Find answers to common questions
Learn the VBA's response to common questions about applying for a plumbing registration or licence in Victoria.
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1. How much does it cost to lodge my application for a plumbing registration or licence?
From 1 July 2016 to 30 June 2017, the application fee is $53.53. You pay the fee when you lodge your application.
2. How much does a registration / licence cost once my application is accepted?
From 1 July 2016 to 30 June 2017, the registration fee (and the fee for renewing registration) is $336.09. You may be charged additional fees if you are registered in a specialised class of plumbing work.
From 1 July 2016 to 30 June 2017, the licence fee (and the fee for renewing a licence) is $297.90. You may be charged additional fees if you are licensed in a specialised class of plumbing work.
If you apply to renew your licence or registration after the expiry date, you will be charged a late fee. From 1 July 2016 to 30 June 2017, the late fee is $73.74.
3. How much does it cost to sit the VBA registration exam?
From 1 July 2016 to 30 June 2017, the registration exam fee for non-apprentice applicants is $163.24. You are required to pay the fee before you do the exam.
From 1 July 2016 to 30 June 2017, the licence exam fee is $59.52. You are required to pay the fee before you do the exam.
For both the registration and licence exams, the VBA will let you know if you are eligible to attempt the exam. If you are eligible, the VBA will contact you to arrange payment of the exam fee.
Applying for registration or a licence
1. What do I do if I have questions about a section of the Application Form?
Please speak with the VBA. Call 1300 815 127.
2. If I apply for registration in a class or specialised class of plumbing work, will the VBA account for my experience in other trades?
Your experience must relate to the class or specialised class of plumbing work in which you seek registration. On your Application Form, note only your relevant plumbing industry experience.
3. How do I certify a document?
Every supporting document that you submit with your application must be certified as a true copy of an original.
A certified copy means a document that has been certified as a true copy of an original by a person listed in schedule 2 of the Statutory Declarations Regulations 1993 (Cwlth). In your Application Form, attachment A lists the people who can certify a document for you.
4. What do I do if I can't get in touch with a former employer / supervisor to ask for a Technical Referee Report?
Contact the VBA 1300 815 127, which may be able to help you locate your past employer / supervisor.
5. Do I need to provide proof of my insurance with my application to be licensed in a class or specialised class of plumbing work?
No. If you are not already licensed in a class or specialised class of plumbing work, then you will not need to provide proof that you are covered by the required insurance at the time that you lodge your application.
But, if the VBA decides to grant your application, then you will need to provide proof of your insurance. The VBA will contact you to ask for this proof.
If you are already licensed in a class or specialised class of plumbing work, and you are applying to be licensed in another class, the VBA will not require further insurance evidence before adding the additional class to your licence – unless the additional class is Type B Gasfitting.
Insurance requirements for Type B Gasfitting are contained in a different ministerial order. So, if you are applying for registration in an additional class that is Type B Gasfitting, your insurance certificate of currency will need to be adjusted to cover both ministerial orders.
The VBA recommends that you advise your insurer to make sure that you have met your disclosure obligations.
6. Can I ask for the VBA to return my application information to me after a decision is made?
Any information that we receive in your application becomes the property of the VBA. So please send us only (certified) copies of your documents. Do not send the originals.
7. When do I need a Private Plumbing Work Licence?
To be eligible to hold a Private Plumbing Work Licence:
- you must be licensed in at least one main or specialised class of plumbing work, AND
- you must be covered by insurance that indemnifies you for specific liabilities.
If you meet these two requirements, and you want to perform plumbing work only in your own home or that of a family member, then the VBA may grant you a Private Plumbing Work Licence.
Private plumbing work means plumbing work:
- to which s221ZH of the Building Act 1993 applies, AND
- for which no monetary fee or other consideration is charged or received by the plumber or on the plumber's behalf, AND
- that is performed on or in relation to a family home, AND
- that is one of not more than six plumbing works performed by the plumber in a 12 month period.
Family home means:
- a home in which the plumber has a proprietary interest and in which the plumber resides as his or her permanent residence, OR
- a home in which a member of the plumber's family has a proprietary interest, and in which that family member resides as his or her permanent residence.
A member of the plumber's family means a parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, sibling, cousin, niece or nephew of the plumber, OR a parent or sibling of the plumber's spouse.
If you hold a Private Plumbing Work Licence, the VBA will charge you a lower annual renewal fee and will sell you compliance certificates at a reduced price. Only a limited number of compliance certificates are available for purchase each year.
Renewing your registration or licence
1. I did not receive the VBA letter advising that I had to renew my registration / licence. Why do I have to pay a late fee?
The plumbing practitioner is ultimately responsible for renewing their registration / licence before it expires. For this reason, the VBA does not waive the late fee when a practitioner does not receive the renewal letter.
The plumbing practitioner is also responsible for advising the VBA of any changes to their address.
2. If I did not receive my renewal letter, or forgot to renew my registration / licence, can I avoid the expiry of my registration / licence?
No. To renew your licence or registration, you must submit an application to renew your licence or registration form, and pay the appropriate renewal fee. If you are renewing a licence, you will also need to provide proof that you are covered by the required insurance.
3. My registration / licence was expired but now I have renewed it. Can you backdate my renewal period to the anniversary date?
No. Your registration or licence cannot be backdated. Under the Building Act 1996, a plumber is not deemed to be registered or licensed if their registration or licence is expired, and they cannot undertake any plumbing work in this period.
4. My registration or licence has been cancelled, how do I apply to be registered or licensed again?
If your registration or licence has been cancelled, complete the Reinstatement of Accreditation form and send it to the VBA by mail or email.
- Reinstatement of Accreditation form (PDF, 422.87 KB)
5. How do I change my registration or licence type?
To change your registration of licence type, complete the Change of Accreditation Form and send it to the VBA by mail or email.
- Change of Accreditation Form (PDF, 418.7 KB)
6. I didn't receive a renewal letter in the mail, how do I renew my registration or licence?
If you did not receive a renewal letter in the mail you can renew online through eToolbox. If you need to renew urgently, complete the Renewal of Accreditation form.
- Renewal of Accreditation Form (PDF, 163.71 KB)
Undergoing a police check
1. What is a National Police Check (NPC)?
An NPC is a written report of a person's criminal history.
2. Do I have to agree to the conduct of an NPC?
Yes. Your authorisation for the VBA to conduct a police record check is an application requirement under the Building Act 1996. The National Police Checking Service Informed Consent Form gives the VBA permission to conduct and receive a police check on your behalf.
3. How do I authorise the conduct of an NPC?
You authorise the conduct of an NPC when you apply to the VBA to be registered or licensed in a class or specialised class of plumbing work, and by completing and submitting the National Policy Checking Service Informed Consent Form with your application.
For a copy of the National Police Checking Service Informed Consent Form, please see part K in the Plumbing Registration Application Form. As the registration applicant, you must sign and date the form.
4. If I need to supply a National Police Checking Service Informed Consent Form, do I have to complete all sections?
Yes. If you supply a National Police Checking Service Informed Consent Form that is incomplete or inaccurate, the VBA cannot process your application and may return the application to you.
5. If I need to supply a National Police Checking Service Informed Consent Form, do I have to fill in my present address and any previous addresses dating back five years?
Yes. This information is required.
6. What if I have been found guilty of an offence?
The fact that an applicant has been found guilty of an offence does not automatically mean the VBA will refuse a registration or licence application. If you have been found guilty of an offence, you should provide information about the offence and its circumstances to the VBA when you lodge your application.
Applying for registration or licence via the mutual recognition scheme
1. I have an interstate registration / licence, but it has expired. Can I use this registration / licence in my mutual recognition application?
No. Under the Mutual Recognition Act 1992 (Cth), the interstate registration or licence that you use must be current.
2. What happens to my interstate registration / licence once I get my Victorian registration / licence?
It's up to you. If you choose not to renew your interstate registration / licence, that decision will not affect your Victorian registration / licence.
If your interstate registration / licence is suspended or cancelled for disciplinary reasons, then you must let the VBA know.
3. I already have insurance. Can I use this insurance cover in my mutual recognition application?
Before you can be issued with a VBA plumbing licence, you must provide an insurance Certificate of Currency which states that it complies with all the requirements of the relevant Victorian Insurance Ministerial Order. Check with your insurer to see if your current insurance meets the Victorian insurance requirements.
Receiving your exam results
1. What was the result of my registration examination?
You will receive your exam result by letter.
Learning your application status
1. Have you received my registration / licence application?
When we receive your application for registration or licence, we will send a letter to advise you of what happens next.
2. What do I do if I disagree with the VBA's decision on my application?
You may apply to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) for a review of the VBA's decision on your application to be registered or licensed if you are dissatisfied with it. For information about how to apply to VCAT for a review of the VBA's decision, go to www.vcat.vic.gov.au, or contact VCAT by telephone on (03) 9628 9755.
1. What do I do if I have a question about my current registration / licence?
Please speak with the VBA. Call 1300 815 127.
2. Some VBA documents talk about penalty units. What are penalty units?
Penalty units are used in Victoria's Acts and Regulations to describe the amount of a fine or fee for an offence. One penalty unit is currently $151.67 from 1 July 2016 to 30 June 2017. The rate for penalty units is raised each financial year, in line with inflation. Any change to the value of a penalty unit will happen on 1 July each year.