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FAQ's - Electrical safety inspections and testing

Below are FAQs to assist electricians to understand the requirements of electrical safety inspections and testing. These FAQs will be updated regularly with questions raised by electricians. If you have a question to add to this list, email it to our Electrical technical helpline ElectricalInstallationEnquiries@energysafe.vic.gov.au.

Switchboard-type Circuit Breaker (CB) and switchboard-type Residual Current Devices (RCDs) shall be installed to provide protection to all socket outlets and lighting circuits in a rental property, from 29 March 2023.

This means that when modifying an existing switchboard to comply, RCD protection shall be provided to all power circuits supplying socket outlets and all lighting circuits. Circuits with hard-wired appliances such as ovens and Air conditioners need not be RCD protected.

If a switchboard is required to be replaced then as per clause 2.6.3.2.5 (Alterations to installations and replacement of switchboards) of AS/NZS 3000: RCD’s are required on all final sub-circuits.

No, the inspection and testing set out in section 4 of AS/NZS 3019 should provide evidence that the installation complies with the relevant requirements at the time of construction of the installation and is in a safe condition for continued use.

No, the inspection and testing set out in section 4 of AS/NZS 3019 should provide evidence that the installation complies with the relevant requirements at the time of construction of the installation and is in a safe condition for continued use.

No, you do not need to remove and check every socket outlet and light fitting to confirm terminations. Verification, by inspection and/or testing, is intended, as far as reasonably practicable, to determine whether the installation and all its constituent equipment are in a safe condition for continued use.

Section 4 is intended to be primarily visual inspection and limited testing of an electrical installation to verify that the installation remains in good repair and does not show signs of misuse or damage. Only where it is reasonably practicable because you suspect misuse or damage, should you need to remove a socket outlet or light fitting.

It is the requirements of the Residential Tenancies Regulations (RTR) as they relate to the licenced electrician is that it is the electrician’s role to inspect, test and report their observations on a certificate provided to the rental provider (landlord). Clause 1.1 of AS/NZS 3019 (Scope) says:

Verification, by inspection and/or testing, is intended, as far as reasonably practicable, to determine whether the installation and all its constituent equipment is in a safe condition for continued use.

NOTE — Inspection and testing to this Standard should provide evidence that the installation complies with the relevant requirements at the time of construction of the installation.

Whilst carrying out an electrical safety check, if you identify an unsafe electrical situation, as an electrical worker you have an obligation to notify the tenant, landlord and agent. If possible you may make it safe. If you have advised the landlord or agent and they refuse to rectify the unsafe electrical situation, please contact ESV to investigate the matter further.

The Residential Tenancies Regulations 2021 states that rental providers must ensure that an electrical safety check of all electrical installations and fittings in the premises (in accordance with Section 4 of AS/NZS 3019 “Electrical installations—Periodic verification”) is conducted every two years Section 4 of AS/NZS 3019:2007 also states the inspection of electrical equipment shall include the visual inspections listed in Section 3 of the standard.

Therefore the electrical safety checks shall include:
• Section 3 Verification by basic visual inspection, and
• Section 4 Verification by visual inspection and limited testing.

ESV suggest an ‘Electrical Installation audit report’ completing only the relevant sections, or a document specifying the equipment and tests conducted by the electrician.

There is no need to be an REC to conduct electrical safety checks per AS/NZS 3019 or the RTR. You only need to be an REC if you plan to carry out any of the electrical repairs for profit or gain. Then you must also issue an ESV COES in relation to the electrical work carried out.

A record of an electrical safety check may be any of the following:
• a compliance certificate (Certificate of Periodic Verification, AS/NZS 3019 Form 1)
• a document from the electrician
• an Electrical Installation audit report (ESV Electricians Toolkit Form)

An ESV Certificate of Electrical Safety (COES) is not the correct form to be used for the electrical safety check. However, an ESV COES is required to be issued if any electrical repair or maintenance work is carried out.

AS/NZS 3019:2007 has a verification certificate (form 1.) that may be completed and signed and given to the landlord or agent.

For further information and a copy of ESV’s Electrical Installation
Audit Report visit our website: residential tenancy changes and electrician toolkit