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Certificates of Electrical Safety customer information

A Certificate of Electrical Safety (COES) is a requirement of the Electricity Safety Act 1998 and the Electricity Safety (General) Regulations 2019 for all electrical installation work undertaken in Victoria.Registered Electrical Contractors (RECs) and Licensed Electrical Workers (LEWs), such as Restricted Electrical Licence holders, purchase and complete Certificates of Electrical Safety and provide a copy to their customer.Unregistered and unlicensed persons cannot purchase or lodge certificates with Energy Safe Victoria.

There are two types of certificates:

Prescribed – for electrical installation work including but not limited to:

  • Consumer mains cables, main switchboard, meter box and main earthing system for your installation.
  • Consumer mains cables, main switchboard, and main earthing system for your tenancy (multiple occupancy).
  • Motor generator installation.
  • Renewable energy generation system e.g., Solar systems (solar photovoltaic generation system), battery energy Storage system.

Electronic Prescribed COES:
ESV - Electronic Prescribed COES

Paper Prescribed COES:
ESV - Paper Prescribed COES


  1. The LEW must complete the electrical installation work and test prior to certification.
  2. An electrical inspection of prescribed work will be undertaken by an independent licensed electrical inspector. Your REC/electrician will organise this.
  3. Ensure the inspector who signs the ‘Certificate of Inspection’ field on the Certificate of Electrical Safety has attended your premises to perform the inspection.
  4. Prescribed Electrical installation work cannot be energised (turned on or left turned on) until it has been inspected.
  5. Inspection of electrical installation work should be completed within 8 business days of completion of the work.
  6. If the inspection of your electrical installation work is not completed within 8 business days, you should contact your REC/electrician that performed the work for further assistance.
  7. Independent licensed electrical inspectors (LEIs) are not employees of Energy Safe Victoria and ESV does not arrange or schedule inspections of prescribed electrical installation work


Non-Prescribed – for electrical installation work performed within your electrical installation including but not limited to lights, power points, air conditioning, hot water service, shed, garage etc.

Electronic Non Prescribed COES:
ESV - Electronic Non Prescribed COES

Paper Non Prescribed COES:
ESV - Paper Non Prescribed COES


  1. The LEW must complete the electrical installation work and test prior to certification.
  2. Non-Prescribed electrical installation work is energised (left turned on) once completed.
  3. An electrical inspection is not required for non-prescribed work.

Failure to comply with the certificate of electrical safety requirements is a criminal offence and licensed workers that fail to comply may be subject to disciplinary action which could result in infringements or in severe cases, the suspension or cancellation of their licence.

If a Registered Electrical Contractor or an electrician refuses to arrange an inspection for prescribed electrical installation work or to provide a COES for work completed at your premises, and you are the customer, please make a complaint about a tradesperson to ESV.

Who fills out the form?

The Certificate of Electrical Safety (COES) will be completed by the Registered Electrical Contractor that you engaged to perform the electrical installation work.

For prescribed electrical installation work;

  • the Registered Electrical Contractor is required to organise for an independent electrical inspection of the installation before the certificate can be finalised and issued,
  • once the inspection has been completed and the inspector has determined the work is compliant, the inspector  signs the “Certificate of Inspection” field located on the right-hand side of the Certificate of Electrical Safety, and
  • the Registered Electrical Contractor must provide you with a copy within 4 days of completion of the certificate.

For non-prescribed electrical installation work;

  • the Registered Electrical Contractor will complete the Certificate of Electrical Safety and is required to provide you with a copy within 30 days.

Note:  Prescribed and Non-prescribed electrical installation work is subject to audit by Energy Safe Victoria and its authorised representatives.

Where does the form go?

The Registered Electrical Contractor must provide a copy of the certificate to you (the customer), Energy Safe Victoria and to other parties as required by the type of electrical installation work completed.

ESV audits of electrical installation work

Work completed under a COES may be audited by ESV to verify that electrical installation work is safe and compliant.

Auditors may make an appointment, visit your home and ask to view and test the electrical installation work as described on the COES.

Auditors must produce their ESV ID cards when introducing themselves and will leave a copy of the brochure ‘Safety audit of electrical work’.

Requesting a copy of a COES

You can perform a search to identify if an online COES has been generated for electrical work completed at your property, here.

If you are the owner or occupant of a property or you are the customer and have not received your COES copy, or have lost it, complete and return the COES application form to ESV to request a copy of the COES.


Energy Safe Victoria
COES application form
PO Box 262

It may take up to 10 business days to process an application for a COES, not including additional time required to obtain a copy from the LEW or REC via the complaints process.

There is no guarantee a COES will be provided, even after this process is completed.

Obtaining a COES is not always possible, even when a person is entitled to a copy.

Additionally, the Act only requires a Licensed Electrical Worker (LEW) or Registered Electrical Contractor (REC) to retain a copy of a COES for three years. ESV will not actively pursue anything beyond this period.

Other persons

Anyone else may request a copy of a COES via a Freedom Of Information (FOI) request.

If you are unable to obtain your COES

Where a Certificate of Electrical Safety is required by the owner/owners representative and ESV is not able to provide a copy or the original REC who performed the electrical installation work cannot be identified, you should consider engaging another REC to check and test the electrical work completed and ask them to provide a COES for that inspection.

You may find an REC in your area by checking your local trades directory, community advertising or via an internet search.

Charging customers fees for COES

Can RECs and RELs charge an administration fee for the purchase of COES?

Yes. A Registered Electrical Contractor (REC) or a Restricted Electrical Licence holder (REL) may charge their customers fees for the administration of Certificates of Electrical Safety (COES).

COES fees

Specifically, ESV advises the following:

A REC or REL can seek payment from their customers for the purchase amount of COES.

The authorised amount for COES is legislated in the Electricity Safety Act s45B(12) and Regulation 265 of the Electricity Safety (General) Regulations 2019. This amount is GST exempt.

An REC or REL may elect to charge their customer an administration fee for the time taken to purchase and complete the COES. This additional fee amount is determined by the REC or REL and should be explained by the REC or REL to their customer.

Some REC’s and REL’s elect not to separately itemise Certificates of Electrical Safety on their invoices, instead the COES and administration fee form part of the sundry items or may even be included as part of one lump sum in their invoice. Although the purchase of COES from ESV does not attract GST, an REC or REL may be required to add GST to the amount they charge their customers. ESV cannot give advice regarding GST.

The amount the REC or REL charges the customer, over and above the authorised purchase amount for the Certificate of Electrical Safety, including administration fee is a contractual issue between the REC or REL and the customer. If a customer believes they have been over-charged for this, the customer should seek assistance from Consumer Affairs Victoria.

Contact us

For advice and information about COES contact our COES team in the following ways: