An electrician’s apprenticeship is a contract of training. It includes a national qualification (formal schooling) at a Registered Training Organisation (RTO or 'trade school') and on-the-job training. An apprenticeship can be full time, part time, or school based (also part time).
At the completion of the training, your apprentice will receive a Certificate III in Electrotechnology. This Certificate is one of the documents they will need to provide to Energy Safe Victoria to qualify for an Electrician's licence.
Note: A statement of competency, statement of results, or statement of attainment will not be accepted. The apprentice must provide a copy of the Certificate III Electrotechnology.
Electrical apprentice contract of training
To enrol in a Certificate III in Electrotechnology, an apprentice must:
- have an employer
- be signed under an electrician’s apprentice contract of training.
The contract period is 4 years.
The contract of training is registered with the Victorian Registration & Qualifications Authority (VRQA).
New employers of apprentices must complete and sign a VRQA 'Fit and proper employer' declaration form. This form will be provided to you by your AASN contact.
An employer must only use licensed electrical workers to carry out electrical installation work. 'Electrical installation work' means installation, alteration, repair or maintenance of an electrical installation. This includes installing cables and fitting lights, socket outlets, and other related work.
An apprentice is a 'licensed electrical worker' while under both:
- an apprentice training contract
- effective supervision by a licensed electrician.
If your apprentice’s training contract has expired, they are no longer considered a licensed electrical worker.
Someone carrying out a work trial who is not under an apprentice training contract must not carry out electrical installation work.
A student on work experience must not carry out electrical installation work.
An apprentice can carry out electrical installation work for a period of up to 3 months after the completion date of their apprentice contract of training. This 3-month exemption period begins on the date shown on the letter you receive from the VRQA when your apprentice completes their apprenticeship.
If you employ an unlicensed worker to carry out electrical installation work in any of the conditions above, both you and that person may be subject to prosecution and severe penalties.
Completing an apprentice contract of training
The trade school (RTO) your apprentice attends will begin completing the contract of training when they have:
- passed all the knowledge and skills assessments at their RTO
- completed the on-the-job work components of the Certificate III in Electrotechnology.
As the employer, you are responsible for the on-the-job component of the Certificate III in Electrotechnology. The RTO will seek confirmation from you at the end of the apprenticeship to ensure that the apprentice is competent in the on-the-job component of the apprenticeship.
If you acknowledge the apprentice's competence, and the apprentice has successfully completed all the knowledge component of the qualification,the RTO will issue the Certificate III in Electrotechnology.
If you don't believe your apprentice is competent yet, you must notify the RTO. If the contract of training is nearing its nominal completion date, you must extend the apprentice training contract for them to continue carrying out electrical installation work.
If you are not willing to extend the contract, the apprentice will need to find another employer so they can complete their apprenticeship.
If your apprentice has completed part of their apprenticeship in another state or territory, your apprentice will need to show evidence of that training contract when applying to Energy Safe for a licence. For a list of all state and territory authorities see
Your apprentice may have completed a contract of training in the past, but didn't apply for an A Grade Electrician’s licence. If they want to apply now, they should check this guidance to determine the pathway to take:
Expired apprentice contracts
Apprentice contracts of training have a nominal completion date. If your apprentice has not passed the Certificate III in Electrotechnology before this nominal completion date, you must extend the apprentice contract of training for your apprentice to legally continue to carry out electrical installation work.
To allow time for processing paperwork, we recommended you consider the apprentice's progress 3 months before the nominal completion date.
Licensed Electrical Assessments (LEAs)
In Victoria, to obtain an A Grade Electrician’s licence at the completion of an electrician's apprenticeship, someone must pass:
- Safe Working Practice (SWP)
- Licensed Electrician’s Theory (LET)
- Licensed Electrician’s Practical (LEP).
Your apprentice will need a letter from their trade school (RTO) titled 'Authorisation to Undertake the Licensed Electrician’s Assessment (LEA)'. This letter says they can attempt the LEA assessment as they have finished the required units. They must have this letter before they can book an assessment.
Special consideration may be available to your apprentice when attempting their licensing assessments. Special consideration applies for medical and other circumstances to allow:
- extra time
- special conditions.
Evidence of 12 months' employment
Your apprentice will need to show evidence of at least 12 months' electrical installation work to Energy Safe when applying for an electrical licence. A letter from you and any other employer while under contract is evidence they have done this work.
The dates provided on the letter you sign must be under your employment and while the apprentice:
- was under an apprentice contract of training
- was within the 3 months' grace period after completing their contract of training
- held a Supervised Worker's licence.
Note: The minimum period of 12 months' electrical installation work may be demonstrated across several employer support letters.
This is a sample of an employer's support letter:
Applying for an A Grade electrician’s licence
At the completion of their apprenticeship, they must apply for an A Grade electrician’s licence to continue to carry out electrical work.
3-month exemption period
A person may carry out electrical installation work for a period of up to 3 months after they complete their apprenticeship. This 3-month exemption period begins on the date shown on the letter they receive from the VRQA when they complete their apprenticeship.
This exemption gives the apprentice time to:
- receive all the documents required to apply for a licence
- complete any licensing assessments they may not yet have passed.
This exemption time also includes Energy Safe's licence application processing time, which can be up to 10 business days from the submission of a completed application.
It is illegal for you to employ a person to carry out electrical installation work after the 3-month period if your apprentice does not hold an electrical licence.
Supervised Worker's licence
If the apprentice has finished both:
- their apprentice contract of training
- Safe Working Practice assessment
they may be eligible to apply for a Supervised Worker’s licence until they meet all the requirements to apply for an A Grade Electrician’s licence.
This licence is temporary. It allows a person to do electrical installation work under the supervision of an A Grade Electrician, while they work towards passing all their licensing assessments.
Apprentice Support Officers
Every apprentice is assigned an Apprentice Support Officer (ASO) to assist them during their apprenticeship. ASOs offer a free and confidential support and advice service.
Other helpful resources
These sites include information you might find helpful:
- — the first point of contact for all queries about apprenticeship contracts.
- — resources about apprenticeships and more.
- — for information about electrical training providers.
- The VRQA have a range of valuable help — see to understand an apprentice and employers responsibilities.
- (ASOs) — offer a free and confidential support and advice service, to help apprentices with workplace, training or personal issues that sometimes affect apprentices.
Date: 28/09/2023 12:09
The currency and accuracy of this information cannot be guaranteed once printed or saved to a storage device. If in doubt, please check the Energy Safe Victoria website for the current version.
Reviewed 05 September 2023