Mechanical services licences

Transitional arrangements for Mechanical Services - Plumbing licence

Additional options for meeting licensing requirements will be available during for a transitional period to recognise those QBCC licensees who currently carry out mechanical services plumbing work.

QBCC Act plumbing and drainage licensees (already holding a plumbing and drainage licence)

  • You will be eligible for a Mechanical Services - Plumbing licence if you meet the requirements, including technical qualifications for the Mechanical Services – Plumbing licence.
  • To carry out mechanical services plumbing work after 1 July 2020 you must hold the Mechanical Services – Plumbing licence. To allow time to process your application you should apply by 30 April 2020.
  • For existing plumbing and drainage contractor licensees, you can obtain a free Mechanical Services – Plumbing licence if you apply by 31 March 2020. 
  • You may be able to use your experience to satisfy the technical qualification requirements for the Mechanical Services – Plumbing licence, provided you can demonstrate six  months experience in performing mechanical services plumbing work. This is known as an alternative qualification pathway. For more information see, Mechanical services experience fact sheet - plumbing (PDF)
  • To rely on the alternative qualification pathway you must obtain your licence before 1 July 2020.

To allow time to process your application you should apply by 30 April 2020.

Pending applications for plumbing and drainage licence (contractor, nominee supervisor or site supervisor)

If you have applied for a QBCC Act Plumbing and Drainage licence and your application has not been decided by 1 January 2020, you can make a written request to the QBCC to amend your application to include the Mechanical Services - Plumbing licence.

If you make your request by 31 March 2020 and before your existing application has been decided, you will have an alternative pathway to meet the technical qualifications for the licence. 

You may either hold the prescribed technical qualifications or, during this transitional period, demonstrate that you have a minimum of 6 months’ experience in performing Mechanical services plumbing work. Your request to add the new mechanical services – plumbing licence to your existing application will also be free.

If your application is approved before you are able to make a request, you may still be able to benefit from an application fee waiver. You will have until 31 March 2020 to lodge a licence application to be granted a fee waiver (see above for QBCC Plumbing and Drainage licensees).

Normal application and licence fees will apply from 1 April 2020.

Pending application for a Water Plumber – Water and Sanitary licence

If you have applied for a QBCC Restricted Water Plumber – water and sanitary licence under the Plumbing and Drainage Act 2018 (PD Act) and your application has not been decided by 1 January 2020, you can make a written request for a mechanical services - plumbing occupational licence.

Your request for the Mechanical Services – Plumbing occupational licence must be made by 31 March 2020. By lodging your application during this transitional period, you will not be charged an application or licence fee for your Mechanical Services – Plumbing licence.

When applying to renew your licences, you will need to pay a renewal fee for the Mechanical Services – Plumbing licence.  However, as long as you hold this mechanical services licence you will be able to renew your Restricted Water Plumber – Water and Sanitary licence for free.

Workers (including site supervisors)

From 1 January 2020, all new businesses (contractors) who perform mechanical services work will require a licence.

For existing businesses who carry out mechanical services work prior to 1 January 2020, a licensing exemption period of 6 months will allow time for these businesses to obtain a licence. This exemption only applies to work that is not currently regulated (e.g. it does not apply to refrigeration and air-conditioning work valued at more than $3,300).

Individuals who are employed by an existing business will be able to continue to perform mechanical services work for the business pending a decision on the business’ licence application. However, individuals who complete apprenticeships after 1 January 2020 will require an occupational licence upon completion of their apprenticeship regardless of their employment status. Nominee supervisors will also require a licence from 1 January 2020.

Individuals who work for an employer who holds a mechanical services contractor’s licence must obtain their licence before 1 January 2022 (unless they have completed an apprenticeship or act as a nominee supervisor).

From 1 July 2020 all contractors must be licensed. Licence applications must be made to the QBCC well before this date to ensure the licence is issued prior to 1 July 2020.  Workers will only be exempt from licensing requirements if they are employed by an appropriately licensed contractor.   

From 1 January 2022, all individuals will need to hold a mechanical services licence to lawfully perform mechanical services work.  Offences and fines will apply if you don’t hold an appropriate licence.   Licence applications must be made to the QBCC well before this date to ensure the licence is issued prior to 1 January 2022.