Changes to certify classes

Licensees who held any ‘certify’ class prior to 1 May 2021 should be aware of changes to their scope of work following the commencement of the new fire protection licensing framework. New definitions (see below) for the meaning of ‘certify’ will mean in some cases, licensees need to apply for additional licence classes to be able to carry out their former scope of work in full. 

New definitions 

Certify – in relation to fire protection equipment – means:

  • prepare a certificate stating that, after carrying out an annual survey of the equipment, it is considered no changes have affected the equipment that would cause it not to meet any of its design requirements
  • prepare one or more certificates relating to either or both of the following matters:
    • the installation of the equipment
    • whether the equipment meets its design requirements.

If two or more certificates are prepared for an item or system of fire protection equipment, the certificates need not be prepared by the same person.

Certificate includes a statement and record, however called.

Survey means a visual inspection of fire protection equipment to identify if the equipment has been altered, damaged or compromised.

Scopes of work

The new ‘certify’ classes do not include inspect and test work. From 1 May 2021, ‘certify’ licensees seeking to ‘inspect and test’ fire equipment must obtain the relevant class for ‘inspect and test’ work by stream.

New fire licence classes for ‘inspect and test’ work are detailed below:

Passive stream
  • passive stream – inspect and test.
Special hazard fire system stream
  • special hazard fire system stream – install and maintain.
Water-based fire system stream (all systems)
  • water-based fire system stream – install and maintain.
Water-based fire system stream (limited systems)
  • water-based fire system stream – install and maintain – restricted to commercial and industrial types 
  • water-based fire system stream – install and maintain – restricted to domestic and residential types. 
Portable stream
  • portable stream – install and maintain (also authorises 6-monthly inspect and test of unpumped hydrant systems).
Electrical stream (emergency lighting and fire alarm systems)
  • electrical stream – inspect and test – emergency lighting
  • electrical stream – install and maintain – fire alarms systems*

* Note: licence exemptions for electrical mechanics performing ‘inspect and test’ work for a licensed QBCC contractor have been retained.

Fire safety professional licence class
  • will no longer be able to certify, or inspect and test fire protection equipment from 1 May 2021
  • fire safety professional licensees seeking to continue this work for all fire equipment will need to hold the ‘certify’ class for ‘inspect and test’ work for all streams

See the individual web pages on the new licence streams for more information on transitioning current classes:

When is a ‘certify' class required?

A ‘certify’ class of licence is required to issue a certificate or statement relating to fire protection work. This includes the issue of aspect certificates under the Building Act 1975.  

An additional licence class is required:

  • for any ‘inspect and test’ work, other than a purely visual survey, that is required to support the issue of the relevant certificate or statement  OR
  • to complete the inspection and/or testing in accordance with the relevant Standard or other requirement.

For those streams where a standalone ‘inspect and test’ licence class is not available, the relevant ‘install and maintain’ licence class will be required (where ‘maintain’ work includes ‘inspecting and testing’). 

For example, a separate class (that is, special hazard fire system stream – ‘install and maintain’) will be required to perform the necessary ‘inspect and test’ work associated with maintenance obligations under the Building Fire Safety Regulation 2008, and the ‘certify’ class (that is, special hazard fire system stream – 'certify') will be required to issue the statement required by that Regulation.

A QBCC licensed person holding an ‘inspect and test’ or ‘install and maintain’ licence class can complete logbooks or other records of the results of their inspection and testing, but cannot issue certificates or statements, including a yearly condition report, without the relevant ‘certify’ licence class.