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Restricted Electrical Worker’s licence (REL)

The Restricted Electrical Worker’s licence, previously known as ‘D’ licence, (REL) entitles the licence holder to carry out disconnect and reconnect low-voltage electrical installation work relating to:

  • equipment that is connected to a fixed electrical installation,
  • associated with your primary trade, vocation or occupation, and
  • would otherwise require the services of a registered electrical contractor or a licensed electrician.

This licence type only allows the disconnection and reconnection of ‘like for like’ equipment, for the purposes of repair, replacement and maintenance.

The Restricted Electrical Worker’s licence does not allow for electrical wiring and installation work at low voltage or above. All fixed electrical installation work requires a licensed electrician and a registered electrical contractor.

Do I need a Restricted Electrical Worker’s licence?

Yes – If the equipment is fixed into position, directly connected to mains supply and requires isolation and disconnection to be repaired, replaced or maintained on site, you will require a Restricted Electrical Worker’s licence and are required to issue a Certificate of Electrical Safety (COES) upon completion of the service call.

No – If the equipment is easily transportable and plugged in by a 2 or 3 pin plug and only the power cord is removed from a standard power outlet (power point or general power/socket outlet) this equipment is considered plug in and does not require a restricted licence.

Eligibility for a Restricted Electrical Worker’s licence

You may be eligible to apply for an REL if you are employed (and not currently an apprentice or trainee) in an occupation where there is a need to disconnect and reconnect equipment connected to the fixed electrical installation or components of equipment.

Plumbers, mechanical fitters, refrigeration and air-conditioning mechanics are examples of trades able to apply for this type of licence.

Applying for a Restricted Electrical Worker’s licence

ESV requirements for an REL

To determine if an applicant is suitable for a Restricted Electrical Worker’s licence, ESV has several requirements:

  • Provision of appropriate documentation to gain course acceptance – demonstrating competence in your field (see below)
  • Successful completion of the Restricted Electrical Worker’s licence course through a TAFE college or other registered training provider
  • Submission of a completed application Restricted Electrical Worker’s application form.

Applying for an REL

An REL application must be lodged with ESV and include:

  • A completed application form,
  • A supporting letter from your employer on business letterhead and signed by an authorised person, detailing the type of work and equipment where replacement work on a ‘like for like basis’ is required, clearly stating and justifying the requirements for a Restricted Electrical Worker’s licence to perform electrical work incidental to your primary function,
  • Qualifications, training and supporting documentation to demonstrate that you are qualified and competent to work on the relevant equipment in your field,
  • Copies of all relevant documents and certifications demonstrating your competency in your primary trade, vocation or occupation, and
  • Payment of the licence fee.

If you are self-employed

If you are self-employed, submit your application form and fee with a detailed written submission describing the type of electrical equipment you use and stating the requirement for a licence to perform electrical work incidental to your primary function.

Application review by ESV

A Restricted Electrical Worker’s licence application is subject to detailed review. ESV must be satisfied that your safety and that of the public is not jeopardised by issuing you a licence for the disconnection/reconnection of electrical equipment.

Enrolment and successful completion of the Restricted Electrical Worker’s licence course does not automatically entitle you to a Restricted Electrical Worker’s licence. ESV may issue a licence when it is satisfied that you:

  • Require the licence as incidental to your trade, vocation or occupation, and
  • Can demonstrate competency in the area in which you are working, such as a relevant trade history or display of competency.

Required competencies for a Restricted Electrical Worker

An applicant must be able to demonstrate competency in the area they are working and with the relevant equipment.

For the trades of refrigeration, air-conditioning and plumbing and gas fitting, ESV expects a minimum Certificate III qualification, a Victorian Building Authority (VBA) registration/licence and/or a Refrigerant Handling licence.

Competency modules guide

Below is a guide to the competency modules required.

Classifications under Electricity Safety (Installation) Regulations 1999 Classifications under Electricity Safety (Licensing & Registration) Regulations 2010 – Schedule 2

Recommended units of competency for completion at your local training provider.

 

For a Class 1 Licence applicant, both the Class 1 and Class 2 Units are required per classification

Class 1 – including fault finding Class 2 –Disconnect / Reconnect
Refrigeration and air Conditioning No Change UEENEEP017A  UEENEEP012A
Plumbing and gasfitting Water Heaters and gas appliances UEENEEP019A and UEENEEP017A

UEENEEP014A and

UEENEEP012A

Communications and computing Electronics UEENEEP017A UEENEEP012A
Instrumentation and process control Instrumentation and control devices UEENEEP018A UEENEEP013A
Domestic equipment Electrical appliances UEENEEP016A UEENEEP010A
Office equipment Electrical appliances UEENEEP016A UEENEEP010A
Industrial equipment Motors UEENEEP020A UEENEEP015A
Commercial equipment Composite equipment UEENEEP017A UEENEEP012A
Laboratory and scientific Control devices UEENEEP018A UEENEEP013A
 New category Hazardous area equipment  UEENEEP017A  UEENEEP021A
 New category Neon signs (preassembled)  UEENEEP017A  UEENEEP011A

The above units are the current Australian Quality Training Framework (AQTF) competencies. ESV cannot guarantee local training providers’ availability of the above units. If you have queries about the recommended competencies, contact your local training provider for more information.

Restricted Electrical Worker’s licence course

To approve course attendance, ESV requires:

  • A copy of your Trade Certificate or qualifications supporting the primary trade, vocation or occupation (or as assessed under the Australian standards for overseas qualifications).
  • A letter of support from the employer, or from you if self-employed, demonstrating the need and requirement for this licence. The letter must describe:
  • Tasks to be undertaken as a result of holding the licence
  • Tasks you are required to undertake for your primary trade, vocation or occupation
  • The equipment that will be disconnected/reconnected
  • The voltage applicable to such equipment

In–house training

If undertaking ‘in-house’ training, you must provide detailed information with your application regarding the training program as delivered:

  • Subject matter and level of training
  • How the training was conducted
  • How the trainer deemed competence to work on the equipment
  • Details of the trainer – name, experience and qualifications
  • Copies of course documentation – certificates and handouts, including a course manual and any other relevant training information
  • Location of the training and date(s)

Training providers

Classes of a Restricted Electrical Workers licence

Restricted Electrical Workers licence are now issued as Class 1 or 2, in each category.

All REL holders are limited to working as indicated on the licence and detailed in the Electricity Safety (Registration and Licensing) Regulations 2010 Reg 7.

For the purposes of Part 3, Division 2 of the Electricity Safety Act 1998, the following classes of electrical work are prescribed:

  • Class 1 – Restricted Electrical Workers Licence (includes Fault Finding)
  • Class 2 – Restricted Electrical Workers Licence (disconnect/reconnect only)

This revised structure was introduced in 2010 to increase the type of work that can be performed by Restricted Electrical Workers.

Refer to page Definition of fault finding for more information.

Restricted Electrical Worker’s licence – Class 1 (Fault Finding)

Electrical installation work required to carry out a primary work function relating to low voltage fixed electrical equipment that involves—

  1. the reconnection of that electrical equipment or component of that electrical equipment or the connection of other equipment or any component of equivalent power and current in the same location and without alteration to existing cables; and
  2. the disconnection of that electrical equipment or a component of that electrical equipment; and
  3. the testing of that electrical equipment or a component of that electrical equipment; and
  4. fault finding in relation to that electrical equipment or a component of that electrical equipment.

Restricted Electrical Worker’s licence – Class 2

Electrical installation work required to carry out a primary work function relating to low voltage fixed electrical equipment that involves—

  1. the reconnection of that electrical equipment or component of that electrical equipment or the connection of other equipment or any component of equivalent power and current in the same location and without alteration to existing cables; and
  2. the disconnection of that electrical equipment or a component of that electrical equipment; and
  3. the testing of that electrical equipment or a component of that electrical equipment.

Class 1 or Class 2?

To be awarded a Class 1 REL (to include fault finding), applicants must demonstrate to ESV they are duly competent to undertake fault finding.

If you cannot demonstrate competency to undertake fault finding – which ESV determines from the information submitted in your application – you will be required to successfully complete the fault find and repair unit of competency and associated modules in addition to the Restricted Electrical Worker’s licence course.

To be awarded Class 2 (without fault finding), ESV accepts applicants with evidence of the previous NREL 1 & 2 and POO1B and POO7 that precede the current requirements for existing licence holders.

Renewing a Restricted Electrical Worker’s licence and applying for a Class 1

If you plan to undertake fault finding tasks, you must advise ESV that you require a Class 1 Restricted Electrical Workers Licence that includes fault finding, at the time you are renewing your licence.

For ESV to issue a Class 1 licence you must submit the following documents with your renewal:

  • a copy of your trade qualifications,
  • PIC and ARTIC Registrations (front and back), and
  • a letter from your employer describing why this class of licence is required.

Additionally, for consideration of a Class 1 licence, applicants must submit evidence of competence in fault finding.

The following units are required: MEM18046 or POO7 Restricted Electrical Workers Licence (including fault finding), as well as Module MEM18049 or POO1B – Restricted Electrical Workers Licence Course, which may include a Practical Assessment as required by ESV.

If you have previously completed fault finding training and are unable to provide such evidence, you must arrange for review of your competence at a TAFE, and request a letter stating the training you have undertaken, included fault finding at that time.

Responsibilities of Restricted Electrical Worker’s licence holders

As a licence holder, it is your responsibility to understand the legislation and regulations in place at any time and work in accordance with them. This includes:

Additionally, as a Restricted Electrical Worker, it is your responsibility to:

  • carry out any electrical disconnect and reconnect work in accordance with the Australian/New Zealand Wiring Rules (AS/NZS 3000) and any other relevant standard,
  • electrically test the completed work, certify the work complies with the legislation and regulations, and
  • issue a Certificate of Electrical Safety (COES) to the person for whom you completed the work.

Fees

Refer to ESV’s fee structure for each licence type here.

It must be paid at the time the application is submitted. This amount includes a $70 non-refundable component. Credit card payments are preferred.

Renewing your REL

ESV will send a renewal notice to the last known address at least two months prior to the expiry date of the current licence.

Renew your licence via ESV’s online services once you have received your renewal. Renewal must be completed prior to expiry, otherwise your licence will expire, ESV may also apply a re-application fee. Refer to ESV’s fee structure for each licence type renewal here.

It is your responsibility to ensure your licence is current.

Your renewal is subject to rigorous review, particularly if your work circumstances have changed.

Read more about renewing a licence or replacing a licence.

Contact our Licensing team

If you need assistance with ESV’s online forms or have a query about licensing and registration, contact our Licensing and Registration team directly on 1800 815 721 or send an email to licensing@energysafe.vic.gov.au and we will attend to your query as soon as possible.

If you call the Licensing team after 4 pm, leave a message and one of our team will return your call the following business day.