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Prescribed and non-prescribed electrical work

There are two types of electrical installation work – prescribed and non-prescribed for which a COES is required.

Prescribed electrical installation work

Prescribed electrical installation work means work on all or part of any of the following electrical installations, if they are ordinarily operated at low voltage or a voltage exceeding low voltage:

  1. Consumers’ mains, main earthing systems and those parts of main switchboards that are related to the control of installations and the protection against the spread of fire.
  2. Sub-mains, earthing systems and any distribution boards related to the control of individual occupier’s portions of multiple installations unless the occupier has immediate and unimpeded access to the main switch or switches controlling the whole of the multiple installation.
  3. Electrical wiring and electrical equipment installed in hazardous areas within the meaning of section 9.0 of the SAA Wiring Rules and protection equipment associated with hazardous areas.
  4. High voltage installations except high voltage wiring and equipment that is:
  • associated with an electric discharge lighting system, or
  • associated with X-ray equipment, or
  • associated with high frequency equipment, or
  • within self-contained equipment supplied at low voltage.
  1. Electrical control and protection equipment associated with standby generation or co-generation electricity supply systems.
  2. Electric fences used for security purposes but not including electric fences intended primarily for the control or containment of animals.
  3. Electrical installations comprising remote area power supplies with a power rating exceeding 500 volt amperes not connected to a supply authority distribution system.
  4. Electrical wiring and associated fixed electrical equipment installed in body-protected or cardiac-protected electrical areas of hospitals and medical and dental practices.
  5. Circuit protective devices, switchgear, controlgear, wiring systems and accessories (other than fire detection and alarm systems) ordinarily operated at low voltage or a voltage exceeding low voltage installed to provide control and protection of passenger lifts, fire pumps (excluding pumps for fire hose reels where those hose reels are not the sole means of fire protection) and air handling systems intended to exhaust and control the spread of fire and smoke.
  6. A part 1 solution ordinarily operated at low voltage or a voltage exceeding low voltage installed in an electrical installation.

Read our Guidelines for Prescribed electrical work under Regulation 238(3)

Prescribed COES

Prescribed electrical installation work is required to have a prescribed COES issued for the work.

Copies of prescribed COES must be provided to the relevant parties within 14 calendar days from completion of the work.

Prescribed COES must be sent to

  • the customer,
  • the Licensed Electrical Inspector (LEI),
  • the distribution business and
  • ESV.

The responsible person is to keep their copy for three years.

Failure to comply with these requirements is an offence.

Persons holding a Restricted Electrical Worker’s licence (REL), previously known as a ‘D’ licence, may not purchase or issue prescribed COES.

Non-prescribed electrical installation work

Non-prescribed electrical installation work means work other than listed as prescribed electrical installation work.

Persons holding a Restricted Electrical Worker’s licence (REL), previously known as a ‘D’ licence, may only purchase and issue non-prescribed COES.

Copies of non-prescribed COES must be provided to the relevant parties within 30 calendar days from completion of the work.

Non-prescribed COES must be sent to:

  • the customer, and
  • ESV.

The responsible person is to keep their copy for three years.

Failure to comply with these requirements is an offence.

Periodic COES

Periodic COES allow non-prescribed electrical installation work to be performed at a single electrical installation for a period of three months.

One copy of a periodic COES (the customer copy) is to be sent/retained by the business where the electrical installation work was completed.

One copy is to be kept by the responsible person (the person whose user ID is allocated to the COES) and one copy sent to ESV.

Contact us

For general advice and information about prescribed and non-prescribed electrical work, email us directly at electricalinstallationenquiries@energysafe.vic.gov.au or call our electrical technical helpline on 03 9203 9700 – select option 2.

For COES lodgement call the interactive voice response (IVR) line 1300 360 366 and follow the prompts.

Need more support?

For advice and information about COES or using ESVConnect for COES, contact our COES team in the following ways: