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Restricted Electrical Worker's licence (REL)

Important information about the Restricted Electrical Worker's licence.

Overview

The Restricted Electrical Worker’s licence (REL), previously known as ‘D’ licence, entitles the licence holder to perform low-voltage electrical disconnect and reconnect 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, including the installation of new wiring or equipment. 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 socket 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 a 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 eligible for a Restricted Electrical Worker’s licence, ESV has several requirements:

  • Creation of a user profile in ESVConnectExternal Link to complete the eligibility checker and gain a letter for course acceptance if appropriate
  • 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 via ESVConnect for a Restricted Electrical Worker’s licence.

Check your eligibility

You may apply for a restricted electrical workers licence by going to ESVConnectExternal Link and creating a user profile to check your eligibility

You will need
  • copies of all relevant documents and certifications demonstrating your competency in your primary trade, vocation or occupation
  • evidence of successful completion of a unit of competence in Disconnect/Reconnect and/or Fault Finding. Approved units of competence are listed below
  • evidence of successful completion of the Independent Practical Assessment in Disconnect Reconnect and/or Fault Finding within the last five years, and
  • a credit or debit card to pay the application fee.

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, 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 by ESV. 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 in 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 Water heaters and gas appliances
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

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

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

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

CPCPGS4023 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 25/11/2022

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 your 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)

Note: copies of equipment instruction or installation manuals do not satisfy this requirement.

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).

  • UEERL0004 Disconnect – reconnect electrical equipment connected to low voltage (LV) installation wiring
  • UEESS00133 Restricted – Disconnect/Reconnection of fixed wired low voltage electrical equipment (skills set which includes UEERL0004 and its prerequisite unit)
  • MEM18049 Disconnect/reconnect fixed wired equipment up to 1000 volts a.c./1500 volts d.c. (Codes MEM10849B or MEM10849C also acceptable)

ESV will also accept the following superseded units of competence:

  • 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
  • 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).

  • UEERL0005 Locate and rectify faults in low voltage (LV) electrical equipment using set procedures
  • MEM18046 Fault find and repair electrical equipment/components up to 1000 volts a.c./1500 volts d.c. (Code MEM10846B also acceptable)

ESV will also accept the following superseded unit of competence:

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

Training providers

Classes of licence

Restricted Electrical Workers licences 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 2020External Link .

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

  • Class 1 – Restricted Electrical Workers Licence (includes Disconnect/Reconnect and 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 fault finding below 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?

Class 2 disconnect reconnect is sufficient if your work function requires you to disconnect and reconnect like for like equipment relevant to your primary trade or work function, for the purpose of repair, replacement or maintenance of that equipment.

Class 1 fault finding is required if your work function includes fault finding as described below.

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

To demonstrate competency to undertake fault finding you will be required to successfully complete the fault find and repair unit of competency in addition to the Disconnect/Reconnect course.

A Class 1 licence includes all the functions of a Class 2 licence, with the addition of fault finding. As such, you must already hold, or meet all the requirements to be able to apply for a Class 2 licence, to be able to apply for a Class 1 licence.

I already hold a Class 2 licence, how to I upgrade to 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.

To apply to upgrade your Class 2 licence to a Class 1 licence you must make an application via ESVConnectExternal Link and submit the following documents with your application.

  • A copy of your trade qualifications
  • VBA and ARCTICK Registrations (front and back)
  • A letter from your employer describing the work you intend to carry out under this licence, including the fault finding function
  • The unit UEERL00005 (or other fault finding unit of competence as listed above) and a Practical Assessment as required by ESV.

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 Licensing fees.

Application fees include a $70 non-refundable administration component.

Application fees must be paid at the time a licence application is submitted.

Credit card payment is required.

Renewing your REL

ESV will send an email reminder to you 3 months prior to your licence expiry,

It is your responsibility to ensure your licence is current and that ESV has the correct contact details for you.

Energy Safe Victoria must cancel the licence of an electrical worker who does not apply for renewal of the licence by the renewal date specified on the licence card.

Read more about renewing a licence or replacing a licence.

You can renew your licence via ESVConnect with a credit card.

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

Reinstating your cancelled REL

You may apply to reinstate a cancelled REL by completing the REL Reinstatement Form:

It is important to note that if your REL has been cancelled for 5 years or more, you will be required to complete the Independent Practical Assessment prior to applying to reinstate your licence.

When is a Class 1 Restricted Electrical Worker’s licence required for fault finding?

Regulation 18(d) of the Electricity Safety (Registration and Licensing) Regulations 2020External Link (the R&L Regulations) specifies that a licence is required for any electrical installation work required to carry out a primary work function relating to low voltage fixed electrical equipment that involves fault finding.

Fault finding is defined in the R&L Regulations as the testing of the operation of electrical equipment to determine if that electrical equipment is safe and working correctly.

It is important to note that the Class 1 licence is required for any electrical installation work that is required to be performed in relation to any fault finding work. A licence is not required for any fault finding work that does not require any electrical installation work.

Therefore fault finding work, as it applies to the class 1 REL licence is only relevant to equipment or appliances that are fixed on or over land (e.g. bolted to a wall or floor) and the fault finding work on that equipment requires electrical installation work to be carried out for the fault finding work to occur.

EXAMPLE: To be added

In Victoria, there are also a number of exemptions from licensing requirements. One exemption applies when an appliance is connected to electricity supply by permanent installation wiring and any electrical installation work being carried out on the appliance (including for the purposes of fault finding) is done while the appliance is disconnected from supply.

This means that the Class 1 licence is only required while the equipment or appliance is connected to the electricity supply. Once the equipment is disconnected from supply, a licence is not required for any work carried out on the equipment or appliance. Of course, if the appliance or equipment is connected by permanent wiring to the electrical supply, a licence is required to disconnect and reconnect the appliance or equipment from/to electrical supply.

In summary, applying the above to fault finding in relation to an appliance, a restricted electrical workers licence class 1 licence to do electrical installation work for the purposes of fault finding would only be required if:

  1. The appliance is fixed on or over land (e.g. bolted to a floor or wall); and
  2. The fault finding work requires electrical installation work to occur in order to carry out the fault finding work ; and
  3. The appliance is connected to electricity supply by permanent installation wiring; and
  4. That electrical installation work is being done while the appliance is still connected to electricity supply by permanent installation wiring (noting this does not preclude the appliance being electrically isolated while the work is carried out).

Training

In order to obtain the Class 1 fault finding endorsement applicants must have completed the following training:

  • UEE20 Electrotechnology Training Package
  • UEERL0005 Locate and rectify faults in low voltage (LV) electrical equipment using set procedures

ESV will also accept the superseded units of competence:

  • UEENEEP016A, 17A, 18A, 19A or 20A Locate and rectify faults in low voltage appliances / equipment using set procedures

OR

  • MEM05 Metal and Engineering Training Package
  • MEM18046B Fault find/repair electrical equipment/components up to 1000 volts a.c./1500 volts d.c. (Code MEM10846B also acceptable)

These are the units of competence required by Energy Safe Victoria prior to issuing a Class 1 licence. Applicants must also have completed the Restricted Electrical Workers Licence (Class 1) independent assessment carried out by an assessment body approved by ESV.

Applicants for a Class 1 REL must hold, or have completed all the requirements and be eligible to be issued, a Restricted Electrical Workers Licence, Class 2 (disconnect/reconnect). This is required as the disconnect reconnect function is also a component part of the Class 1 REL licence.

The current scope of the Class 1 licence adds only a minor additional component to the work that can be carried out under a Class 2 licence. It does however ensure that the workers holding a Class 1 licence are suitably competent to fault find and test.

Date: 08/02/2023 9:26

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 28 January 2023

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