Trades licensing and registration requirements
In Western Australia, the following building trades are required to be licensed by the organisations listed:
- Builders are required to be registered with the Building Commission.
- Building surveyors are required to be registered with the Building Commission.
- Painters are required to be registered with the Building Commission.
- Plumbers are required to be licensed with the Plumbers Licensing Board.
- Electricians are required to be licensed with EnergySafety.
- Gas workers are required to be licensed with EnergySafety.
- Demolition work (high risk) requires a licence issued by WorkSafe.
- Pest controllers are required to be licensed with the Department of Health.
In most circumstances, only a registered building services contractor can contract for or carry out builder work as described in the Building Services (Registration) Act 2011 where the total fee or charge payable exceeds $20,000, within the prescribed area of jurisdiction.
Most building work requires the issue of a building permit prior to commencement. A building permit for builder work where the value of the work exceeds $20,000 can only be issued to a registered building services contractor or an approved owner-builder.
Builder work does not include the following types of building work:
- Construction of a farm building.
- Production of a prefabricated or transportable building in a manufacturing yard.
- Formation of a parking area.
- Formation of outdoor sporting surfaces including associated fencing and lighting.
- Construction of walkways, viewing and gathering platforms that do not form part of another building.
- Construction of a water tank that is not incorporated into the structure of another building.
- Construction of an incidental structure as defined in the Building Act 2011 section 3.
- Installation of fire sprinklers, free standing partitioning, safety systems, timber decking or glazing.
- Cabinet making and installation.
- Joinery (2nd fixing) work.
Tradespeople should be aware of their rights and responsibilities (refer to Labour Relations) when working for another person or being subcontracted by a registered building services contractor.
When entering into a contract with consumers for home building work, trades should ensure that the contract complies with the provisions of the Home Building Contracts Act 1991.
It is an offence for a person who is not registered under the Building Services (Registration) Act 2011 to obtain a building permit to construct or contract to construct any building, unless the total fee or charge payable does not exceed $20,000. An exception to this is an owner-builder who intends to build their own home.
An unregistered builder who obtains or attempts to obtain a building licence from a local government for building work valued over $20,000, where they falsely state their registration status or the total value of the building work, also commits an offence.
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