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Wet Fire Protection equipment servicing restricted classes FAQ

The VBA has provided answers to frequently asked questions about Wet Fire Protection equipment servicing restricted classes.

The Plumbing Regulations 2018 clarified that the routine servicing of wet fire protection equipment is plumbing work and can only be lawfully carried out in Victoria by individuals registered or licensed by the VBA in the class of fire protection work or a component of this class. In response, following consultation with industry, the Victorian Building Authority (VBA) introduced four restricted classes for the routine servicing of fire protection equipment.

There are two approaches for the restricted classes in routine servicing of fire protection equipment – ongoing and transitional restricted classes.

Ongoing restricted classes

The following restricted classes are available on an ongoing basis for people who gain registration or a licence:

  • Fire Protection restricted to the routine servicing of fire hose reels.
  • Fire Protection restricted to the routine servicing of unpumped hydrants and valves.

Transitional restricted classes

The following restricted classes were available on a temporary basis up until 31 July 2021:

  • Fire Protection restricted to the routine servicing of pumped hydrants and valves.
  • Fire Protection restricted to the routine servicing of fire sprinkler systems.

All other restricted fire protection classes not mentioned above are not impacted by this change and practitioners operating under those licenses/registrations can continue to carry out that work as usual.

People who gained registration or a licence in either of the transitional restricted classes were eligible to work until 31 July 2021. To continue working in this area after 31 July 2021 they will need to be enrolled in the Certificate III in Fire Protection. The cut-off date to complete the Certificate III in Fire Protection in order to keep working is 31 December 2025.

As the 31 July 2021 deadline has passed, you can no longer apply for either of the transitional restricted classes. The VBA may explore alternate options for these restricted classes in the future. The VBA provided an opportunity over 15 months (April 2020 to July 2021) for people to enter the regulatory scheme under those restricted classes.

It is unlawful for any person to carry out routine servicing of wet fire protection equipment without being licensed or registered by the VBA to do this work. Unregistered or unlicensed persons carrying out this work are now subject to VBA enforcement action. The VBA will soon be ramping up its compliance monitoring activities in this space.

Anyone carrying out routine servicing of wet fire protection equipment must be registered or licensed with the VBA.

Unregistered or unlicensed persons carrying out this work are now subject to VBA enforcement action. The VBA will soon be ramping up its compliance monitoring activities in this space.

The Plumbing Regulations 2018 clarified that the routine servicing of wet fire protection equipment is plumbing work and can only be lawfully carried out in Victoria by individuals registered or licensed by the VBA in the class of fire protection work or a component of this class. The VBA introduced and communicated pathways for people doing this work outside the regulatory framework to get a licence or registration so they could continue to carry on this work lawfully.

The VBA provided an opportunity over 15 months (April 2020 to July 2021) for people to enter the regulatory scheme. Unregistered or unlicensed persons carrying out this work are subject to VBA enforcement action. The VBA will soon be ramping up its compliance monitoring activities in this space.

Wet fire protection equipment (such as hydrants, hose reels, sprinklers and pump sets) are a part of the Essential Safety Measures (ESMs) in Class 2 to 9 buildings that keep occupants safe in case there is a fire. The equipment needs to be well maintained over its lifetime to ensure it operates effectively if there is a fire emergency.

You do not need to apply for one of the routine servicing restricted classes if you already hold a VBA licence or registration in one of the following classes:

  • Fire Protection
  • Fire Protection – Restricted to Hydrants and Hose Reels
  • Fire Protection – Restricted to Residential and Domestic Fire Sprinklers.

If you are licensed or registered in one of these restricted classes, you can continue to undertake routine servicing on the equipment types specified for that class. If you wish to carry out routine servicing of equipment outside existing licence or registration you will need to make an application for licence or registration in one of the other restricted classes of fire protection.

It you hold a CFA, MFB or other industry accreditation in this routine servicing work, you will still be required to obtain a VBA licence or registration. In some cases, your industry accreditation may be accepted as evidence of appropriate knowledge and experience to gain a specific restricted class. Please check the relevant knowledge and experience requirements for the restricted class you are seeking licence/registration in.

Please see the website.

The deadline for practitioners to be licensed or registered under the new restricted classes for routine servicing of fire protection equipment has passed (31 July 2021).

People who gained registration or a licence in either of the transitional restricted classes were eligible to work until 31 July 2021. To continue working in this area they will need to be enrolled in the Certificate III in Fire Protection. The cut-off date to complete the Certificate III in Fire Protection in order to keep working is 31 December 2025.

It is unlawful for any person to carry out routine servicing of wet fire protection equipment without being licensed or registered by the VBA to do this work.

Class

Scope of works

Fire Protection restricted to the routine servicing of fire hose reels

  • Six monthly and annual routine servicing of fire hose reels in accordance with AS 1851.
  • Repair of the fire hose reel components downstream of the hose reel spigot union/isolation valve.

Excluding:

  • Replacement or relocation of an entire fire hose reel.
  • The service of any interfaced equipment.
  • Any other fire protection work including construction, installation, replacement, repair, maintenance, testing and commissioning work.

Fire Protection restricted to the routine servicing of unpumped hydrants and valves

  • Six monthly and annual routine servicing of unpumped hydrants and valves in accordance with AS 1851.

Excluding:

  • Routine servicing of occupancies of excessive fire hazard as described by NCC V1 Table E1.5 Requirements for Sprinklers.
  • Any other fire protection work including construction, installation, replacement, repair, maintenance, testing and commissioning work.

Fire Protection restricted to the routine servicing of pumped hydrants and valves

  • Monthly, six monthly and annual routine servicing of pumped hydrants and valves in accordance with AS 1851.

Excluding:

  • Annual servicing of Class 2 or 3 buildings above 3 stories and Class 9 buildings.
  • Routine servicing of any hydrant forming part of a combined system.
  • Routine servicing of any hydrant system with pressure-reducing or pressure-limiting valves.
  • Routine servicing of occupancies of excessive fire hazard as described by NCC V1 Table E1.5 Requirements for Sprinklers.
  • Any other fire protection work including construction, installation, replacement, repair, maintenance, testing and commissioning work.

Fire Protection restricted to the routine servicing of fire sprinkler systems

  • Monthly and six-monthly routine servicing of fire sprinkler systems in accordance with AS 1851.
  • Monthly and six-monthly routine servicing of fire hydrants forming part of a combined system, in accordance with AS 1851.
  • Monthly and six-monthly routine servicing of fire hydrant systems with pressure-reducing or pressure-limiting valves, in accordance with AS 1851.

Excluding:

  • Routine servicing of Class 2 or 3 buildings above 3 stories and Class 9 buildings.
  • Annual routine service, and all services frequencies thereafter.
  • Any routine servicing work that requires the holding of an Extinguishing Agent Handling Licence under the requirements of the Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Act 1989.
  • Routine servicing of occupancies of excessive fire hazard as described by NCC V1 Table E1.5 Requirements for Sprinklers.
  • Any other fire protection work including construction, installation, replacement, repair, maintenance, testing and commissioning work.

Anyone carrying out routine servicing of wet fire protection equipment needs to be appropriately registered or licensed. You will need to hold a licence or registration in either the unpumped hydrants or pumped hydrants and valves restricted class as applicable.

All routine testing of fire protection equipment should be carried out in accordance AS 1851. The annual servicing for hydrants includes the water supply proving test. If you are not able to carry out this test and all other items listed in yearly schedule for hydrants in AS 1851, you should not be undertaking the yearly or five yearly servicing on this equipment. In this case, you should limit your activities to providing only six-monthly routine services.

You will need to:

  • Complete the knowledge requirements for the class of fire protection you are seeking registration.
  • Complete the experience requirements for the class of fire protection you are seeking registration.
  • Submit your application with the VBA.

For more information on the knowledge and experience requirements, visit the Website.

There is an application fee of $57.70, and a three-year registration fee of $362.40.

For more information on fees, visit the website.

Visit the website.

You will need to be licensed if the work requires a compliance certificate, or if you are supervising others doing this work and they are apprentices or registered to do the work. Compliance certificates are required for work carried out over the value of $750. There are additional training and knowledge requirements to become licenced beyond those required to be registered in a particular class.

No – unless you are licensed or registered in fire protection restricted to the routine servicing of hose reels.

Hose reels are a different equipment type and the licence/registration has a different scope of work and competency requirements.

No – unless you are licensed or registered in fire protection restricted to the routine servicing of unpumped hydrants and valves. They have a different scope of work and competency requirements.

However, if you are currently registered in the ‘routine servicing of pumped hydrants and valves’ you likely hold the competency required for registration in ‘routine servicing of unpumped hydrants and valves’.  You can gain registration in the routine servicing of unpumped hydrants and valves by applying at the website.

No – unless you are registered or licensed in fire protection restricted to the routine servicing of pumped hydrants and valves. They have a different scope of work and competency requirements.

If you have additional questions that are not answered on this page, please contact the VBA on 1300 815 127 or submit an online enquiry.