Cladding is classified as part of the building trade by Australian building authorities. Because cladding alone is a non-structural part of a building, a builder's licence is only required if your cladding installer is also doing structural work on a house or other habitable structure.
NSW Fair Trading governs building and building-related trades in New South Wales. A tradesperson who installs cladding as their principle occupation will probably hold a Carpentry licence. This authorises them to perform a variety of tasks, including external and internal timber or stone veneer cladding. A carpenter is not authorised to install brick or other structural cladding.
The Victorian Building Authority (VBA) governs building and building-related trades in this state. The VBA equivalent to a trade licence is registration. Building work exceeding $5000 in value must be carried out by a Registered Building Practitioner (RBP). Most cladding professionals will hold a Domestic Builder - Limited (DB-L) registration card. If their speciality is external cladding, their card will have the further code letter "I" (DB-L-I). If they install internal plasterboard cladding, they will probably hold a DB-L-Q card. The "Q" code letter stands for "Sundry Works." This registration is only required if the tradesperson is carrying out more than one type of job listed under the Sundry Works designation.
The Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) issues trade licences in Queensland. A trade licence is required for domestic building work that costs in excess of $3300 (labour and materials). A cladding professional in Queensland will probably hold Builder - Low Rise licence or a licence restricted to Roof and Wall Cladding. If the person installing the cladding is doing so on behalf of a company, they will need to hold a Nominee Supervisor's licence.
In South Australia, the Consumer and Business Services (CBS) branch of the Attorney General's office issues building trade licences. "Building" in SA is considered any kind of building-related work. Any building tradesperson you enter into a contract with will need to hold a contractor's licence. Anyone installing cladding at your premises, including a contractor, must hold a supervisor's licence.
In WA, building work in excess of $20,000 in value must be carried out by licensed builders. Cladding alone may not cost that much, so a licence may not be required. However, if the cladding is done as part of a larger project such as a home extension, the person or crew who does the cladding will have to be supervised by a licensed builder. If yours is a smaller cladding job, choose only a reputable cladding expert who carries insurance.
The Department of Justice issues Building Practitioner registrations in Tasmania. A registered Building Practitioner is the equivalent to a registered builder in other states. A Low Rise Practitioner is restricted to buildings 2 storeys or less. This type of registration suffices for most residential cladding jobs. You will require a building permit for most building or major renovation jobs in Tasmania. Regular inspections will be carried out, including an inspection of cladding that is part of the structural framework. A registered Building Practitioner will help ensure the job is done in accordance with Building Code Australia (BCA) standards and all practitioners in Tasmania must carry insurance.
The ACT Planning and Land Authority (ACTPLA) issues building-related trade licences in the ACT. ACTPlA issues four classes of builder's licences. Class A and B licences are needed for medium to high rise structural building work, while Class C and Class D licenses are more restricted:
Cladding alone is non-structural in nature, so a Class D licence may suffice if you are having your house re-clad only. If they are also doing some structural work, they will need to hold a Class C licence for most residential structures.
In the NT, a building licence is not needed for jobs that do not increase the floor space of a renovation or do not exceed $12,000 in value (labour and materials). If your cladding job is part of a larger building or renovation project, the work will have to be carried out or supervised by a Building Contractor. Your contractor will need to hold an Restricted licence if your residence is two storeys or less in height. In some NT counties, a Home Improvement licence is required by the local council. Check with your council to find out if this applies in your area.