NSW Builders License – Required qualifications, experience & more
Not sure if you are on the right path to get your builders licence in New South Wales, Australia? Here’s a full wrap of what you need to know. MUST READ.
We have a lot of enquirers checking in to see if they can apply for a builders licence. The truth is, you might not be eligible for a builders licence in NSW for a number of reasons.
It is a real shame because some enquirers have put in the effort at TAFE or similar, and done years of study only to find out that they were never told about the ‘experience’ component required by Fair Trading to attain their builders licence. Or others, have been charged large sums of money by RTOs only to find out they too are not eligible for a builders licence.
Here are some of the many issues that ‘Bob’ the builder to be gets caught up in:
- a lack of experience
- the wrong type of experience
- the wrong type of employment arrangement when attaining the experience
- wrong qualifications
- unrecognised qualification or certification
- Right qualification, but the wrong units (subject).
In this article, we aim to clear up the noise and help you ensure you meet the criteria for a builders licence BEFORE spending hard-earned money and time on a building course.
NSW Builders Licence Requirements:
When applying for your licence you will need to meet a number of criteria. These include:
- Financial/Criminal checks
NSW Fair Trading requests personal information relating to previous businesses and criminal checks. If you have any prior bad financial history, name change, or criminal record, you will need to provide additional documents as outlined in the application form.
You need to show that you have at least 2 years of relevant industry experience from a wide range of building construction work and activities. The majority of the experience needs to have been obtained within 10 years of the date on which the application for your licence is being made.
- What employment arrangements are considered?
In simple terms, Fair Trading expects that you were employed as an employee ‘on the books’ by a licensed builder (or building company). During this time you must have been supervised and paid.
Here’s the exact extract from Fair Trading’s website as of today’s date:
Applicants must show at least 2 years of relevant industry experience in a wide range of building construction work where the majority of the experience was obtained within 10 years of the date on which the application is made.
“Experience” means experience gained by the applicant as:
- an employee of, or
- a holder of a supervisor certificate and as a nominated supervisor for the contractor licence held by, or
- a holder of an endorsed contractor licence contracted to, or
- a holder of a supervisor certificate in the capacity of a nominated supervisor for a contractor licence held by an individual, partnership or corporation contracted to, the holder of a contractor licence authorising the holder to do the class of residential building work in which the experience was gained (“the Work”), where the applicant, during the relevant period, was:
- supervised and directed in the doing of the Work by the holder of an endorsed contractor licence or supervisor certificate authorising its holder to supervise the Work, and
- remunerated with money in accordance with law for the Work which the applicant carried out.
- What does a wide range of residential building work mean?
In order for your experience to be recognised as relevant, you will need to show that you have experience in a wide range of residential building work. This may include but is not limited to: the experience that demonstrates the ability or capacity to competently project manage residential building work on-site in accordance with the Building Code of Australia, including dealing effectively with sub-contractors, consumers, and other parties.
Be wary that experience in singular trade work will not meet the experience requirements. You should demonstrate experience across all stages of construction in order to satisfy that you have the capacity to do, coordinate and supervise general building work in the construction of a residential dwelling.
- What documents will I need to show to prove my experience?
Fair Trading requires a short employment history to be filled out on the application form for a Contractor or Qualified Supervisor General Builders Licence. In addition to this, they also require a ‘Referee Statement’ form and ‘Applicant’s Residential Building Experience’ forms (available from their website) to be completed. This details the residential building work that you completed whilst working with a licensed builder. You will need to show the building address, DA number, and licence number of the builder you were working with on that site. Owner builder sites are not accepted under any circumstances.
When filling out your ‘Applicant’s Residential Building Experience’ forms it is advised that you provide all the job sites and years of relevant industry experience in a wide range of building construction work; not just the minimum two (2) years.
Finally, when assessing your licence Fair Trading may request other forms of evidence including and not limited to superannuation papers, payslips, and other proof to show that you were ‘on the books’ (employed) with the relevant builder during the period of time you gained your experience.
- Still not sure?
If you are in any doubt about meeting the relevant experience requirements then you should contact the NSW Department Fair Trading and discuss your situation with them. You must tackle this prior to enrolling in any builders course.
Qualify Me!’s building qualifications are designed to meet the NSW Department of Fair Trading licence application requirements. There are a few pathways that you can take to apply for your Builders Licence. Loosely speaking, carpenters with a building qualification, bricklayers with a building qualification, and project managers holding a Diploma or relevant degree meet qualification requirements for a builders licence in NSW.
I am an experienced Carpenter
You will need to show a licence or qualification in carpentry PLUS a Certificate IV in Building & Construction. If you don’t have any of these qualifications, but have ample experience in both, check out our recognition programs:
I am an experienced Bricklayer
You will need to show a licence or qualification in bricklaying PLUS a Certificate IV in Building & Construction
I am not really on the tools – Construction Project Managers
If you do not have a Carpentry or Bricklaying Licence, qualifications, or experience but do have significant experience in the building and construction industry then you can obtain the necessary qualifications by completing a Certificate IV in Building PLUS Construction and a Diploma of Building and Construction.
Here are the recognition programs that we at Qualify Me offer:
- Diploma of Building & Construction Recognition Program (covers commercial and medium-rise buildings)
- Certificate IV in Building & Construction Recognition Program (covers residential low rise buildings)
I hold a degree from the university
If you hold a degree in Building, Construction, Construction Management, Construction Economics, Applied Science (Building), or Quantity Surveying from an Australian University and have completed the mandatory work-placement then you can apply for the licence directly. If you have a degree from any University outside Australia it is NOT accepted.
Alternatively, if you have a Bachelor of Housing from an Australian University or a Degree in Civil Engineering, Structural Engineering, Architecture, Housing, Construction, Construction Management, Construction Economics, Applied Science (Building), Quantity Surveying from an Australian University PLUS a Certificate IV in Building & Construction with the units (subjects) shown above.
Need more information?
By now, I’m sure you have a few questions you need to be answered. Call Qualify Me on 1800 765 295 and we’d be happy to help you get sorted.