There is a process to become a builder in Victoria.
Many aspiring entrants into the construction industry are unaware of the necessary steps that must be taken to become a registered builder in Victoria. With the need for higher levels of safety and quality becoming increasingly important on construction sites, it is evident that the path to becoming a builder in Victoria is one that takes patience and meticulousness. From completing courses to taking assessments, there are numerous requirements that you need to fulfill to become a builder in Victoria.
The first step to become a builder in Victoria, and perhaps most important area of which potential builders must begin their journey is obtaining the necessary qualifications. Before anything, it is imperative that a white card is obtained. A white card (or general construction induction card) is a requirement that grants you access to construction zones, as well as carrying out construction work. This normally takes one (1) day to complete.
Once you have a white card, an appropriate course must be considered for learning everything essential to become a builder. Two courses typically considered are the Certificate IV and Diploma in Building and Construction (Building) and the Diploma of Building and Construction (Building). These courses follow the Australian Qualifications Framework, which governs the quality, standards and study progression. The Certificate IV in Building and Construction course (course code: CPC40110) is considered a convenient starting point, particularly for those with little to no building experience.
Following this is the Diploma of Building and Construction (course code: CPC50210) which takes concepts taught in CPC40110 and expands on them, as well as offering new learning objectives, largely around project management.
More information about certificate and diploma courses can be found in our blogs, where we go in-depth and outline all the important information about both courses.
Undertaking both courses will provide you with knowledge that can be appropriately applied in a construction workplace. Equally important, is the context for the learner who has had some practical experience in a construction setting but does not comprehend the underpinning knowledge.
Despite gaining qualifications at a Certificate IV and Diploma level, having practical experience significantly fast tracks your journey to become a builder in Victoria. In fact it is expected that knowledge alone is insufficient to qualify to become a builder. There is also the on-ground, hands on experience gained from having been part of a building construction process. Typically, three (3) years should be enough to offer one adequate in at least three (3) homes, at all stages of the construction and this experience must be attested to by the resident registered builder supervising the project. However, the relevant registering authority, the Victorian Building Authority (VBA) offers a time scale of seven (7) years, that is projects that the applicant has been part of over that period.
It is also not sufficient to state that you have had that relevant experience. The VBA also requires the following to confirm that experience.
- For each of the project, the VBA requires the address of the building project
- Building permit documents in A4 size
- Maximum of 10 photos at different stages in the construction projects
- One (1) set of elevation in size A3
- One (1) section through building in A3
- One (1) site plan including hindrances faced and Setbacks
- One (1) Floor Plan in size a3 and I engineers drawings in A3
To obtain a Builder’s License, you must register with the VBA. The VBA are the central authority for regulating and monitoring all building activity in Victoria. Being registered with the VBA allows you to carry out certain construction work. This includes:
- Undertaking domestic building work that has costs surpassing $10,000.
- Re-blocking, re-stumping, demolishing, removing a home, or essentially any building task which requires a permit, regardless of project costs.
- Providing more than one type of building work that surpasses $10,000.
Obtaining a builder’s license isn’t as simple as just applying. In reality there are distinct categories of building licenses, and whichever you fall under will determine what you can apply for. Such categories include:
- Domestic Builder (Limited)
- Domestic Builder (Unlimited)
- Commercial Builder (Limited to low-rise work)
- Commercial Builder (Limited to medium-rise work)
These categories differ in terms of their limitations, which means there are certain types of construction work that you will and won’t be able to do. For example, someone with a Commercial Builder (Limited to low-rise work) license would not be able to undertake work of a domestic nature. This could only be done by someone with a Domestic Builder license.
More information can be found on the VBA’s website www.vba.vic.gov.au which details each category in more depth.
Once you have determined the type of license you would like to apply for, you must then submit an application. The process involves a fit and proper person screening, where the VBA analyses whether you are eligible to become a registered building practitioner based on completing declarations and undergoing police checks. Additionally, depending on the category of license you chose, you may be required to sit an exam.
If your application is successful, you will become a licensed building practitioner for up to five years, and can freely undertake the projects you desire to complete that fall within the limits of your license.
Becoming a builder in Victoria demands determination and resilience. The process from beginning to end requires would-be builders to go through numerous obstacles, as the importance of quality and safety in construction is absolute. Following these steps will aid you and simplify your journey to becoming a licensed building practitioner.
Parker Brent offers courses in Building and Construction that can give you the education needed to become a reputable builder. For more information, head to www.parkerbrent.com.au/courses/ to get started with us.
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