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Restricted Electrical Worker’s licence (REL)

The Restricted Electrical Worker’s licence, previously known as ‘D’ licence, (REL) entitles the licence holder to carry out disconnect and reconnect low-voltage electrical installation work relating to:

  • equipment that is connected to a fixed electrical installation,
  • associated with your primary trade, vocation or occupation, and
  • would otherwise require the services of a registered electrical contractor or a licensed electrician.

This licence type only allows the disconnection and reconnection of ‘like for like’ equipment, for the purposes of repair, replacement and maintenance.

The Restricted Electrical Worker’s licence does not allow for electrical wiring and installation work at low voltage or above. All fixed electrical installation work requires a licensed electrician and a registered electrical contractor.

Do I need a Restricted Electrical Worker’s licence?

Yes – If the equipment is fixed into position, directly connected to mains supply and requires isolation and disconnection to be repaired, replaced or maintained on site, you will require a Restricted Electrical Worker’s licence and are required to issue a Certificate of Electrical Safety (COES) upon completion of the service call.

No – If the equipment is easily transportable and plugged in by a plug and only the power cord is removed from a power outlet this equipment is considered plug in and does not require a restricted licence.

Eligibility for a Restricted Electrical Worker’s licence

You may be eligible to apply for an REL if you are employed (and not currently an apprentice or trainee) in an occupation where there is a need to disconnect and reconnect equipment connected to the fixed electrical installation or components of equipment.

Plumbers, mechanical fitters, refrigeration and air-conditioning mechanics are examples of trades able to apply for this type of licence.

Applying for a Restricted Electrical Worker’s licence

ESV requirements for an REL

To determine if an applicant is suitable for a Restricted Electrical Worker’s licence, ESV has several requirements:

Applying for an REL

An REL application must be lodged with ESV and include:

  • A completed application form
  • A supporting letter from your employer on business letterhead and signed by an authorised person, detailing the type of work and equipment where replacement work on a ‘like for like basis’ is required, clearly stating and justifying the requirements for a Restricted Electrical Worker’s licence to perform electrical work incidental to your primary function
  • Qualifications, training and supporting documentation to demonstrate that you are qualified and competent to work on the relevant equipment in your field
  • Evidence of completion of the Independent Practical Assessment in Disconnect Reconnect and/or Fault Finding within the last five years
  • Copies of all relevant documents and certifications demonstrating your competency in your primary trade, vocation or occupation, and
  • Payment of the licence fee.

If you are self-employed

If you are self-employed, submit your application form and fee with a detailed written submission describing the type of electrical equipment you use and stating the requirement for a licence to perform electrical work incidental to your primary function.

Application review by ESV

A Restricted Electrical Worker’s licence application is subject to detailed review. ESV must be satisfied that your safety and that of the public is not jeopardised by issuing you a licence for the disconnection/reconnection of electrical equipment.

Enrolment and successful completion of the Restricted Electrical Worker’s licence course does not automatically entitle you to a Restricted Electrical Worker’s licence. ESV may issue a licence when it is satisfied that you:

  • Require the licence as incidental to your trade, vocation or occupation, and
  • Can demonstrate competency in the area in which you are working, such as a relevant trade history or display of competency.

Required competencies for a Restricted Electrical Worker

An applicant must be able to demonstrate competency in the area they are working and with the relevant equipment.

For the trades of refrigeration, air-conditioning and plumbing and gas fitting, ESV expects a minimum Certificate III qualification, a Victorian Building Authority (VBA) registration/licence and/or a Refrigerant Handling licence.

The following is guidance for the issue of Restricted Electrical Worker Licences (REL).

It is not a complete list of Primary work functions, qualifications or types of work permitted, some judgement is still required. The list is provided to assist in deciding which classification and to improve consistency.

Primary work function Qualifications / licence
(Typical)
Type of equipment / work permitted Classifications under Electricity Safety (Licensing & Registration) Regulations 2010 – Schedule 2
Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Technician/Mechanic/Tradesman VBA endorsement or Cert III, IV or Advanced Diploma / Diploma of Air-conditioning and Refrigeration Electro technology Cert III, IV Refrigeration and Air Conditioning,
Certificate of Proficiency or TRA Certificate as Refrigeration and air-conditioning.
Repair and replacement of air-conditioning units including,
split systems multi-head systems, HVAC motors for fans and chillers
Refrigeration and Air Conditioning
Plumber VBA endorsement for Water supply, or Water Supply – restricted to domestic hot water services and
Certificate III in Plumbing
Certificate of Completion – Plumbing & Gas fitting
Repair or replace electric hot water units, replace elements in electric hot water units Water Heaters
Service, Test or Design Technician or Engineer Cert II, Cert IV, Degree, Diploma in Electronics
Bachelor of Science – Electronic & Electrical Engineering,
Certificate III in Security Equipment UEE31407,
Bachelor of Mechatronics – Engineering
Board or component level repair or replacement of electronic components in VSDs, radar, UPS, instrumentation, PLCs, process equipment. LED / LCD signs Electronics
Instrumentation and Control, Process Instrumentation Technician / Engineer,
Maintenance Engineer
UEE31211 Certificate III in Instrumentation and Control, UEE42211 Certificate IV in Instrumentation and Control,
UEE50211 Diploma of Electrical and Instrumentation, UEE51011 Diploma of Instrumentation and Control Engineering, UEE50911 Diploma of Industrial Electronics and Control Engineering, UEE40911 Certificate IV in Industrial Electronics and Control, UEE40411 Certificate IV in Electrical – Instrumentation
MEM40105 Certificate IV in Engineering (Instrumentation),
Bachelor of Engineering – Elect & Computer Systems Engineering,
Master’s Degree in Engineering (Professional),
Certificate of Proficiency – Instrument Making & Repairing
Repair or replace process control valves, PLCs, solenoids, control panels, instruments and displays in plastic and chemical plants Instrumentation
Appliance Repair Technician, Service Person In-house / manufacturer’s training, UEE3211 Certificate III in Appliance Service, UEE20111Certificate II in Split Air-conditioning and Heat Pump Systems. Repair or replacement of elements, motors, controls, thermostats, in refrigerators, range hoods, ovens, stoves, stove tops, split system A/C Electrical appliances
Maintenance Manager / Engineer, Machinist, Fitter and Turner, Mechanical Engineer MEM30205 Certificate III in Engineering – Mechanical Trade, MEM40105 Certificate IV in Engineering, MEM50105 Diploma of Engineering – Advanced Trade, MEM30305- Certificate III in Engineering – Fabrication Trade
Certificate III in Engineering- Electrical/Electronic Trade
Certificate III in Engineering – Mechanical Trade MEM30298
Certificate III in Irrigation
Certificate of Completion of A/Ship/Certificate of Proficiency – Fitting & Turning
Advanced Diploma of Electronics Engineering,
TRA Certificate – Mechanical Fitter
Master of Engineering Fabrication or mechanical
Repair or remove for repair of mechanical components of machines, i.e.: conveyors, pumps, screw elevators, moulding machines, lathes, drills, mills Motors
Appliance Repair Technician, Service Person In-house / manufacturer’s training, UEE3211 Certificate III in Appliance Service Coffee machines, vending machines, extraction canopies, Bain-maries, warming cabinets, deep fryers, commercial ovens Composite equipment
Laboratory Technician Scientist, Dr of research, MSL60116- Advanced Diploma of Laboratory Operations. In-house training
Bachelor of Engineering
Repair or replacement of centrifuges, ovens, sterilisers, incubators, autoclaves, microscopes, imaging equipment Control devices
Hazardous Area Technician or Engineer In-house / manufacturer’s training, UEE42611 Certificate IV in Hazardous areas – Electrical, UEE4061 Certificate IV in Electro technology – Systems Electrician 1 Repair or replacement of equipment within an area classified as hazardous. Hazardous area equipment
Sign Writer or Repair Technician In-house / manufacturer’s training, Certificate III in Signs and Graphics Repair or replacement of neon Signs or components of neon signs. Not LED / LCD signs

Neon signs (preassembled)

Unlikely to issue in the future

Endorsement by VBA as Type B Gas Fitter or enrolment in Type B Course CPCPGS4023B,
Electrician
Completion of VBA’s examination of competencies for type B gas fitting work,
CPCPGS4023B Install, commission and service Type B gas appliances,
Certificate of Completion – Plumbing & Gas fitting
Work on boilers, kilns process plant designated type B Gas appliances

Table revised 1/11/17

The above units are the current Australian Quality Training Framework (AQTF) competencies. ESV cannot guarantee local training providers’ availability of the above units. If you have queries about the recommended competencies, contact your local training provider for more information.

Restricted Electrical Worker’s licence course

To approve course attendance, ESV requires:

  • A copy of your Trade Certificate or qualifications supporting the primary trade, vocation or occupation (or as assessed under the Australian standards for overseas qualifications).
  • A letter of support from the employer, or from you if self-employed, demonstrating the need and requirement for this licence. The letter must describe:
  • Tasks to be undertaken as a result of holding the licence
  • Tasks you are required to undertake for your primary trade, vocation or occupation
  • The equipment that will be disconnected/reconnected
  • The voltage applicable to such equipment

In–house training

If undertaking ‘in-house’ training, you must provide detailed information with your application regarding the training program as delivered:

  • Subject matter and level of training
  • How the training was conducted
  • How the trainer deemed competence to work on the equipment
  • Details of the trainer – name, experience and qualifications
  • Copies of course documentation – certificates and handouts, including a course manual and any other relevant training information
  • Location of the training and date(s)

Training providers

Classes of a Restricted Electrical Workers licence

Restricted Electrical Workers licence are now issued as Class 1 or 2, in each category.

All REL holders are limited to working as indicated on the licence and detailed in the Electricity Safety (Registration and Licensing) Regulations 2010 Reg 7.

For the purposes of Part 3, Division 2 of the Electricity Safety Act 1998, the following classes of electrical work are prescribed:

  • Class 1 – Restricted Electrical Workers Licence (includes Fault Finding)
  • Class 2 – Restricted Electrical Workers Licence (disconnect/reconnect only)

This revised structure was introduced in 2010 to increase the type of work that can be performed by Restricted Electrical Workers.

Refer to page Definition of fault finding for more information.

Restricted Electrical Worker’s licence – Class 1 (Fault Finding)

Electrical installation work required to carry out a primary work function relating to low voltage fixed electrical equipment that involves—

  1. the reconnection of that electrical equipment or component of that electrical equipment or the connection of other equipment or any component of equivalent power and current in the same location and without alteration to existing cables; and
  2. the disconnection of that electrical equipment or a component of that electrical equipment; and
  3. the testing of that electrical equipment or a component of that electrical equipment; and
  4. fault finding in relation to that electrical equipment or a component of that electrical equipment.

Restricted Electrical Worker’s licence – Class 2

Electrical installation work required to carry out a primary work function relating to low voltage fixed electrical equipment that involves—

  1. the reconnection of that electrical equipment or component of that electrical equipment or the connection of other equipment or any component of equivalent power and current in the same location and without alteration to existing cables; and
  2. the disconnection of that electrical equipment or a component of that electrical equipment; and
  3. the testing of that electrical equipment or a component of that electrical equipment.

Class 1 or Class 2?

To be awarded a Class 1 REL (to include fault finding), applicants must demonstrate to ESV they are duly competent to undertake fault finding.

If you cannot demonstrate competency to undertake fault finding – which ESV determines from the information submitted in your application – you will be required to successfully complete the fault find and repair unit of competency and associated modules in addition to the Restricted Electrical Worker’s licence course.

To be awarded Class 2 (without fault finding), ESV accepts applicants with evidence of the previous NREL 1 & 2 and POO1B and POO7 that precede the current requirements for existing licence holders.

Renewing a Restricted Electrical Worker’s licence and applying for a Class 1

If you plan to undertake fault finding tasks, you must advise ESV that you require a Class 1 Restricted Electrical Workers Licence that includes fault finding, at the time you are renewing your licence.

For ESV to issue a Class 1 licence you must submit the following documents with your renewal:

  • a copy of your trade qualifications,
  • PIC and ARTIC Registrations (front and back), and
  • a letter from your employer describing why this class of licence is required.

Additionally, for consideration of a Class 1 licence, applicants must submit evidence of competence in fault finding.

The following units are required: MEM18046 or POO7 Restricted Electrical Workers Licence (including fault finding), as well as Module MEM18049 or POO1B – Restricted Electrical Workers Licence Course, which may include a Practical Assessment as required by ESV.

If you have previously completed fault finding training and are unable to provide such evidence, you must arrange for review of your competence at a TAFE, and request a letter stating the training you have undertaken, included fault finding at that time.

Responsibilities of Restricted Electrical Worker’s licence holders

As a licence holder, it is your responsibility to understand the legislation and regulations in place at any time and work in accordance with them. This includes:

Additionally, as a Restricted Electrical Worker, it is your responsibility to:

  • carry out any electrical disconnect and reconnect work in accordance with the Australian/New Zealand Wiring Rules (AS/NZS 3000) and any other relevant standard,
  • electrically test the completed work, certify the work complies with the legislation and regulations, and
  • issue a Certificate of Electrical Safety (COES) to the person for whom you completed the work.

Fees

Refer to ESV’s fees for each licence type here.

Fees must be paid at the time the application is submitted.

The fee amount includes a $70 non-refundable component. Credit card payments are preferred.

Renewing your REL

ESV will send a renewal notice to the last known address at least two months prior to the expiry date of the current licence.

Renew your licence via ESV’s online services once you have received your renewal. Renewal must be completed prior to expiry, otherwise your licence will expire, ESV may also apply a re-application fee. Refer to ESV’s fee structure for each licence type renewal here.

It is your responsibility to ensure your licence is current.

Your renewal is subject to rigorous review, particularly if your work circumstances have changed.

Read more about renewing a licence or replacing a licence.

Contact our Licensing team

If you need assistance with ESV’s online forms or have a query about licensing and registration, contact our Licensing and Registration team directly on 1800 815 721 or send an email to licensing@energysafe.vic.gov.au and we will attend to your query as soon as possible.

If you call the Licensing team after 4 pm, leave a message and one of our team will return your call the following business day.