Western Australia’s system for regulating plumbing work protects consumers and the community by ensuring that only suitably qualified people who hold plumbers licences granted by the Plumbers Licensing Board are legally entitled to carry out plumbing work. Corporate entities such as companies and trusts cannot hold plumbers licences. People issued a licence are also issued a Plumbers Licensing Board photo ID card.
Six different plumbers licences
The Board issues six different plumbers licences. All plumbing licence holders are authorised to undertake plumbing work but the scope of the authorised work varies with each licence.
A plumbing contractor is required to complete higher qualifications than a plumbing tradesperson. A restricted permit is granted to an electrician or gasfitter to enable that skilled person to also perform particular plumbing work.
Plumbing contractor’s licence is for applicants who already hold a tradesperson’s licence and who intend to direct and control plumbing tradespersons, and issue notices and certificates of compliance for plumbing work. A plumbing contractor’s licence authorises a plumber to work on water supply plumbing, sanitary plumbing and drainage plumbing, unless the licence has limiting conditions placed by the Board.
Tradesperson’s licence is for applicants who have completed training and obtained qualifications in plumbing. A tradesperson’s licence authorises a plumber to work under the general direction of a plumbing contractor on water supply plumbing, sanitary plumbing and drainage plumbing, unless the licence has limiting conditions placed by the Board.
Tradesperson’s licence (drainage plumbing) is for applicants who have completed training and have qualifications in drainage plumbing and intend to work as a drainage plumber under the general direction of a plumbing contractor.
Provisional tradesperson’s licence is for applicants who have obtained qualifications or competencies in plumbing outside of Australia and intend to obtain a Western Australian plumbing qualification and apply for a tradesperson’s licence. Applicants from other Australian administrations or from New Zealand should apply for a licence by mutual recognition.
Provisional tradesperson’s licence (drainage plumbing) is for applicants who have obtained qualifications or competencies in drainage plumbing outside of Australia and intend to obtain a Western Australian plumbing qualification and apply for a tradesperson’s licence limited to drainage plumbing.
Restricted plumbing permit is for applicants who are licensed electricians or gasfitters and intend to carry out water heater replacements while performing electrical or gasfitting work.
Mutual recognition – interstate and New Zealand
Applicants who are already licensed or recognised as plumbers in other Australian States or Territories or in New Zealand can apply for a plumbing contractor’s licence in Western Australia. There are mutual recognition application forms for contractor’s and tradesperson’s licences. The Board may place conditions on plumbing contractors and tradespersons licences issued to mutual recognition applicants to limit the holder to the type of work covered by the plumber’s first licence.
Licence duration and cost
Licences and permits are valid for three years except for the provisional tradesperson’s licences, which are valid for one year. Licence and permit fees, and application fees are detailed in the licence application forms and in the fee schedule.
If your application for a licence is refused or conditioned
If the Board refuses to issue your licence, the licence fee is refunded. The application fee is not refunded.
If you are aggrieved because the Board has refused your application or has placed conditions on your licence, you may apply to the State Administrative Tribunal for a review of the Board’s decision. You must submit your application to the SAT within 28 days of receiving notification of the Board’s decision.
If your mutual recognition application was refused or conditioned you may apply to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for review.
The Board issues a notice to licence and permit holders about six weeks before a licence must be renewed if it is not to expire. Please notify the Board of any changes in your address or contact information to ensure that you receive the Board’s renewal advice.