Plumbing registration and licensing
The Victorian Building Authority (VBA) regulates plumbers, plumbing work and plumbing standards.
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.
Tell me about registration and licensing
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.
For each class you are licensed in, you are authorised to:
- carry out plumbing work
- 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.
A licensed plumber is expected to have additional knowledge and experience compared to a plumber who holds registration. You must hold registration in the licence class your are applying for.
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.
Find out more about the classes of plumbing and how to apply
What's the application process?
Successful applicants tend to be people who are organised with their application documentation from the start of the process. We encourage you to get familiar with the process start gathering the required documentation early, in preparation of submitting your application.
FAQs and reference links
Please speak with the VBA. Call 1300 815 127 or email.
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). Find out who can certify a document for you (PDF, 213.23 KB).
To have a document correctly certified:
- Photocopy the original document.
- Take both the original and the photocopy to an authorised person. Find out who can certify documents. (PDF, 213.23 KB)
- Ask the authorised person to do the following on every page:
- write "I have sighted the original document and certify this to be a true copy of the original."
- write their name
- sign each statement.
Contact the VBA on 1300 815 127. We may be able to help you locate your past employer/supervisor.
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 we decide to grant your application, then you will need to provide proof of your insurance. We will contact you to ask for this.
If you are already licensed in a class or specialised class of plumbing work, and you are applying to be licensed in another class, we 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.
We recommend that you advise your insurer to make sure that you have met your disclosure obligations.
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.
To be eligible to hold a Private Plumbing Work Licence (PPWL) a person must:
- be registered or eligible to be registered in the class of plumbing work sought under a PPWL
- hold the relevant qualifications and experience required for licence in the class of plumbing work sought under a PPWL
- be covered by the required insurance for PPWL. Read more information on the required insurance.
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 that meets the following four requirements:
- work to which s221ZH of the Building Act 1993 applies
- no monetary fee or other consideration is charged or received by the plumber or on the plumber's behalf for the work
- it is performed on or in relation to a family home
- it 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 their 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, we 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.
When we receive your application for registration or licence, we will send a letter to advise you of what happens next.
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 the VCAT website, or contact VCAT by telephone on (03) 9628 9755.
Individuals and companies who are found to be unlawfully engaging in regulated building or plumbing work risk prosecution and hefty financial penalties if they:
- carry out plumbing work
- falsely represent to the public that they hold registration or a licence for a class of plumbing work that they do not
- falsely represent to the public that they are registered building practitioners.
Units of Competency
Units prescribed for courses commenced from late 2021 onwards
- Drainage, Gasfitting, Irrigation, Mechanical Services, Roofing, Sanitary, and Water Supply (PDF, 625.6 KB)
- Fire Protection (PDF, 485.13 KB)
- Refrigerated Air-conditioning (PDF, 539.35 KB)
- Type B Gasfitting and Type B Gasfitting advanced (PDF, 470.9 KB)
- Type A Appliance Conversion, Type A Appliance Servicing, Backflow Prevention and Thermostatic Mixing Valve (PDF, 467.52 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)
For each class of plumbing, the VBA prescribes units of competency. These prescribed units are from the plumbing qualification relevant to each class. In late 2020, all plumbing qualifications were superseded and replaced with updated versions. The units associated with each qualification were also updated. The prescribed units have been updated to reflect these changes.
Your registration will not be affected. If you wish to apply for a plumbing licence, you will need to ensure that you hold the relevant prescribed units. If you have completed units that were previously prescribed, the VBA will take into account the dates that you completed those units.
There is a ‘teach out’ period for all superseded qualifications. If you have not completed your apprenticeship by the end of the teach out period for your course, your RTO must transition you into the new course. Your RTO will let you know if you will be transitioned and when you will be transitioned into the new course.
If you complete your apprenticeship by the end of the teach out period, you are still eligible for registration and the VBA will take into account the units prescribed for the version of the course that you completed.
You can still sit your journeyman exams. Please contact your RTO to book an exam date if you have not already done so.
No – you will be expected to have current knowledge at the time your complete your journeyman exam.
There is a ‘teach out’ period for all superseded qualifications. If your apprentice has not completed their apprenticeship by the end of the teach out period for their course, the Registered Training Organisation (RTO) must transition them into the new course. The RTO will normally let you and your apprentice know if they need to be transitioned into the new course.
If your apprentice completes their apprenticeship within the teach out period, they are still eligible for registration.
This change will not affect your current registration. If you wish to apply for a specialised class, you will need to ensure that you hold the prescribed units relevant for that class at the time of applying. If you have completed units that were previously prescribed, the VBA will take into account the dates that you completed those units.
Once a new qualification is released, a ‘teach out’ period for the superseded qualification commences. RTOs may continue to enrol students into superseded qualifications during the teach out period. Anyone who has not completed a superseded qualification by the end of the teach out period must be transitioned into the new qualifications. Therefore, if you are not yet enrolled, your RTO will either:
- enrol you into the superseded qualification and transition you later into the new qualification (if you have not completed it by the end of the teach out period), or;
- enrol you directly into the new qualification.
You RTO will let you know which course you are being enrolled into. If you are being enrolled into the old course, your RTO will let you know whether you are likely to need to be transitioned into the new course and when this will take place.
There is a ‘teach out’ period for all superseded qualifications. If you have not completed your apprenticeship by the end of the teach out period for your course, your Registered Training Organisation (RTO) must transition you into the new course. Your RTO will let you know if you will be transitioned and when you will be transitioned into the new course.
English as a second language
Yes – if you require a interpreter, please let use know.