A guide to a provisional tradesperson's licence

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What is a provisional tradespersons's licence?

A provisional tradesperson’s licence applies to plumbers who have obtained their qualifications and experience overseas and wish to migrate to Western Australia to work as a plumber.

Who can obtain a provisional tradesperson’s licence?

A provisional tradesperson’s licence is available to overseas-trained and experienced plumbers who have obtained an Offshore Technical Skills Record (OTSR) that relates to units of competency within the Certificate III in Plumbing.

What is an Offshore Technical Skills Record?

An Offshore Technical Skills Record is evidence that someone has completed a skills assessment to determine that they meet the technical requirements for the duties required of a plumber in Australia. To obtain an Offshore Technical Skills Record, that relates to plumbers applicants will be assessed against the competencies within the Certificate III in Plumbing.

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

In addition to obtaining an OTSR, migrant plumbers must also successfully complete what is known as ‘gap training’. As part of gap training, migrant plumbers 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 at the completion of their gap training should be equivalent to the skills and knowledge of a person who has recently completed a plumbing apprenticeship.

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

Where can I go to get my gap training?

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

Are there any time limits for completing gap training?

Provisional tradespersons’ licences are only valid for one year. This means that migrant plumbers must complete their ‘gap training’ within that one-year period. Provisional tradespersons’ licences are only renewable in cases where there are extenuating circumstances relating to the licence holder’s ability to complete the gap training.

Where can I find out more about the OTSR?

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

Other requirements for migrant plumbers

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


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 Building and Energy on 1300 489 099 or at plumbers@dmirs.wa.gov.au.

Building and Energy
Fact sheet
Last updated 04 Jun 2024

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