Compliance Certificates

Compliance certificates must be issued by licensed plumbers for specific plumbing work carried out in Victoria. A compliance certificate signed by a licensed plumber is a certification that their work complies with prescribed plumbing standards.

A compliance certificate must be issued for plumbing work valued at $750 or more (including materials and any appliances, labour and GST).

Only licensed plumbing practitioners can purchase and issue compliance certificates. Registered plumbing practitioners must either work under the supervision of a licensed practitioner or limit themselves to plumbing work that does not require a compliance certificate.

A licensed plumber is not able to issue a certificate for plumbing work that has been carried out by someone else, except in limited circumstances.

When is a compliance certificate required?

A compliance certificate must be issued for the following types of plumbing work:

  • Where the total value of work is $750 or more. (including materials and any appliances, labour and GST)

    Note: material costs must be included, regardless of whether the materials, or appliances, were supplied by another person.

  • The installation, relocation or replacement of any Type A gas-using appliances, regardless of the cost.

    Note: compliance certificates do not apply to Type B complex gasfitting work.

  • The conversion of a gas-using appliance for use with a different gaseous fuel
  • The installation, modification or relocation of consumer gas piping (other than work carried out on behalf of a gas company)
  • The construction, installation or alteration of any below ground sanitary drain or associated gullies
  • The construction, installation, alteration, relocation or replacement of a cooling tower or of any other part of a cooling tower system, including the installation or replacement of any associated device or equipment.
    You must issue the consumer a compliance certificate within five days of completing the plumbing work or within five days of the termination of a plumbing work contract.

The compliance certificate must also be lodged with the VBA within five days of completion of plumbing work online through VBA360.

When can a compliance certificate be issued?

A licensed plumber can only issue a compliance certificate if they have:

  • carried out or completed the work themselves
  • supervised a registered plumber (including someone with a provisional registration) or apprentice in carrying out the work
  • engaged another licensed plumber to carry out the work
  • completed the plumbing work which they know was started by another licensed plumber.

It is an offence for licensed plumbers to issue a compliance certificate for work they have not completed or supervised themselves. This could result in the licensed plumber and home owner not being covered by the mandatory plumbers insurance.

What details should be on the compliance certificate?

Prior to issuing the compliance certificate, you'll need to make sure it includes:

  • where applicable, the eleven-digit consent number and confirmation that you have lodged an 'as-laid' plan with the relevant water authority.
  • details of appliances and fixtures installed with any comments you consider necessary to specify the extent of the work you have carried out.
  • if for any reason you do not complete the work, note that the work was not completed, why it was not completed and to what stage it was completed (you must still issue a compliance certificate for incomplete plumbing work you have undertaken that is valued at $750 or more).

Purchasing compliance certificates

Licensed plumbing practitioners can purchase a compliance certificate through VBA360. Visit the VBA's plumbing licensing and registration section for a list of applicable fees.

Transfer a compliance certificate

You can transfer purchased compliance certificates online via VBA360.

Allocated compliance certificates can be transferred by completing the Application to Transfer a Compliance Certificate form.

What is meant by supervision?

As a licensed plumber, you are considered to have 'supervised' a registered plumber or apprentice (according to the Building Act 1993) only if:

  • the plumbing work is carried out in your presence and at your direction and on your behalf; OR
  • the work is carried out on your behalf and you specify the method and manner in which the work is carried out and you inspect the carrying out of the work as often as is necessary to ensure it is carried out safely and competently, with regard given to:
    • the nature of the work
    • the risks involved
    • the knowledge and experience of the person carrying out the work.

Information regarding complex gas installations

Complex gas installations cannot be self-certified using the compliance certificate method. Complex gas installations are those which require a Start Work and Compliance Notice to be lodged with Energy Safe Victoria.

To find out more about complex gas installations, contact Energy Safe Victoria on 1800 652 563.