Plumbing registration and licensing
The Victorian Building Authority (VBA) regulates plumbers, plumbing work and plumbing standards.
The Victorian Plumbing Regulations 2018 (the Regulations) define ten main classes of plumbing work and five specialised classes (see below).
To lawfully carry out plumbing work in one or more of these classes in Victoria, you must be one of the following:
- licensed in the class
- registered in the class (or hold provisional registration in the class)
- be in training under the supervision of a licensed plumber.
Become a registered plumbing practitioner
Registration – main classes
For each class of plumbing that you are registered in, you:
- are lawfully able to carry out that plumbing work
- must comply with the relevant standards for that class and the Regulations
- must have a licensed plumber for that class sign off compliance certificates for work that you carry out over the value of $750.
Registration does not authorise you to:
- supervise apprentices or other plumbers
- sign compliance certificates.
Specialised or restricted classes
The process is different for specialised and restricted classes of plumbing.
For specialised classes, you will need to hold registration or licence in the relevant parent class. For restricted classes, you must have completed the relevant education pathway or hold equivalent knowledge and skills.
A licensed plumber is expected to have additional knowledge and experience compared to a plumber who holds registration.
For each class you are licensed in, you are authorised to:
- carry out plumbing work that a registered plumber in that class is authorised to do
- undertake design work
- supervise apprentices
- supervise other plumbers registered in the classes that you are licensed in
- sign compliance certificates for work done by:
- a plumber registered in that class that you supervised
- an apprentice that you supervised.
You must hold and maintain the required insurance for the classes in which you are licensed. This insurance protects consumers when plumbing work is found to be defective.
What happens if you are not registered or licensed
If you are not a VBA registered or licensed plumber, you risk prosecution and hefty financial penalties if you:
- carry out plumbing work
- falsely represent to the public that you hold registration or a licence for a class of plumbing work that you do not.
Classes of plumbing work
- Fire Protection
- Irrigation (non-agricultural)
- Mechanical Services
- Refrigerated Air-conditioning
- Roofing (stormwater)
- Type B Gasfitting
- Water Supply
Specialised classes of plumbing work
- Type A Appliance Servicing
- Type A Appliance Conversion
- Type B Gasfitting Advanced
- Backflow Prevention
- Thermostatic Mixing Valve
- Mechanical Services – restricted to single head split systems work
- Mechanical Services – restricted to duct fixing work
- Roofing (Stormwater) – restricted to class 10A building work
- Fire Protection restricted to the routine servicing of fire hose reels (ongoing class)
- Fire Protection restricted to the routine servicing of unpumped hydrants and valves (ongoing class)
- Fire Protection restricted to the routine servicing of pumped hydrants and valves (transitional class)
- Fire Protection restricted to the routine servicing of fire sprinkler systems (transitional class)
Units of Competency required for each class of plumbing work
Units prescribed for courses commenced from late 2021 onwards
- Drainage, Gasfitting, Irrigation, Mechanical Services, Roofing, Sanitary, and Water Supply (PDF, 602.5 KB)
- Fire Protection (PDF, 478.93 KB)
- Refrigerated Air-conditioning (PDF, 534.73 KB)
- Type B Gasfitting and Type B Gasfitting advanced (PDF, 466.29 KB)
- Type A Appliance Conversion, Type A Appliance Servicing, Backflow Prevention and Thermostatic Mixing Valve
(PDF, 462.88 KB)
Units prescribed for older courses
- Drainage, Gasfitting, Irrigation (Non-agricultural), Mechanical Services, Roofing, Sanitary, Type B Gasfitting and Water Supply (PDF, 345.57 KB)
- Fire Protection (PDF, 351.71 KB)
- Refrigerated Air-conditioning (PDF, 223.71 KB)
- Type A Appliance Conversion, Type A Appliance Servicing, Type B Gasfitting Advanced, Backflow Prevention and Thermostatic Mixing Valve (PDF, 383.95 KB)