International Students

1 QUEENSLAND LICENSING REQUIREMENTS

Introduction

To obtain a QBCC licence you will need to satisfy each of the following licensing criteria:

  • Technical Qualification
  • Managerial Qualification (Trade licences only)
  • Experience in the scope of work for the licence class
  • Financial Requirements

This information will assist to enable you to meet the technical criteria for a licence. A formal technical qualification could consist of any of the following:

  • A completed apprenticeship
  • Successful completion of the appropriate course for the class of licence
  • Successful completion of an equivalent course for the class of licence (e.g. similar modules)
  • A recognition certificate
  • A qualification or statement of attainment of the required competency issued by an approved authority for the class of licence

To determine which formal technical qualification will be required for a particular licence class, you should contact the QBCC on 1300 272 272, or visit the QBCC’s website at www.qbcc.qld.gov.au.

If you do not hold a formal technical qualification, you may be eligible for Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL).

The RPL process is a method by which an eligible applicant can obtain formal recognition of their current skills and knowledge, no matter how, when or where the learning occurred. Further information about RPL is provided in the next section of this information (see Recognition of Prior Learning).

Should you have obtained your qualification overseas, you will need to have your qualification assessed against whether it is equivalent to the qualification required for the class of licence for which you are applying. 

When you can provide evidence of your technical qualification and have met all other licensing criteria (listed above) you are ready to submit your application for a licence.

Application forms and the scopes of work for each licence class are available and can be downloaded from the QBCC’s website at www.qbcc.qld.gov.au.

2 RECOGNITION OF PRIOR LEARNING (RPL)

It is common for people who hold a formal technical qualification to have gained this qualification through formal training. However, if you have not undertaken formal training with a course provider but have obtained your skills over a number of years under the supervision of others, you may be eligible to obtain a formal technical qualification through a process of Recognition of Prior Learning, also referred to as RPL or recognition of current competencies.

The RPL process is a method by which an eligible applicant can obtain formal recognition of their current skills and knowledge, no matter how, when or where the learning occurred, through a skills assessment.

RPL is a process of assessment conducted by a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) e.g. Keystone Training. RTOs are either Government-run training colleges or privately-operated business enterprises. A fee will apply for the RPL process and depending on the type of qualification concerned, can sometimes be expensive. It is therefore recommended that you contact Keystone Training to undergo the RPL process.

The process usually involves an initial assessment of your eligibility for RPL. Bear in mind that the process can take several days to complete and Keystone Training will advise you on this. If eligible, an assessment of your skills and knowledge will be undertaken.

Where it is found there are gaps in your skills and knowledge, it may be recommended that you undertake gap training before being assessed for the full qualification. You might be offered gap training with Keystone Training, or you may be referred to another RTO for formal training and assessment if Keystone Training does not offer a particular qualification.

Construction Skills Queensland may be able to assist you with finding an RTO who can provide you with an RPL assessment – refer below to the section on ‘Be Constructive’, for contact details. The benefit of contacting Construction Skills Queensland is that you may be eligible for government assistance with funding for your assessment.

3 BE CONSTRUCTIVE – WORKFORCE SOLUTIONS CENTRE

The Workforce Solutions Centre is a joint initiative between Construction Skills Queensland and the Queensland Government. Services include information about training programs which will assist interested people to gain necessary skills and experience in order to eventually be eligible to apply for a QBCC licence.

 Contact can be made by with the Workforce Solutions Centre at the following points:

  • Address: 460-492 Beaudesert Road, Salisbury, 4107.
  • Phone: 1800 798 488
  • Email to: [email protected]
  • Website: www.csq.org.au/wfsc

Alternatively you may wish to seek the services of Keystone Training directly or by referring to the ‘List of Licence Classes‘ section of this information, finding the licence you are interested in and contacting the RTOs which are indicated to be providing services in the qualification for that licence class.

For further information and current registration status of RTOs, refer to the National Training Information Service (NTIS) at www.ntis.gov.au. The NTIS website is an Australian Government website and provides a search function which allows you to obtain a list of RTOs that are registered by scope, to deliver training and assessment in the qualification you are seeking.

4 OVERSEAS QUALIFICATIONS

The technical qualifications for Queensland Building Services Authority (QBCC) licence classes are Australian nationally-recognised qualifications or accredited courses issued by Vocational Education organisations, or qualifications issued by Australian Tertiary institutions (universities etc).

This system is referred to as the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) and ranges from Level 1 through to Level 11 as illustrated below.

AQF Level Qualifications issued by Australian Organisations
Vocational Education Training Sector Tertiary Sector Institutions

  • Level 1 Certificate I
  • Level 2 Certificate II
  • Level 3 Certificate III
  • Level 4 Certificate IV
  • Level 5 Diploma 
  • Level 6 Advanced Diploma Associate Degree
  • Level 7 Bachelor Degree
  • Level 8 Vocational Graduate Certificate Graduate Certificate
  • Level 9 Vocational Graduate Diploma Graduate Diploma
  • Level 10 Masters Degree
  • Level 11 Doctoral Degree

Vocational Education Training (VET) sector organisations are typically Registered Training Organisations which are technical colleges, for example, Keystone Training.

Tertiary sector institutions are typically universities and other educational institutions which award qualifications in under-graduate (e.g. Bachelor Degree or below) or post-graduate (e.g. Graduate Certificate or above) programs.

Typically someone who has completed an apprenticeship in a trade in Australia would have achieved somewhere in the range of an AQF Certificate III outcome. While the qualifications framework in each overseas country differs and each person’s case is different, understanding the AQF should give an overseas-qualified person some idea at what level their qualification might align with. To apply for a licence however, formal evidence of an AQF qualification is required by the QBCC.

If you are already resident in Queensland and have overseas qualifications which you believe may align with an Australian qualification you should contact the Skills Recognition branch of the Department of Education and Training (DET) to see if you are eligible for this service – Phone: 1300 369 935 – they will be able to assist you with an assessment of comparability of the AQF level of your overseas qualification (this is a free service and only available to eligible Queensland residents). Note this is not a Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) assessment – it is a comparability assessment to assess what AQF level your overseas qualification aligns with.

Once the Skills Recognition Branch issues you with documentation which states the AQF level that your overseas qualification is comparable to, it will be necessary to demonstrate that the technical content of your overseas qualification is sufficient to meet the technical qualification or requirements for the QBCClicence class that you intend to apply for. To do this you will need to undergo Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) assessment conducted by a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) e.g. Keystone Training. 

Note: Holders of a NEW ZEALAND building licence may not need to undertake the following steps and may be able to apply to become licensed under Mutual Recognition. Information about Mutual Recognition can be found on the QBCC website (www.qbcc.qld.gov.au). Go to the page for ‘Builders/Contractors’ and click on ‘Applying for a Licence’ where you will find the option for ‘Interstate (Mutual Recognition)’, which also applies to New Zealand licence holders.

Persons who hold higher qualifications may be eligible to apply to QBCC directly. If you do hold a higher qualification obtained overseas and wish to apply for a licence, it is essential that you can demonstrate that the study undertaken to gain that qualification is relevant to the scope of work for the licence.

Besides providing a copy of your qualification with your licence application, you will also need to ensure you can provide evidence of experience, references from former employers specifically detailing the breadth of your experience, supported by other details and photos of your work on construction projects.

If you are already residing in Australia and have obtained membership from an Australian professional institute or body, in certain circumstances evidence of your membership level with that institute or body may help support your application.

For trade-qualified people who obtained their qualifications outside of Australia and who are still residing overseas, who believe that qualification may be comparable to the ranges of AQF levels 1 to 3, some options currently exist to have your qualifications assessed and recognised in your home country.

More Information

 Depending on what grade of licence you wish to apply for (contractor, nominee supervisor or site supervisor), you may also be required to meet Financial Requirements for Licensing and/or hold the QBCC managerial qualification, as well as be able to demonstrate practical experience.

 For further information about the Experience required, this is outlined in the requirements for the licence class.

 For further information about the Financial Requirements for Licensing, log onto the QBCCwebsite, www.qbcc.qld.gov.au, click on the option for ‘Builders/Contractors’ and then choose the option for ‘Financial Requirements’.

 For further information about the QBCC Managerial Qualification, log onto the QBCC website, www.qbcc.qld.gov.au, click on the option for ‘Builders/Contractors’ and then choose the option for ‘Applying for a Licence’ and choose the option for ‘Managerial Qualification’.

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