What is it, and what’s involved? As of September 2018. Law was passed to require all trades, not just plumbers, electricians, and the principle builder to be registered. All Trades will require to be registered. Carpenters, plasterers, bricklayers, in fact all trades. What used to be the exception has now been excluded. The issue since the legislation (law) had been passed was, “how’s it to be done”? well at the time of writing this, there is no regulation update about this. Scouring the MBA (Master Builders Australia) and the HIA (Housing Industry Australia) sites. There is no updates, just advice.
How to get a builders licence?
What we know at this point is the Regulations are still under review and consultation. What we also know is the current regulations. The Building Regulations 2018 (current regulation) state some qualifications that must be held to achieve registration. Not all but most trades need to hold competency in certain fields. Some of these fields are knowledge of contracts, and knowledge of permits. Unlimited Builders Registration requires a Diploma of construction to be eligible for registration. This is the current regulations. There are stories of the VBA (Victorian Building Authority) reviewing each application under a case by case situation. This may be true.
The prescribed qualifications listed in the regulations refer to some codes as listed by Training.gov. the codes listed as such, will mean little to the trades person looking through them. So lets dissect one of the qualifications listed. CPCCBC4026. This unit of competency relates to permit knowledge. If, like most tradies. You have no involvement in the permit system. What you do know, is that a permit needs to be issued, and current. Its possible though that It would be difficult to fill in the licensed trade application technical reference listed on the VBA website, in regards to the permit process, unless your name happened to be on the permit. Formal training in this field is available. In fact. Formal training is available in all the trade qualifications that are listed in the Building Regulations, and the Building Act. Permits, contracts, interpreting plans, plus more
What if I haven’t done an apprenticeship?
There is a requirement under the Regulation framework to hold this certificate, for most qualifications. It’s difficult to answer this question independently. Your choice of training organisation (RTO) may be of assistance here. The general answer I would give here is, you may be able to get a Registered Builder to give a Technical Reference as to your knowledge and experience or contact a TAFE or Apprenticeship Centre to see if they will do an onsite assessment of your skills, sometimes called RPL (Recognised Prior Learning). It all depends on what you can prove or provide. As for the cost, well that is up to the Organisation, and how much you need to prove, and what you can’t prove.
When looking at the courses available, make sure you ask if the course is aligned with the regulation requirements, as not all course’s offer the qualifications that the Building Regulations ask for. Perhaps when you ask that question of the person in charge of the course and they don’t know the answer then, maybe that’s not the RTO (training organisation) you choose.
How do I get that training? and how long?
There are a lot of training organisations (RTO’s) that can assist with the formal qualifications that are required under the regulations. Depending on what your level of qualification is. A lot of these courses may be available as Government funded schemes (VIC, check here; NSW, check here). Or, you could do them as a “fee for service” basis. If for example, you wanted to be registered as a Kitchen and Bathroom Limited Builder, which requires under the regulation’s certain qualifications. You could enrol in a fee for service course, which cost anywhere from $800 a unit CPCCBC4003 for example. As well as the other competencies that are required under your Builders Application. The other option could be to enrol in a Certificate IV in Construction, which for a lot of tradies would be Government funded. A course like this will take approximately 12 months, or the Diploma of Construction which could take up to 12 to 18 months to complete and possibly free. Some courses are not free. Not to say they are not worth the cost. Some of the paid (fee for service) course run in a shorter time frame, due to them not being a full qualification, more of a part qualification. Going back to the listed registration of Limited Builder, Kitchen and Bathroom registration. A fee for service course may cost anywhere from $2000 plus for the listed units required under the Building Regulations. So if your time poor, or just want the 3, or 4 units, then, this may be your best choice. If, though you want a full qualification, or more knowledge of the building the industry, and the laws and regulations that go with it. Then a Certificate IV or a Diploma of Construction, may be your better option.
Both the Certificate IV and the Diploma of Construction are good qualifications to hold, for both commercial and domestic trades, or builders. Both should give you the knowledge on how to navigate the NCC (National Construction Codes) which validates building products and systems. As well as the confidence and knowledge to apply for your Trade Registration, and your Builders Registration. Be aware tho, of RTO’s and private providers that use the term Guarantee Registration. No organisation except for the VBA (Victorian Building Authority) can give you registration.