Gas fitting is defined as any work on a connection to a gas installation. It includes work on pipes and other connections to a compressed gas source, whether it’s a gas cylinder or natural gas supply. Because of the danger posed by gas, gasfitters must be licensed professionals.
You may need to employ a licensed gas fitter to connect a number of home appliances, including:
The only exception to the rule is a simple connection that involves attaching an outlet directly to a gas cylinder such as a connection found on a gas barbecue.
Licensing of Gas Fitters
Gas fitting is governed by individual states, but all state governing authorities adhere to nationally recognised licensing standards. Because gas fitting can include technical work done on large installations, more limited gas fitting licences can be issued to plumbers and other tradies who often install gas hot water systems and other residential gas installations.
To find out more about gas fitting licences in your state, scroll down to the state-by-state information below.
Types of Gas Fitting Jobs
Licensed gas fitters undertake a range of residential jobs, including installation, maintenance and repair of gas installations. Some typical jobs where a licensed gas fitter is required include:
Gas fitters in NSW are regulated by NSW Fair Trading and all work must conform to the Gas Supply Act 1996. Before a gas fitting licence is issued in NSW, the applicant must complete an apprenticeship and earn a Certificate III Plumbing (including gas services stream) or a Certificate III Gasfitting qualification.
There are three types of gas fitting licences in NSW:
In addition, there are two categories of Liquid Petroleum (LP) licences:
Gas fitting licences are typically valid for three years and plumber/gas fitters usually renew their licences at the same time in order to be able to legally carry out their day-to-day activities. If you need to hire a licensed plumber/gas fitter, make sure they hold valid and current licences for both plumbing and gas fitting.
In Victoria, gas fitters are licensed by the Plumbing Industry Council (PIC), which operates under the umbrella of the Victorian Building Authority (VBA). It is illegal in Victoria for gas fitting work to be carried out by anyone who has not proven their ability and received accreditation from the PIC.
In Victoria, you will need to hire a licensed gas fitter for installation of hot water systems, heaters and when fitting or relocating other gas appliances. A gas fitter is not required to do a simple reconnection job, such as reconnecting a gas cylinder.
There are two types of gas fitting licences in Victoria:
When hiring a gas fitter in Victoria, ask to see their gas fitters licence card. Their licence is your assurance that they have received the training necessary to safely carry out your installation, repair or maintenance work. In addition, a licensed gas fitter must:
The Compliance Certificate is an important document. It is an offense not to issue one and without it, you may not have recourse under the law if something goes wrong with your gas installation within the warranty period of six years.
Licences are typically issued for one to three years. You can check a gas fitter’s credentials by asking them for their photo ID card, which details the validity of their licence and the class of work they are qualified to carry out.
In Queensland, the Department of Mines and Energy is the regulating authority for gas fitting. A Gas Work Licence must be obtained from the Department before any work involving gas appliances or fittings can be undertaken. Gas Work Licences can be restricted or fully endorsed by the Chief Inspector, Petroleum and Gas.
For most residential work, a licence for working on Class A appliances is needed. Class A appliances include natural gas or LPG devices that produce heat, light, power or refrigeration if gas is the fuel used in a refrigeration unit. In most cases, a licence will be issued when the applicant:
If minimum standards of competence are shown, an interim licence may be issued. An interim licence is usually valid for one or two years. After this period, the licence holder can apply for a Full Gas Work Licence, which is usually valid for a period of five years.
Licensed gas fitters in Queensland are only allowed to carry out gas fitting work. If they wish to advertise their services or enter into contracts, they must also be registered as a contractor with the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC).
Only licensed gas fitters are authorised to issue Compliance Certificates in Queensland and issuance of Compliance Certificates is required by law.
In South Australia, gas fitting is governed by the Office of Consumer and Business Services (OCBS), which issues licences to all qualified tradies.
In SA, gas fitting is defined as any work that involves installing, altering, repairing, maintaining or disconnecting pipes or equipment that conveys or utilises gas “downstream of” a gas meter or the outlet of a gas storage tank or cylinder. Gas Fitting licences fall under the umbrella of the Plumbers, Electricians and Gas Fitters Act 1995 and the regulations for obtaining licences for all these trades are similar:
In SA, the holder of a Gas Fitting Contractor’s Licence must also have a valid worker’s registration card if they personally carry out gas fitting work.
If a partnership carries out gas fitting work, all partners must have Contractor’s Licences and only those partners who also hold worker’s registration cards can directly carry out gas fitting work. In a company, at least one director must have a Gas Fitting Contractor’s Licence and a special licence is required if the company subcontracts gas fitting work.
In South Australia, worker’s registration cards must be renewed every three years and contractor’s licences must be renewed yearly. When you hire a gas fitter in SA, make sure they hold both a current Gas Fitting Contractor Licence and a Worker’s Registration card.
In Western Australia, gas fitting licences are issued by the EnergySafety branch of the Department of Commerce. In WA, “gasfitting” is defined as all types of gas fitting work, including gas engines. A number of restricted licences are available. In most cases, gas fitters authorised to carry out work on residential premises will hold a “Class G” licence. A Class G licence permits the holder to carry out general work on domestic, commercial, caravan or marine craft installations.
Qualified gas fitters may also hold Permits or Certificates to install or service specialised gas installations such as natural gas and/or LPG and some gas fitting licences may be restricted to installation work only.
A licensed gas fitter must carry their Gasfitting Permit card with them. It will clearly state the class of card they hold, the restrictions (if any) and the expiry date. Gas fitting apprentices also must carry their Gasfitting Permit card with them. An apprentice’s card will clearly state that they are authorised to carry out work under supervision only.
In Tasmania, there are two types of gas fitting licences:
Gas fitting licences are included under the umbrella of “Plumbing, Electrical and Gas-fitting” in Tasmania. Plumbers often apply for or renew their plumber’s licence and list “gas-fitting” as a secondary occupation. As a plumber/gas fitter, they must still prove they are qualified to carry out both plumbing and gas fitting work.
To further ensure that gas fitting is carried out to a high standard, a contractor’s licence will not be issued unless the applicant also includes a Nominated Manager in their licence application or renewal request. The Nominated Manager is a qualified person who certifies that work is carried out to relevant safety standards.
In Tasmania, plumber’s licences can be valid for up to three years, but gas fitting licences must be renewed yearly. If you hire a licensed plumber/gasfitter, make sure both their licences are current.
Gas fitters are licensed and accredited in the ACT by the Planning and Land Authority (ACTPLA). In the Australian Capital Territory, there are three types of gas fitting licences:
Type A gas appliances are those that are usually found in the home. They include gas heaters (not exceeding hourly input rates above 159 megajoules), stoves, refrigerators, water heaters and other domestic or light commercial appliances. Type ‘B gas appliances generally are large commercial and industrial gas appliances and installations.
There are three categories of gas fitters’ licences in the ACT:
For domestic work, a Gasfitter’s Licence is all that is usually required. For some simple gas appliance work, all that is required is gas appliance worker accreditation. Gas fitters licences must be renewed every three years and gas appliance worker accreditation must be renewed every two years.
In the Northern Territory, all gas fitters’ licences are classified as “dangerous goods” licences and licence applications are processed through NTWorkSafe. Five types of gas fitting licences exist in the NT:
A General Gasfitter licence authorises the gas fitter to connect, reconnect or service Type A appliances. Type A appliances include most mass-produced home appliances. Type B appliances include water heaters, heating units, cooking appliances and other appliances that consume more than 10 megajoules per hour and less than 10,000MJ/hr.
A Provisional Gasfitter is authorised to work under supervision only and must renew their licence every 12 months. After 2 years of training, a Provisional Gasfitter can apply for a General Gasfitter’s licence. General Gasfitters and Gasfitter Type B – Appliance licences are valid for five years.