed for someone who runs a business, whereas a license will be needed for an employee.


Will trade registration be different from the current registration?

Existing registration for trades working direct for clients will remain.  This is currently known as Domestic Builder registration – Limited to Carpentry (DB-L C).
The introduction of trade registration will be a subcontractor registration, needed when a subcontractor works direct for a builder.
So to summarise:

Already existing now

When is this needed?

Domestic Builder registration – Limited to Carpentry (DB-L C): 

Where a carpenter carries out work that is worth more than $10,000, including materials and labour, directly for a client.

(A carpenter can also subcontract to builders with this registration).

Coming in 2022

 

Trade registration-Carpenter

Where a carpenter runs their own business and subcontracts to builders

Employee licensing

Where a carpenter is an employee (details about this are still unclear).

 What can I do now to prepare myself for the future?

Master Builders Victoria is currently of the understanding that the Domestic Builder registration – limited to Carpentry (DB-L C) registration will sit above the new trade registration and licensing. This is very likely to be the case, but the government has not yet 100% confirmed this.
A DB-L C will be able to work for a client and a builder.
It is our recommendation that carpenters start the process now of gaining their DB-L C.

 

Is there a course that Master Builders Victoria recommends I complete before applying?

Master Builders has created a short course that meets the current prescribed qualification for the DB-L C category, this short course is ‘Trade Registration (domestic)’.
It is a 5-day course and focuses on contracts, permits and estimating, which are the key areas of knowledge needed for trade registration.
To find out more on this course, please click here.


I already hold my DB-U and I am a qualified carpenter; do I need to apply for a trade registration or license?

The advice MBV has received from the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP),  is that if you already hold a DB-U or DB-L Carpentry you will not need to apply for a carpentry trade registration or license, as your DB-U allows you to carry out carpentry work within Victoria.

 

Is it just the carpentry trade that is going to be affected or will all trades need to be registered or licensed?

The Building Amendment (Registration of Building Trades and Other Matters) Act 2018 (Vic) lists all prescribed trades that will be affected. This list has not been finalised yet.  On the Victorian government’s Engage website, a list of proposed trades is shown. The list includes but is not limited to carpentry, bricklaying and block laying, waterproofing, concreters and landscaping. Click here to find the proposed list here.

 
Will registered trades need to issue a compliance certificate like plumbers and electricians?

We get asked this question a lot, but until the Regulatory Impact Statement and draft Regulations are released, we won’t know for sure.

Our members have told us the they believe compliance certificates would be an important feature when introducing mandatory trade registration and licensing. We have passed the importance of compliance certifications to DELWP.


How much will it cost to apply and hold a trade registration or license?

Master Builders Victoria has stressed to DEWLP the importance of keeping the fees at a minimum. We strongly believe minimising administrative and financial burden is key for the success of this scheme.

We believe the cost of the trade registration or license is likely to sit with the individual, in a similar way to a driver’s license. Although a driver’s license is needed in order to drive, the responsibility is on the individual to maintain the currency of, and pay for, their license.

 

Can I get in early and apply for my trade registration or license now?

Applications for the subcontractor trade registration and license will not be available until 2022.

Master Builders Victoria is currently of the understanding that the Domestic Builder registration – limited to Carpentry (DB-L C) registration will sit above the new trade registration and licensing. This is very likely to be the case, but the government has not yet 100% confirmed this.

A DB-L C will be able to work for a client and a builder.  It is our recommendation that carpenters start the process now of gaining their DB-L C.

 

If you have any questions about the above information, please feel to contact Master Builders Victoria on (03) 9511 4555 or registration@mbav.com.au.

 

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