"Mutual recognition" entitles individuals who are licensed or registered in any other Australian state or territory or New Zealand to seek the equivalent category of licence in Western Australia. Mutual recognition does not apply to partnerships (firms) or bodies corporate (companies) seeking to obtain an equivalent occupational licence throughout Australia or in New Zealand.
How do I apply?
If you wish to work in Western Australia as a plumbing tradesperson or plumbing contractor, you will need to lodge an Application for registration of equivalent occupation (the application). At the time of applying, the application must be accompanied by an accurate copy of all current licence certificate/s you hold and the associated fee/s relevant to the particular occupation. If you wish to work as both a plumbing tradesperson and plumbing contractor in Western Australia you must lodge a separate application for each.
Your interstate/New Zealand licence must be current for you to be eligible to seek the equivalent authorisation in Western Australia. If your home jurisdiction does not license your occupation you cannot utilise the mutual recognition process.
Under the legislation a ‘notice’ must be lodged with the local registration authority where you are seeking an equivalent registration under mutual recognition. The application serves as the notice required by the legislation.
What happens once the application is lodged?
As soon as the application and the copy of your interstate/New Zealand registration certificate is lodged with the department, and the required fee is paid you are entitled to ‘deemed registration’.
Once you are deemed to be registered, you may carry on the occupation in Western Australia (subject to any local laws which apply to the industry), under the same terms as your interstate/New Zealand authorisation until a formal decision has been made about your application. During this period the department will make enquiries regarding your licensing history in any state/territory/New Zealand in which you are currently licensed or registered.
Conditions may be imposed on the Western Australian licence to achieve equivalency with the scope of your interstate/New Zealand authorisation.
What are your rights under mutual recognition?
If we do not make a decision to grant, refuse or postpone registration within one month of the date on which you lodged the application (which includes paying the required fee and providing a copy of your licence/registration certificate/s), then you will be entitled to full registration immediately after that time.
You will be notified in writing of the outcome of your application. The Plumbers Licensing Board may refuse or postpone the grant of a licence for a number of reasons, such as when information or documentary evidence of an existing licence is found to be false or misleading or when the licence being sought is not for an equivalent occupation.
If the Board decides to refuse, postpone or grant registration subject to conditions and you feel aggrieved, you can apply to the Commonwealth Administrative Appeals Tribunal for a review of the decision.
When can you commence work?
You may commence work in your licensed occupation in Western Australia as soon as you are deemed to be registered. Please see 'What happens once the Application is lodged?' above for further information about being deemed to be registered.
Please contact Licensing Services on 1300 30 40 64 for any other requirements that may apply to your application. It is important to note if your interstate/New Zealand licence is subject to any special conditions, then those conditions will also apply in Western Australia.
Section 27(3) and 26(3) of the Mutual Recognition Act 1992 and the Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition 1997 respectively state a person may not carry an occupation without complying with any requirements regarding insurance, fidelity funds, trust accounts and the like that are designed to protect the public, clients, customers or others.
What happens once you are licensed?
Mutual recognition only applies to new occupational licensing applications. Once you commence operating in this State, you will be subject to all relevant Western Australian legislation.
Renewal applications are also considered under the Western Australian legislation. At which time you may be required to have completed compulsory professional development, provide a National Police Certificate or credit history reports, depending on the industry in which you operate.
It is recommended you familiarise yourself with the applicable occupational licensing legislation in Western Australia. The relevant legislation is available for download at www.legislation.wa.gov.au.
Please refer to the fees and forms page for the relevant fee for your chosen occupation. You are not deemed to be registered until the fee is paid in full. Please note fees are reviewed annually and are subject to change.
Cheques should be made out to the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety.