A guide to provisional tradespersons licences

Information status

All documents issued prior to 1 July 2017 were issued by the former Department of Commerce. Documents listed here are the latest versions available, but may be subject to review. For more information on this document, please contact online@dmirs.wa.gov.au.

This publication is for: 
Plumber

What are provisional tradespersons’ licences?

Provisional tradespersons’ licences apply to plumbers and drainers who have obtained their qualifications and experience overseas and wish to migrate to Western Australia to work as a plumber or drainer here.

Who can obtain a provisional tradesperson’s licence?

A provisional tradesperson’s licence is available to overseas-trained and experienced plumbers and drainers who have obtained a relevant Offshore Technical Skills Record (OTSR).

In the case of plumbers, a relevant OTSR is one that relates to units of competency within the Certificate III in Plumbing.

For drainers, a relevant OTSR is one that relates to the units of competency within the Certificate II in Drainage.

What is an Offshore Technical Skills Record?

An Offshore Technical Skills Record is evidence that someone has completed a practical assessment to determine that they meet the technical requirements for the duties required of a licensed plumber in Western Australia. To obtain the relevant Offshore Technical Skills Record, applicants will be assessed against the competencies required for the prescribed training in the licence category you intend to receive a provisional tradesperson’s licence.

Why must migrant plumbers and drainers obtain a provisional tradesperson’s licence?

In addition to obtaining a relevant OTSR, migrant plumbers and drainers must also successfully complete what is known as ‘gap training’. As part of gap training, migrant plumbers and drainers must undertake on-the-job training. To be able to do that they must hold a licence. The provisional tradesperson’s licence has been designed to meet that requirement.

The purpose of gap training is to provide the provisional tradesperson with the additional skills and knowledge required to hold a tradesperson’s licence in Western Australia. The skills and knowledge held by the overseas-trained plumber or drainer at the completion of their gap training should be equivalent to the skills and knowledge of a person who has recently completed their plumbing apprenticeship.

Holding a provisional tradesperson’s licence is also a prerequisite for migrant plumbers and drainers wishing to obtain a tradesperson’s licence to be able to work as a plumber or drainer in Western Australia on completion of their gap training.

Failure to obtain a provisional tradesperson’s licence prior to commencing ‘gap training’ may lead to difficulties in obtaining a tradesperson’s licence after gap training has been completed.

Where can I go to get my gap training?

The gap training course that must be completed is the Certificate III in Plumbing (Migrant Gap Training). This must be done through a Registered Training Organisation (RTO). You can find out which RTOs offer the Certificate III in Plumbing (Migrant Gap Training) course by visiting the Australian Government’s training directory website.

Are there any time limits for obtaining gap training?

Provisional tradespersons’ licences are only valid for one year. This means that migrant plumbers and drainers must complete their ‘gap training’ within that one-year period. Provisional tradespersons’ licences are not renewable except in very exceptional circumstances.

Where can I find out more about the OTSR and gap training requirements?

Trades Recognition Australia can provide further information on the process for obtaining an OTSR.

The Construction and Property Services Industry Skills Council has produced a range of resources relating to gap training for migrants in licensed occupations, including tips on successfully completing training.

Other requirements for migrant plumbers and drainers

There are two further issues migrant plumbers and drainers need to be aware of. These are outlined below.

Supervision

Until overseas-trained plumbers and drainers have obtained the skills and knowledge required to obtain a tradesperson’s licence in Western Australia, they must work under the supervision of either a licensed plumbing contractor, or a licensed tradesperson acting under the general direction and control of a licensed plumbing contractor. This level of supervision is equivalent to the supervision required of an apprentice.

‘Fit and Proper Person’ test

Applicants for a provisional tradesperson’s licence must also satisfy the Plumbers Licensing Board that they are a ‘fit and proper person’ to hold the licence. More information about this can be found on the provisional tradesperson’s application form.

Further information

For further information, please contact the Building Commission on 1300 489 099 or at bcinfo@commerce.wa.gov.au.

Building Commission
Fact sheet
Last updated 25 Oct 2016

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