Choosing an electricity tradesperson

It is important to never do your own electrical work. You should always engage a registered electrical contractor.


If you are planning to have some electrical installation work done, you must engage a registered electrical contractor. They will dispatch a licensed and qualified electrician to do the work to the required standards.

Ask to see their licence – it is your guarantee that they know what they are doing and provides you with avenues for recourse if something goes wrong.

Examples of electrical workers' licences.



Whenever a licensed electrician completes any electrical installation work, they must provide a certificate of electrical safety (COES).

Certificates of electrical safety are only available from qualified electrical workers who are registered or licensed with ESV. As such, a certificate is assurance that the work has been done by an appropriately qualified person and that it has been carried out in accordance with the high standards demanded by the ESV. The work is subject to audit to ensure it complies with the standards.

Examples of certificates of electrical safety

        Prescribed                                                Non-Prescribed

Prescribed certificates

You will receive a prescribed certificate for all major electrical wiring work in all types of premises. In a domestic situation, this covers all work done on wiring and equipment where you cannot switch off the electricity. This generally means work on wires up to the switchboard and may include the wiring from the street to the house/building and the electricity meter.

All prescribed work must be inspected by an appropriately qualified inspector (this will be arranged by your electrical contractor).

Non-prescribed certificates

You will receive a non-prescribed certificate for all minor electrical wiring work in all types of premises.

In a domestic situation, this covers all work done on wiring where you can switch off the electricity at the switchboard. For example, installation or maintenance of safety switches, circuit breakers, power points, non-plug in electrical equipment or lighting points within the house.

Non-prescribed work does not require inspection, but ESV may arrange one with your agreement for audit purposes.

Who to contact if there are problems

If your electrical contractor does not show you his/her licence or does not issue you with a certificate of electrical safety, contact ESV immediately.

More information

For more information on using and choosing an electrical tradesperson, call ESV on (03) 9203 9700 or email on