In late 2018, the Victorian Government made amendments to the Building Act 1993 to introduce a new registration and licensing scheme for tradespeople. The scheme aims to reduce non-compliant building work, enhance industry accountability and encourage skills formation. Changes will be implemented for carpentry first, with other trades to follow in subsequent implementation stages.

The timeline provides a summary of the pathway this project has taken towards implementation.

Project Update

In response to the Options Paper, the government received from industry and other stakeholders further targeted and considered input into the development of the scheme. As a result, a number of important improvements have been identified.

Improvements requiring legislative change have been prioritised by government. A Bill is presently before the Victorian Parliament to implement these improvements: Building Amendment (Registration and Other Matters) Bill 2021.

Improvements include:

  • A new streamlined pathway to registration just for subcontractors.This will avoid the overregulation of this cohort of practitioner;
  • Additional flexibility for the Victorian Building Authority to administer the scheme to the benefit of industry;
  • A strengthened registration and licensing process;
  • Strengthened transitional arrangements, including enabling the use of a training plan to provide a structured pathway for unqualified tradespeople to upskill in the 5-year qualifying period to a full registration or licence.

Next steps

Subject to the passage of the Bill through Parliament, a Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS) and a draft set of regulations will be released for public consultation.

The RIS and draft regulations will set out the detail of the new scheme for carpentry work in terms of a preferred option.  A number of feasible alternative options will also be presented for comparison. 

While the Building Act provides the framework of the new scheme, regulations are needed to prescribe the detail of the scheme, including:

  • New classes of practitioners and building employee
  • Types of regulated carpentry work; and
  • Entry requirements for registration and licensing, including qualifications and experience.

This means that the legislative framework (i.e. the changes in the Bill to the Act) cannot take effect until regulations are made.

Consultation on the commencement of the new scheme for carpentry work will occur with industry and stakeholders as part of the RIS consultation process.

The RIS and draft regulations are expected to be released after the Bill has been passed by Parliament.