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Responsibilities of a technical supervisor

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A Technical Supervisor for a Registered Electrical Contractor (REC) must understand and comply with the applicable sections of the following legislation:

  • Electricity Safety Act 1998 (The Act)
  • Electricity Safety (Registration and Licensing) Regulations 2010, and
  • Electricity Safety (General) Regulations 2019.

Application

Registration obligations

A Technical Supervisor must:

  • ensure the electrical contractor’s registration is active
  • ensure the REC holds the prescribed insurance
  • ensure any advertisement, notice or statement includes the registered number of the REC
  • ensure a register of licensed electrical installation workers who are employed by the contractor is current
  • ensure the REC only employs licensed electrical installation workers in respect of electrical installation work of that class i.e. ‘A’ grade Electrician, Restricted Electrical Licence holder, Switchgear Worker
  • not permit a person to carry out on the contractor’s behalf, or direct a person to carry out, any electrical installation work that does not comply with the Act or the Regulations
  • have a working knowledge of the electrical installation requirements provided in the Electricity Safety (General) Regulations and applicable Australian Standards relevant to the electrical installation work being performed.

Certificate of Electrical Safety obligations

The Technical Supervisor is required to ensure that a Certificate of Electrical Safety (COES) is completed in accordance with the Act and Regulations.

This requirement places the following obligations with the Technical Supervisor:

  • purchase COES
  • provide Licensed Electrical Workers (LEWs) with appropriate COES
  • ensure that a COES is completed by the LEW who completed the electrical work
  • ensure that all details on the COES are accurate
  • ensure the ‘description of work’ details the completed electrical work performed
  • within the required time, give the completed COES to the person for whom the work was carried out
  • in the case of prescribed electrical installation work:
    • ensure that the work is inspected by a Licensed Electrical Inspector (LEI) in accordance with the regulations before the electrical installation is connected to electricity supply, and a COES contains a ‘Certificate of Inspection’ completed under Section 45 of the Act by a LEI.
    • if the electrical circuits or electrical equipment handled in the course of prescribed electrical installation work were not disconnected from electricity supply – before the electrical installation work is first used after it is completed, the work is inspected by a LEI, a COES is completed and the COES contains a ‘Certificate of Inspection’ completed under Section 45 of the Act by a LEI.
  • within the required time, give a copy of that COES to ESV1.
  • give electronic notification of completion of the Certificate of Compliance (other than a periodic COES) to the ESV within two business days after that completion1.

Note1: COES generated in ESVConnect are not required to be sent to ESV.

Electrical installation work supervision obligations

The technical supervisor must provide effective supervision of the electrical installation work.

Effective supervision may include but is not limited to:

  • audits of completed electrical installation work
  • technical advice at toolbox talks
  • technical and safety meetings with LEWs
  • site visits.

Safe systems of work

The Technical Supervisor is responsible for ensuring the REC has safe systems of work in place to the applicable requirements of the Act and regulations, Occupational Health and Safety Act and regulations and AS/NZS 4836 Safe working on or near low-voltage electrical installations and equipment.

Definitions

Licensed Electrical worker

Means a person who carries out electrical work (this would include Electrician, Electrician [Supervised], Supervised Worker and Disconnect/Reconnect licence holder, Switchgear licence holder).

Reference: Electricity Safety Act, section 3.

Effective supervision – in relation to electrical work, means

(a)        being present at the site of the electrical work to the extent necessary to ensure that the work is being correctly performed and carried out in accordance with the Act and pursuant regulations relating to the installation and operation of electrical installations; and

(b)        being aware of the details of the electrical work being performed and providing detailed instructions and directions with respect to the electrical work;

Reference: Electricity Safety (Registration and Licensing) Regulations, section 4.

Supervision of Apprentices

All Technical Supervisors employed by an REC that employs apprentices must ensure compliance with the following requirements.

Supervision of apprentices carrying out electrical installation work

(1)        a person who employs an apprentice must ensure that any electrical installation work carried out by the apprentice is carried out under effective supervision in accordance with the Apprentice Supervision Requirements.

(2)        a licensed electrician or licensed electrical switchgear worker who is supervising an apprentice carrying out electrical installation work must supervise that apprentice in accordance with the Apprentice Supervision Requirements.

(3)        Apprentice Supervision Requirements means the requirements for the effective supervision of apprentice electricians, as published or amended from time to time by Energy Safe Victoria.

Reference: Electricity Safety (General) Regulations part 5, division 3, regulation 507.

Further information for apprentice supervision is available on ESV’s website at Electrical technical guidelines and determinations.

Apprentice supervision matrix

General guidance: Apprentice supervision levels

Type of workApprentice training stagesMinimum level of supervision
New electrical installations (not connected to supply)
Cable tray installation
Rough in light and power
First
Second
Third
Fourth or final
Direct
Direct/ General
General/Broad
Broad
Maintenance, alterations and additions to existing electrical installations
Sub-mains and main installation
First
Second
Third
Fourth or final
Direct
Direct/General
General
Broad
Workshop assembly and maintenance of electrical equipmentFirst
Second
Third
Fourth or final
Direct
Direct/General
General/Broad
Broad
Distribution and main switchboard installationFirst
Second
Third
Fourth or final
Direct
Direct
Direct / General
General / Broad
Electrical isolation of installation and equipmentFirst
Second
Third
Fourth or final
Direct
Direct
Direct
Direct
TestingFirst
Second
Third
Fourth or final
Direct
Direct
Direct
Direct
Fault findingFirst
Second
Third
Fourth or final
Direct
Direct
Live workWork on or near any live/energised electrical installation or equipment is not permitted.
Testing to confirm isolation and fault-finding are exceptions and must be under direct supervision. Refer to above section and AS/NZS 4836.