Bricklaying is an essential trade, as bricks are crucial to the construction of residential and commercial developments throughout Australia.
A bricklayer lays bricks and other materials to build and repair walls and other structures. Certain skills are required in bricklaying and as such most bricklayers need to hold a qualification and/or relevant experience.
Licensing of Bricklayers
Like other trades, bricklayers are licensed on a state-by-state (or territory) basis. Interestingly, in 2006, the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) elected to introduce a national licence recognition program. The council agreed to implement the national licensing system in July 2012.
At the time of writing, the scheme which would include licensing for bricklayers had not been put into place. That means licensing of bricklayers is still left to each state or territory. That being said, all regions tend to have similar education and experience requirements before a bricklayers licence is granted.
Read on for information about bricklayer licences in each Australian state and territory.
In New South Wales, Fair Trading issues bricklayer licences. It defines bricklaying as the erection of structures by assembly of a number individual masonry units referred to as either a brick or block.
This work can include:
To obtain a licence, the bricklayer must have completed a Certificate III in Bricklaying/Blocklaying or General Construction (Bricklaying/Blocklaying) or a relevant TAFE course as stipulated by Fair Trading.
Be aware that if the bricklayer is carrying out work valued above $1000, they must have a building contractors licence issues by Fair Trading. And if not, they must be supervised by someone who does.
In Victoria, bricklayers must be accredited as a registered building practitioner or be supervised by someone who is. However, there is no legal requirement for licensing.
The Victorian Building Authority is responsible for registering bricklayers and other trades. It stipulates that a builder or bricklayer must be registered if the work is valued at more than $5000 and requires a building permit. The applicant must also demonstrate a range of competencies, including building technology, building work management, business management, and legislation.
As with other construction workers in Victoria, bricklayers must have safety training and receive a Construction Induction Card (CIC), issued by WorkSafe Victoria.
Whether you hire a bricklayer, they should be able to show you proof of insurances, recent projects and their ABN number when requested.
In Queensland, the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) regulates construction workers and businesses.
Anyone who provides construction services valued above $3300 including labour and materials must have a correct and current licence. Bricklaying work falls under the licence class Trade Contractor, which includes BSP Brick and Segmental Paving and BLB Bricklaying and Blocklaying.
To obtain a licence, the tradesperson must have a relevant technical qualification and have completed an approved management course.
In South Australia, Consumer and Business Services is the regulating body for bricklayers and other tradespeople. Bricklayers are able to apply for a contractors licence. To qualify, bricklayers can apply for the Flexible Construction Training & Assessment (FCTA), allowing them to obtain a Certificate III in Bricklaying/Blocklaying. Once they have the certificate, they can apply for a licence.
This Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) scheme is free for bricklayers who have relevant experience and skill.
You should check the bricklayer and/or supervisor has the relevant licence, and has taken on relevant projects in recent times. They should also show you their current insurances and outline any warranties or guarantees for their work.
In Western Australia, bricklayers will usually complete an apprenticeship of three to four years, with at least two years of on-site training.
The Builders Registration Board of Western Australia stipulates that bricklayers do not need to register to work, if they are employed as a sub-contractor by a qualified builder. That being said, the builder will need to register if the build work is above $20,000 or if they use subcontractors. As such, bricklayers in WA do not need a licence.
To ensure your bricklayer will produce quality work, you should check their insurances and warranties. You can also ask to see proof of recent works such as photographs or referrals and ask if they are subcontracted to a building company.
In Tasmania, there is no legal requirement for registration or licensing of bricklayers. However, if the work is valued at $5000 or more, a licence or registration is usually required.
Workplace Standards Tasmania is the authority responsible for these regulations and licences.
The Australian Capital Territory (ACT), like Tasmania, does not require bricklayers to hold a licence or to register, so long as the work does not exceed $5000 and it is done on behalf of a licenced tradesperson such as a builder. The Planning and Land Authority is the licence authority in the ACT.
In the Northern Territory, a licence is not required to undertake bricklaying work, unless the work exceeds $12,000 or is not done on behalf of a licensed builder or other tradesperson. The Building Practitioners Board is responsible for licensing and regulations.
As with other states and territories, the bricklayer should supply you with proof of insurances, a recognised qualification and any references or photos at your request. Also check that your bricklayer or the company they are sub-contracting to is running a legal, registered business. They can provide all of this information at the time of quoting.