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Paper Certificates of Electrical Safety

Information about completing and lodging paper COES.

Paper COES

The Electricity Safety Act 1998External Link and Electricity Safety (General) Regulations 2019External Link 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 complete the following:

  • Lodge the paper COES details using the IVR Phone System (1300 360 366)
  • Ensure the Inspector has lodged their Certificate of Inspection (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.

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 Victoria. If you are unsure of your User ID details, please contact us requesting this information.

Paper COES can only be lodged through Energy Safe Victoria's IVR (interactive voice response) system on 1300 360 366.

Types of Paper COES

There are 3 types of certificates:

  • Prescribed
  • Non-prescribed
  • Periodic

Periodic Certificates

Periodic COES allows 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 or Licenced Electrical Worker allocated to the Periodic Certificate is not responsible for the electrical work performed by other Licenced Electrical Worker’s, 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 – Energy Safe Victoria authorised agents i.e. authorised electrical wholesalers. Refer to the list below.
  • Periodic COES – can only be purchased from Energy Safe Victoria.
  • Send a completed COES order form to: COES Order Form

COES agents

  • 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 (interactive voice response) on 1300 360 366. Lodgement of 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: Use only the telephone keypad to enter information. DO NOT attempt to speak the numbers into the telephone.

  • Call 1300 360 366 – the service is available 24 hours, 7 days.
  • 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 electrician’s User ID 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 Trader)
  • Registered Electrical Contractor as 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 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 Victoria copies of Paper COES must be sent to:

PO Box 262,
Collins Street West

The table below advises the relevant parties each copy of a COES must be sent to.

COES Type/Colour Original (multi-coloured) White Blue Yellow Green
Prescribed Customer

Energy Safe Victoria
(2nd copy)

Licensed Electrical Inspector

(3rd copy)

Electricity Supplier / Distributor
(4th copy)
Responsible Person
(5th copy)



Energy Safe Victoria
(2nd copy)

N/A N/A Responsible Person
(3rd copy)
Periodic Customer


Energy Safe Victoria
(2nd copy)

N/A Responsible Person
(3rd copy)

Charging customers fees for COES

Can RECs and RELs charge an administration fee for the purchase of COES?

Yes. A Registered Electrical Contractor or a Restricted Electrical Licence holder may charge their customers fees for the administration of COES.

Specifically, Energy Safe Victoria 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 ActExternal Link s45B(12) and Regulation 265 of the Electricity Safety (General) Regulations 2019External Link . 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 REC’s and REL’s elect not to separately itemise Certificates of Electrical Safety 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 Victoria 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 the customer.

Date: 30/03/2023 12:54

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.

Reviewed 20 February 2023

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