The Plumbing Industry Commission Victoria requires all plumbing practitioners to be licensed or registered with the Commission in a particular class or type of plumbing work before they can carry out the work.
According to Plumbing Industry Commissioner, Tony Arnel, not only plumbing practitioners but also consumers looking to engage a plumber to do work at their home or property must be aware of this requirement.
While the Plumbing Industry Commission (PIC) monitors the situation state-wide and conducts disciplinary inquiries in both metropolitan and regional centres where necessary, Mr Arnel would like consumers to ask plumbers for their official PIC registration or licence ID card.
Victoria has more than 24,000 plumbing practitioners who are licensed or registered with the PIC, indicating they have the requisite skills and experience to undertake plumbing works.
Under Victoria’s plumbing system, upon completing a plumbing apprenticeship a person must obtain a licence and/or registration in the appropriate class(es) of plumbing before carrying out plumbing work.
- Must be licensed in the specific area of plumbing work (water supply, gasfitting, sanitary, roofing, draining, mechanical services, fire protection or non-agricultural irrigation)
- Can supervise other practitioners and issue compliance certificates
- Must be registered in the specific area of plumbing work in order to carry out that type of work
- Cannot supervise other practitioners or issue compliance certificates
A licensed plumbing practitioner may face significant penalties, including fines and suspension, for permitting or directing an unlicensed or unregistered person to do regulated plumbing work. An unlicensed or unregistered person may be fined up to $60,000 by a magistrate for carrying out regulated plumbing work.
Recent disciplinary inquiries conducted by the PIC in Wangaratta for instance, imposed fines on a number of experienced, licensed plumbing practitioners for permitting individuals who had completed their plumbing apprenticeships but were not registered or licensed to do regulated plumbing work.
Mr Arnel explains that a key component of Victoria's plumbing regulatory system requires all licensed practitioners to be covered by insurance before a licence is issued or renewed. Insurance requirements ensure that both licensed plumbing practitioners and consumers are protected.
Practitioners wishing to apply for a licence or registration must do so through the PIC, which must be satisfied that the practitioner:
- Is eligible for licensing in that class
- Has successfully completed a relevant licence assessment
- Has provided an insurance certificate of currency, which shows they are covered by a mandatory level of insurance