Time for change in Queensland
Amendments to Queensland electrical contractor licences mean different training requirements for QTPs and QBPs. Simeon Barut outlines the significance of these changes.
From 1 July 2018, new legislation came into effect for Queensland electrical contractors and their licences, including additional training requirements for qualified technical persons (QTP) and qualified business persons (QBP).
The new requirements apply to all new licence applications or when a licence holder wants to add another QTP or QBP to an existing licence.
QTPs and QBPs on existing licences will not be affected by the changes, unless there has been disciplinary action taken against them by the Electrical Licensing Committee or they want to be added to another licence.
Electrical Safety Office manager of electrical licensing Terry Moore says that the major changes that involve both QTPs and QBPs revolve around completing units of competencies within a certain time frame from the date of application.
“For both types of nominees, the major changes are additional training requirements, most of which come from the national electrotechnology qualification package UEE42111 – Certificate IV in Electrotechnology – Electrical Contracting,” says Terry.
“The requirement is to complete units of competency within three years from the date of application. For QTPs, they must complete UEENEEG197A (Apply currency of safe working practices and compliance verification of electrical installation), UEENEEG122A (Conduct compliance inspection of single phase LV electrical installations) and UEENEEG123A (Conduct compliance inspection of LV electrical installations with demand exceeding 100A per phase).
“The changes apply to QBPs a little bit differently as they can continue to demonstrate eligibility by providing evidence of having operated a business for a period of, or periods totalling, five years. If they’re not able to provide this evidence, then they need to complete UEENEEE101A (Apply Occupational Health and Safety regulations, codes and practices in the workplace), UEENEEG175A (Develop compliance policies and plans to conduct an electrical contracting business) and one of BSBSMB401/BSBSMB401A (Establish legal and risk management requirements of small business) or hold an Australian business qualification at diploma level or higher regardless of when the qualification was obtained.”
As for ‘why’ all these changes happened, the Office of Industrial Relations (OIR) commissioned KPMG to carry out an independent review of the then-current requirements for Queensland electrical licences following the coronial inquiry into the death of Jason Jon Garrels in Central Queensland.
Jason, who was just nine days into the job as a trade’s assistant, was killed when his boss failed to turn off the power to the sub-board he was helping to install.
The review included 22 recommendations, including more thorough eligibility requirements for QTPs and QBPs on Queensland electrical contractor licences. As a result, a technical reference group made up of industry representatives, the Commissioner for Electrical Safety and members of the Electrical Licensing Committee was established to review the current requirements.
“The QTP is responsible for performance and supervision of electrical work carried out under the electrical contractor licence and the QBP is responsible for ensuring that systems of work are in place to ensure the work is carried out safely,” says Terry.
“Increasing the competency and knowledge of those responsible for ensuring the performance of safe electrical installation work can only lead to better outcomes for the industry itself and the community in general, which relies on the expertise of licensed electrical workers and contractors.”
The changes do not affect electrical contractors who obtained their licence before 1 July 2018 and continue to renew that licence without wanting to change their current QTP or QBP.
However, from 1 July 2018, any new electrical contractor licence applications have to meet the new eligibility requirements for QTPs and QBPs. This includes where a person looks to re-apply under a different legal structure or when a licence has expired for more than 12 months.
Interstate applicants are not affected by the changes if the interstate applicant applies under mutual recognition of an electrical contractor licence held as a sole trader.
Restricted electrical contractor licences are also not affected by the changes.