Changes to fire protection licensing

Streamlined fire protection licensing framework

On 1 May 2021, a new fire protection licensing framework will commence in Queensland.

The new framework introduces:

  • five specific streams of fire protection licences  
  • new licence classes (design and passive fire protection) 
  • changes to ‘fire protection work’ regulated by the QBCC
  • changes to the fire safety professional licence. 

Five new streams of fire protection licences

The new fire protection licensing framework introduces five licence streams which rationalise existing licence classes by grouping them together by similar functions and types of work. 

See the summary of new licence classes below or see the Amendment Regulation for further details. 

Note: not all licence classes are available for each stream.

New licence classes (design and passive fire protection)

New licence classes will be introduced to design water-based fire systems and fire alarm systems. 

Additional fire protection licence classes have also been introduced for the installation and maintenance of a broader range of passive fire protection systems such as fire and smoke walls. 

The new licence classes will ensure this work is appropriately regulated and reflects current industry practice. 

For licensees currently working in these areas, transitional arrangements will outline the relevant pathways and timeframes for meeting new licensing requirements. 

Changes to the fire safety professional licence 

The fire safety professional licence class will be amended to reduce its scope of work 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), which will determine the classes of building they can inspect and report on.

Other changes to ‘fire protection work’ 

Emergency procedures

The emergency procedures licence class will be repealed on 1 May 2021 as its scope will no longer be considered ‘fire protection work’ under the QBCC Act. 

However, carrying out emergency procedures work without a licence before 1 May 2021 is unlawful and risks your right to payment. Therefore, existing licensees must retain their licence until the new laws commence on 1 May 2021.

If this is the only class of licence you hold, the QBCC will contact you in May 2021 to arrange a pro-rata refund relating to the remaining term of your licence.

Battery operated smoke alarms

The installation, repair or maintenance of a battery-operated smoke alarm in a residential (class 1a or 2) building will not require a fire protection licence from 1 May 2021.

Fire blankets

Fire blankets will no longer be considered fire protection equipment. Consequently, work involving fire blankets will not need a QBCC licence from 1 May 2021.

Alternative solutions

From 1 May 2021, the formulation and provision of alternative solutions will no longer be considered fire protection work. However, depending on the nature of the work, it may still be considered building work for which a contractor’s licence is required.

More information 

In the coming weeks, the QBCC will be updating its website with more information about the new framework to ensure current licensees and applicants know what the changes mean for them.

Most licensees will not need to take any action and will be transitioned automatically to the new equivalent class when the changes commence on 1 May 2021. 

Licensees who are required to upskill following the transition to their new licence class, will have sufficient time to complete any necessary training after May 2021. 

Licensees transitioning to a new class with a change in scope of work or those newly required to obtain a licence will receive notification from the QBCC prior to commencement of the new licensing framework. 

For more information at this time, visit the Department of Energy and Public Works website or refer your enquiries to a member of the fire protection licensing team using the online enquiry form or calling 139 333.