Licence to Comply

Two contractors wearing high vis discuss with two facilities managers while adding licence details to an ipad

When it comes to engaging contractors to perform work in your facility, one of the first checks you’ll need to perform is of their licence. Engaging contractors in line with regulatory frameworks means ensuring they hold a valid, in-date licence, and that you have a record of the licence.

When is a licence required? 

Whether a licence is required for the intended work depends on what the work is, where it’s happening, and what equipment is being used.

Remember, it isn’t just trades that may require a licence, professions such as engineering can sometimes also require a licence to operate. Additionally, specific licences could be required for use of machinery, use of public spaces, or work happening in a potentially dangerous environment.

In some cases, both the individual conducting the work, and the contractor employing them, will need to hold a licence for work to be conducted. For example, high risk work and fire protection work require layers of licences for the work to be compliant.

Government resources such as the Australian Building and Construction Commission and Australian Business can help you to determine whether work requires a licence.

Trade licences

In Australia, construction work generally requires a licence for both the individual and the employer. Trades like builders, plumbers, and electricians must hold a licence, issued by relevant authorities, that proves they are qualified to conduct this skilled work.

High risk licences

High risk work may require additional licences. Work that involves heavy machinery or dangerous chemicals will require a licence permitting them to conduct work that has been deemed "high risk". In the case of heavy machinery, the individual conducting the work will also require a heavy vehicle licence.

Reducing licencing risks

There are hundreds of licences out there that may apply to the work you’re engaging a contractor to conduct. And which licences are required is contingent on factors such as what the work is, where it’s being conducted, and who is doing it.

For facilities managers, determining if a licence is required is the first of many steps.

Once the necessary licences have been identified, they need to be collected from the contractor, validated, and recorded. This lengthy process creates scope for human error that must be mitigated to remain compliant with workplace regulation.

Obtaining and recording licencing information

Before a contractor conducts any work, their licence details need to be obtained and recorded. Once a contractor has provided those details, you’ll need to convert them to the format is required for your records.

For example, they might send you a text with their licence details, that you'll then have to upload to the computer, and copy into a spreadsheet. While the process is straightforward enough, it is inefficient, and double handling of the details creates room for error.

Fortunately, modern solutions can streamline this process by allowing contractors to upload their own details into the platform.

This reduces the back and forth in obtaining the licence details, and means when the details are received, they're in the required format, and recorded against relevant work orders and assets.

Licence validation

Every time a contractor is engaged to perform work, licences need to be validated to ensure they have not expired. Because of this, the process begins again of obtaining the details and updating the record.

Licence expiries add in another layer of risk for facilities teams. If work is assigned to a contractor whose licence has expired, the consequences can be severe. The ever-present risk is that the team will see details exist on file and forget, or neglect, to check the expiry date.

Solutions like FMI Works can significantly reduce the risk of assigning work to a contractor with an expired licence, with relevant and timely notifications.

In FMI Works, if a contractor’s licence has expired, the system can prevent work being assigned to them, until that licence record is updated. Additionally, the system can be configured to alert contractors and facilities team when a licence is approaching expiry.

These notifications allow contractors to proactively update their licence details, so they can be ready to go when work is assigned.