Can electrical work be done without an electrical licence?
No, unless exempted.
Under the Electricity (Licensing) Regulations 1991, electrical work in Western Australia may only be carried out by persons with the appropriate electrical worker's licence (as issued by the Electrical Licensing Board) unless it is a type of work that is exempted by regulation.
What is involved in obtaining an electrical licence?
Only those who meet competency standards are licensed. EnergySafety and the Electrical Licensing Board have established Essential Performance Capabilities Required for Licensed Electricians, a set of 66 competencies as safety outcomes for licensing purposes. This is a nationally consistent set as agreed by the National Uniform Electrical Licensing Council.
Licences may be obtained for those trained:
- in Western Australia
- in other Australian jurisdictions
- in New Zealand
Further information about electrical licensing and mutual recognition is provided by EnergySafety in the Department of Commerce.
What types of electrical licences are issued?
In Western Australia, licences are issued for the following types of work:
- electrical contracting work - to electrical contractors
- electrical installing work - to electricians. Electricians are licensed for up to 5 years
- electrical training - to apprentices and trainees. An apprentice or trainee electrician will have a licence card issued for the period of the apprenticeship or traineeship. Training organisations and employers should ask to see the licence card to confirm that the apprentice or trainee is appropriately licensed to perform electrical work
- restricted electrical work - to restricted electrical workers. Restricted electrical licences (RELs) are issued to persons other than electricians to legally carry out a restricted range of electrical tasks. The holder of a restricted electrical worker's licence is not permitted to carry out the installation of or alteration to fixed wiring, nor to repair or replace items such as power points and lighting fittings.
How is electrical work handled?
Electrical installing work must be carried out by a licensed electrical contractor who, in turn, must employ licensed electricians.
The holder of an electrical contractor's licence must visibly display the licence number (preceded by ‘EC’) on all advertising for that electrical contracting business. This includes business cards, work vehicles and any advertisements. Electrical contractors are not issued with a plastic licence card but are issued with a certificate of registration. The certificate of registration must be visibly displayed at the principal place of business.
Electricians hold an electrician’s licence. If unrestricted, it allows them to carry out electrical installing and electrical fitting work. However, the licence may be endorsed ‘Electrical fitting work only’, which means the holder may only carry out electrical fitting work.