Paper Certificates of Electrical Safety

Information for electrical workers about completing and lodging paper COES

Paper COES

The Electricity Safety Act 1998 and Electricity Safety (General) Regulations 2019 require a Certificate of Electrical Safety (COES) to be issued for all electrical installation work.

Your responsibilities

Once you have purchased and completed your paper COES, you need to:

  • Lodge the paper COES details using the interactive voice response (IVR) phone system (call 1300 360 366)
  • Ensure the Inspector has lodged their Certificate of Inspection (for prescribed COES only)
  • Distribute all copies to the relevant parties. Each copy is labelled with the party the copy belongs to
  • Keep your copy of the COES for three years.

It is the duty of the responsible person (REC Technical Nominee, A Grade Licence holder, REL holder or Switchgear licence holder) and LEIs to understand the legislation. All provisions of the Act and Regulations on COES and electrical inspections are mandatory.

Failure to comply with these requirements is a criminal offence and licensed workers who do so may be subject to disciplinary action which could result in the suspension or cancellation of their licence.

Guides for using paper COES

Energy Safe Victoria has produced the following information to assist the electrical industry in lodging and issuing Paper COES as specified by the Electricity Safety Act and the Electricity Safety (General) Regulations.

  • REC or LEW lodge a Paper Certificate of Compliance:
PaperCOES_P_NP_RP_Processes_Aug2020
PDF 117.57 KB
(opens in a new window)
  • LEI lodge a Paper Certificate of Inspection:
PaperCOES_P_LEI_Processes_Aug2020
PDF 82.27 KB
(opens in a new window)
  • REC or LEW lodge a periodic Certificate of Electrical Safety:
PaperCOES_Periodic_RP_Processes_Aug2020
PDF 80.38 KB
(opens in a new window)

User ID details

To purchase and lodge paper certificates, you will need your User ID and PIN. All current electrical licence numbers and REC numbers will have corresponding User ID details automatically allocated by Energy Safe. If you are unsure of your User ID details, please contact us requesting this information.

Paper COES can only be lodged through Energy Safe's IVR system — call 1300 360 366(opens in a new window)

Types of paper COES

There are 3 types of certificates:

  • Prescribed
  • Non-prescribed
  • Periodic

This image gallery shows the various paper COES forms.
Use the arrow keys ( < and > ) to advance through the images, and click the double arrow to enlarge the gallery.

Periodic COES certificates

Periodic COES certificates allow non-prescribed electrical installation work completed at a single address (such as a factory or plant) for a period of three months to be collated together on a single certificate. Periodic certificates cannot be used for multiple properties.

The Registered Electrical Contractor (REC) or Licenced Electrical Worker (LEW) allocated to the Periodic Certificate is not responsible for the electrical work performed by other Licenced Electrical Workers, they are responsible for their own electrical work and the administration of the Periodic Certificate.

If you believe your work is eligible for the use of periodic COES, please contact us for further information.

Purchasing paper COES

Refer to the COES fees page for current COES fees.

Paper COES purchases

  • Prescribed and Non Prescribed Certificate of Electrical Safety – can be purchased from Energy Safe's authorised agents (authorised electrical wholesalers). Refer to the list of COES agents below.
  • Periodic COES – can only be purchased from Energy Safe.

COES Periodic Order Form FY 2023-24:

COES Periodic Order Form 2023-24
PDF 76.48 KB
(opens in a new window)

Send completed COES order forms:

COES agents

These are the agents authorised to sell Prescribed and Non-prescribed COES certificates:

  • Active Electrical
  • Aerial Industries
  • AWM
  • CNW Pty Ltd
  • Delta Electrical Distributors
  • Electrical Inspections Victoria Pty Ltd
  • Lawrence & Hanson/Auslec
  • Lecky’s Electrical Wholesale
  • Middendorp Electric Co
  • Rexel
  • Titan Trading.

Lodging paper COES

Paper COES can only be lodged through the IVR phone system. Lodging paper COES through Online Services is no longer available.

Have your User ID and PIN at hand along with the Certificate/s to be lodged.

Note: Only use your phone's keypad to enter information. Do not speak the numbers into the phone.

  • Call 1300 360 366 The service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • Enter your 6-digit User ID and your 4-digit PIN
  • Select option 1 – Lodge Certificate
  • Enter the Certificate number, followed by the # key
  • Enter the User ID of the electrician who performed the work
  • Enter the correct information for the remaining prompts.

Distribution of paper COES

This process applies to:

  • Registered Electrical Contractors who are also the Licensed Electrical Worker (sole traders)
  • Registered Electrical Contractors who as the employer of Licensed Electrical Workers
  • a Licensed Electrical Worker who completes electrical installation work for no profit or gain
  • a Licensed Electrical Worker employed by a company to perform work at the company’s premises
  • Restricted Electrical Licence holder (non-prescribed COES only).

Once a paper COES has been lodged, the responsible person must send all copies of the paper COES to the relevant parties identified on each copy of the COES.

All Energy Safe copies of Paper COES must be sent to:

PO Box 262
Collins Street West
VICTORIA 8007

This table lists the relevant parties that must be sent a copy of a COES:

COES Type/ColourOriginal (multi-coloured)WhiteBlueYellowGreen
PrescribedCustomerEnergy Safe Victoria
(2nd copy)

Licensed Electrical Inspector

(3rd copy)

Electricity Supplier / Distributor
(4th copy)
Responsible Person
(5th copy)
Non-PrescribedCustomerEnergy Safe Victoria
(2nd copy)
N/AN/AResponsible Person
(3rd copy)
PeriodicCustomerN/AEnergy Safe Victoria
(2nd copy)
N/AResponsible Person
(3rd copy)

Charging customers fees for COES

Can Registered Electrical Contractor (RECs) and Restricted Electrical Licence holders (RELs) charge an administration fee for the purchase of COES?

Yes. A REC or REL may charge their customers fees for the administration of COES. Specifically, Energy Safe advises the following:

  • A Registered Electrical Contractor (REC) or Restricted Electrical Licence holder (REL) can seek payment from their customers for the purchase amount of Certificates of Electrical Safety (COES).
  • The authorised amount for COES is legislated in the Electricity Safety Act s45B(12) and Regulation 265 of the Electricity Safety (General) Regulations 2019. This amount is GST exempt.

However, an REC or REL may elect to charge their customers an additional handling fee for their time in purchasing the COES, filling it out and lodging it with Energy Safe Victoria as required. This additional fee amount is determined by the REC or REL and should be explained by the REC or REL to their customer.

Some RECs and RELs elect to not itemise Certificates of Electrical Safety separately on their invoices. Instead, the COES and handling fee form part of the sundry items or may even be included as part of one lump sum in their invoice. Although the purchase of COES from Energy Safe does not attract GST, an REC or REL may be required to add GST to the amount they charge their customers. Energy Safe Victoria cannot give advice regarding GST.

The amount the REC or REL charges the customer, over and above the authorised purchase amount for the Certificate of Electrical Safety, including handling fee is a contractual issue between the REC or REL and their customer.

Multiple electrical installation certificates requirements
PDF 628.85 KB
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Date: 30/05/2024 6:48

Controlled document

The currency and accuracy of this document cannot be guaranteed once printed or saved to a storage device. If in doubt, please check the ESV website for the current version.

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