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Restricted Electrical Worker’s licence (REL)

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

  • equipment that is connected to a fixed electrical installation,
  • associated with a 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 or maintenance.

The Restricted Electrical Worker’s licence does not allow a person to carry out electrical wiring and installation work at low voltage or above. All fixed electrical installation work requires a licensed electrician.

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 work.

No – If the equipment is easily transportable and is connected by a plug to a power outlet this equipment is considered plug in and does not require a restricted licence.

Eligibility

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 that equipment.

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

Application

ESV requirements

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 conducted by a Registered Training Organisation
  • Successful completion of an independent practical assessment conducted by an assessment centre approved by ESV
  • Submission of a completed application Restricted Electrical Worker’s application form.

Applying for a REL

A REL application must be lodged with ESV and include:

  • a completed application form
  • 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
  • copies of all relevant documents and certifications demonstrating your competency in your primary trade, vocation or occupation
  • evidence of completion of a unit of competence in Disconnect/Reconnect and/or Fault Finding. Approved units of competence are listed below
  • evidence of completion of the Independent Practical Assessment in Disconnect Reconnect and/or Fault Finding within the last five years, and
  • payment of the application 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

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

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.

Guidance for the issue of Restricted Electrical Worker Licences

The following is not a complete list of primary work functions, qualifications or types of work permitted, some judgement is still required. The list is provided to assist in deciding which classification you may be eligible for.

Primary work function Qualifications / Licence (Typical) Type of equipment / Work permitted Classifications under Electricity Safety (Licensing & Registration) Regulations
Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Technician/Mechanic/Tradesman

VBA endorsement or Cert III, IV or Advanced Diploma

Diploma of Air-conditioning and Refrigeration Electro technology Cert III, IV Refrigeration and Air Conditioning

Certificate of Proficiency or TRA Certificate as Refrigeration and air-conditioning.

Repair and replacement of air-conditioning units including,
split systems multi-head systems, HVAC motors for fans and chillers
Refrigeration and Air Conditioning
Plumber

VBA endorsement for Water supply, or Water Supply – restricted to domestic hot water services

Certificate III in Plumbing

Certificate of Completion – Plumbing & Gas fitting

Repair or replace electric hot water units, replace elements in electric hot water units Electronics
Service, Test or Design Technician or Engineer

Certificate III in Instrumentation and Control, Certificate IV in Instrumentation and Control

Bachelor of Science – Electronic & Electrical Engineering

Certificate III in Security Equipment

Bachelor of Mechatronics – Engineering

Board or component level repair or replacement of electronic components in VSDs, radar, UPS, instrumentation, PLCs, process equipment. LED / LCD signs Electronics
Instrumentation and Control, Process Instrumentation Technician / Engineer,
Maintenance Engineer

Cert III in Instrumentation and Control, Certificate IV in Instrumentation and Control

Diploma of Electrical and Instrumentation

Diploma of Instrumentation and Control Engineering

Diploma of Industrial Electronics and Control Engineering

Certificate IV in Industrial Electronics and Control

Certificate IV in Electrical – Instrumentation

Certificate IV in Engineering

Bachelor of Engineering – Elect & Computer Systems Engineering

Master’s Degree in Engineering (Professional)

Certificate of Proficiency – Instrument Making & Repairing

Repair or replace process control valves, PLCs, solenoids, control panels, instruments and displays in plastic and chemical plants Instrumentation
Appliance Repair Technician, Service Person

In-house / Manufacturer’s training

Certificate III in Appliance Service

Repair or replacement of elements, motors, controls, thermostats, in refrigerators, range hoods, ovens, stoves, stove tops, split system A/C Electrical appliances
Maintenance Manager / Engineer, Machinist, Fitter and Turner, Mechanical Engineer

Certificate III in Engineering – Mechanical Trade

Certificate IV in Engineering, Diploma of Engineering – Advanced Trade

Certificate III in Engineering – Fabrication Trade

Certificate III in Engineering- Electrical/Electronic Trade

Certificate III in Irrigation

Certificate of Completion of A/Ship/Certificate of Proficiency – Fitting & Turning

Advanced Diploma of Electronics Engineering

TRA Certificate – Mechanical Fitter

Master of Engineering Fabrication or mechanical

Repair or remove for repair of mechanical components of machines, i.e.: conveyors, pumps, screw elevators, moulding machines, lathes, drills, mills Motors
Appliance Repair Technician, Service Person

In-house / manufacturer’s training

Certificate III in Appliance Service

Coffee machines, vending machines, extraction canopies, bain-maries, warming cabinets, deep fryers, commercial ovens Composite equipment
Laboratory Technician

Scientist, Dr of research

Advanced Diploma of Laboratory Operations

In-house training

Bachelor of Engineering

Repair or replacement of centrifuges, ovens, sterilisers, incubators, autoclaves, microscopes, imaging equipment Control devices
Hazardous Area Technician or Engineer

In-house training

Hazardous Area Engineer

Repair or replacement of equipment within an area classified as hazardous Hazardous area equipment
Sign Writer or Repair Technician  In-house / manufacturer’s training, Certificate III in Signs and Graphics Repair or replacement of neon Signs or components of neon signs. Not LED / LCD signs

Neon signs (preassembled)

Unlikely to issue in the future

Endorsement by VBA as Type B Gas Fitter or enrolment in Type B Course CPCPGS4023B,
Electrician

Completion of VBA’s examination of competencies for type B gas fitting work

CPCPGS4023B Install, commission and service Type B gas appliances

Certificate of Completion – Plumbing & Gas fitting

Work on boilers, kilns process plant designated type B Gas appliances

Table revised 04.03.19

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.

In-house training

If you have undertaken in-house or specific equipment training, relevant to the work you undertake, 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)

Licence courses

Units of competence required for REL licence applications

You should apply to ESV to seek approval to attend the Restricted Electrical Workers licence course prior to commencing the course at an RTO. An RTO may request evidence of authorisation from ESV prior to accepting your enrolment.

If you intend to apply for a Restricted Electrical Licence Class 2 Disconnect Reconnect, you must complete ONE of the following units of competence at a Registered Training Organisation (RTO).

  • UEENEEP010A Disconnect – reconnect appliances connected to low voltage installation wiring
  • UEENEEP011A Disconnect – reconnect neon sign connected to low voltage installation wiring
  • UEENEEP012A Disconnect – reconnect composite appliances connected to low voltage installation wiring
  • UEENEEP013A Disconnect – reconnect control devices connected to low voltage installation wiring
  • UEENEEP014A Disconnect – reconnect water heaters connected to low voltage installation wiring
  • UEENEEP015A Disconnect – reconnect motors connected to low voltage installation wiring
  • UEENEEP021A Disconnect – reconnect explosion-protected appliances and control devices connected to low voltage installation wiring

Where possible, you should complete the unit of competence listed above which aligns to your primary trade. However, due to the availability of units at RTOs and the practical similarity between the units, ESV will accept any of the above for licence application, with the exception of persons applying for the Hazardous Area classification, who will require UEENEEP021A.

ESV will also accept the following superseded units of competence:

  • UEENEEP001B Disconnect and reconnect fixed wired electrical equipment connected to a Low Voltage supply NREL 1 & 2

If you intend to apply for a Restricted Electrical Licence Class 1 Fault Finding, you must complete ONE of the following units of competence at a Registered Training Organisation (RTO).

  • UEENEEP016A Locate and rectify faults in low voltage appliances using set procedures
  • UEENEEP017A Locate and rectify faults in low voltage composite appliances using set procedures
  • UEENEEP018A Locate and rectify faults in low voltage control devices using set procedures
  • UEENEEP019A Locate and rectify faults in low voltage water heaters using set procedures
  • UEENEEP020A Locate and rectify faults in low voltage motors using set procedures

Where possible, you should complete the unit of competence listed above which aligns to your primary trade. However, due to the availability of units at RTOs and the practical similarity between the units, ESV will accept any of the above for licence application.

ESV will also accept the following superseded unit of competence:

  • UEENEEP007B Locate and rectify faults in electrical low voltage equipment following prescribed procedures

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.

Training providers

Classes of licence

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

All Restricted Electrical Workers licence 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 Definition of fault finding for more information.

Restricted Electrical Worker’s licence – Class 1

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

  1. Disconnection of that electrical equipment or a component of that electrical equipment; and
  2. 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
  3. 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. Disconnection of that electrical equipment or a component of that electrical equipment; and
  2. 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
  3. 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 in addition to the Disconnect/Reconnect course.

Renewal and application for a Class 1

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

To issue a Class 1 licence you must submit the following documents with your renewal.

  • A copy of your trade qualifications
  • VBA and ARCTICK Registrations (front and back)
  • 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: UEENEEP016A, UEENEEP017A, UEENEEP018A, UEENEEP019A, UEENEEP020A Restricted Electrical Workers Licence (including fault finding), and 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 an RTO, and request a letter stating the training you have undertaken, included fault finding at that time.

Responsibilities of REL 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 fees for each licence type here.

Fees must be paid at the time the application is submitted.

The fee 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, and a new application and fee will be required.

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 us

If you need assistance with online forms or have a query about licensing, contact our Licensing team on 1800 815 721. Please note contact hours below.

Monday, Thursday, Friday — 9:00am to 4:00pm
Tuesday — 12:30pm to 4:00pm
Wednesday — 9:00am to 12:30pm

Alternatively, you can send your enquiry to licensing@energysafe.vic.gov.au.