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Licensing of gas fitters

The risks associated with an unsafe installation are high, so the work must be restricted to competent (licensed) workers. To emphasise the nature of the hazard, these installations can appear to operate well yet be unsafe. For example, a gas installation could seemingly operate satisfactorily without adequate ventilation, until dangerous circumstances arise where people could then be exposed to dangerous levels of carbon monoxide.

A licensing system is in place to ensure only competent workers carry out gas installing work. Under this scheme, only licensed people can undertake gas installation work.

Only those who meet competency standards are licensed. A disciplinary process is in place to ensure that only those competent remain as licensed persons. The competency standards cover work practices, equipment and installation. Those who breach regulations may:

  • be prosecuted in the courts; and/or
  • lose their licence; or
  • have conditions placed on their licence.

EnergySafety sets the required safety outcomes that the competency standards must achieve for licensing purposes.

To ensure these competency standards are nationally consistent, EnergySafety co-ordinates with the other Australian and New Zealand jurisdictions.

Licences can be obtained for those trained:

  • in Western Australia;
  • in other Australian jurisdictions;
  • in New Zealand;
  • in the Armed Forces; or
  • overseas.

In Western Australia, the Gas Standards Act 1972 and the Gas Standards (Gasfitting and Consumer Gas Installations) Regulations 1999 provide that gasfitting work on a consumer's gas installation may only be carried out by a person with the appropriate gas fitter's licence.

What is gasfitting work?

Gasfitting work is defined in the Gas Standards (Gasfitting and Consumer Gas Installations) Regulations 1999 and refers to any operation, work, or process in connection with the installation, removal, demolition, replacement, alteration, maintenance or repair of a gas installation (the installation or conversion of an engine is included).

What types of gasfitting licences are issued?

  • Class G - Covers all gasfitting work except gasfitting work classified as of Class I, E, or P. [Includes general gasfitting - Natural Gas, LP Gas or mixed gases. Also includes installation and servicing of Domestic, Commercial, Caravan and Marine craft installations]
  • Class I - Covers gasfitting work on a consumer's gas installation associated with a Type B appliance [Industrial - including all Type B appliances - installation, commissioning and servicing]; or on piping that has an operating pressure of more than 200 kPa, not being gasfitting work referred to in paragraph (a) or classified as Class E or P.
  • Class E - Covers gasfitting work associated with a mobile engine.
  • Class P - Covers gasfitting work on a gas installation associated with the storage and dispensing of gas for the refuelling of a motor vehicle as defined in section 5 of the Road Traffic Act 1974.

Classes may be restricted e.g. Installation only, Commissioning Type B appliances up to 1,000 MJ/h

In Western Australia, there are over 6,000 licensed gas fitters. Suitably qualified gas fitters hold a Permit, Certificate of Competence or, in some cases, a Gasfitting Authorisation.

Permits and Certificates can be restricted to installing and/or servicing of Natural and/or Liquefied Petroleum Gas.

Western Australian gasfitting permits are generally in the form of a yellow (buff for apprentices) plastic card style registration. There are no cards for authorisation holders.

 Image of gas fitter's license card
Gas fitter's license card

Under the Gas Standards (Gasfitting and Consumer Gas Installations) Regulations 1999, only a permit can be issued for the purpose of carrying out general gasfitting work. The Regulations no longer allow for the issue of a Certificate of Competency, however those gas fitters that are still the holder of a Certificate are currently still authorised to carry out the scope of gasfitting work as stated on the Certificate document.

Image of gas fitter's apprentice license card
Gas Fitter's Apprentice License Card

Apprentice plumbers/gas fitters are required to have a permit to work under supervision before undertaking any gasfitting. Permits are usually able to be obtained in the second year of the apprenticeship. Employers and training organisations should request to see the apprentice's licence card to verify that they are appropriately licensed.

LicenceRecognition is a website to make it easier for licensed tradespeople and authorities that issue licences to know what licence a worker is entitled to when applying for a licence in another jurisdiction [State]. A user can look up a licence entitlement in another state or territory, based on the currently-held licence. The website also has information on who to contact to apply for a licence.