New fire protection framework
On 1 May 2021, a new fire protection licensing framework commenced in Queensland.
The new framework introduces:
- five specific streams of fire protection licences
- new design classes
- changes to the fire safety professional licence class
- changes to ‘fire protection work’ regulated by the QBCC
- changes of scope of work for transitioning licence classes.
Five new streams of fire protection licences
The new fire protection licensing framework introduces five fire system streams which groups existing licence classes with similar functions and types of work.
See the summary of new licence classes for more details about which licence classes are offered across each of the streams.
Note: not all classes are available for each stream, refer to summary of new licences for more details about which licence classes are offered across each of the streams.
Changes of scope of work for transitioning licence classes
Existing licensees should be aware of changes to their scope of work for some transitioning classes. In some cases, licensees will need to apply for additional licence classes to be able to carry out their current scope of work in full.
New classes of licence
New licence classes will be introduced to design water-based fire system and fire alarm systems. Additional licence classes have also been introduced for the installation and maintenance of fire and smoke walls. The new licence classes will ensure this work is appropriately regulated and reflects current industry practice.
There are transitional arrangements to give those already working in these fields time to obtain the required licence.
Changes to the fire safety professional class
The fire safety professional class will be retained. However, the scope of work for the fire safety professional will be amended to restrict this class to conducting inspections and reports on buildings against fire performance legislation.
New licensees will need to hold a relevant accreditation (e.g. with the Australian Institute of Building Surveyors or Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors), to determine the classes of building they can inspect and report on. Current licensees may continue to inspect and report on all building types.
Changes to ‘fire protection work’
From 1 May 2021, what is ‘fire protection work’ and ‘fire protection equipment’ has changed. A QBCC fire protection licence will not be required if carrying out any of the below types of work or for work involving the below equipment.
Note, the changes apply from 1 May 2021. Carrying out any of the below work without a licence before 1 May 2021 is unlawful and may risk your right to payment. Therefore, existing licensees must retain their licence until the new laws commence on 1 May 2021.
Carrying out emergency procedures work will no longer be considered fire protection work and will not require a fire protection licence from 1 May 2021.
Emergency procedures work will continue to be governed by the Building Fire Safety Regulation 2008 and more information on emergency procedures can be found at www.qfes.qld.gov.au.
Battery-operated smoke alarms
The installation, repair or maintenance of a battery-operated smoke alarm in a residential (class 1a or 2) building work will no longer be considered fire protection work and will not require a fire protection licence from 1 May 2021.
Fire blankets will no longer be considered fire protection equipment and work involving fire blankets will not require a fire protection licence from 1 May 2021.
The formulation and provision of alternative solutions will no longer be considered fire protection work and will not require a fire protection licence from 1 May 2021.