As a licensed electrician or electrical contractor working in Australia, you must provide customers with certificates of electrical compliance. These certificates are an important part of the job, and the consequences of failing to issue or lodge them can be severe.
Below, I break down why these certificates are so important and what happens if you fail to issue, lodge, or file them properly on time or if you don’t issue them at all.
Certificate of Electrical Compliance
A certificate of electrical compliance confirms that an electrician or electrical contractor has completed their work to Australian electrical regulatory standards. Different states and territories have slightly different names for these certificates, but their aim is the same: to ensure quality of the work done and for the safety of the client.
Certificates of electrical compliance are very important. Aside from giving consumers peace of mind, they ensure that you’re only liable for the work you’ve undertaken, which protects you and your reputation if the client gets further, non-certified work done.
So, the question now is, what happens if you issue or file these certificates late or not at all?
The Repercussions of Non-compliance
The consequences may vary if you fail to lodge electrical compliance certificates. Here are the most significant consequences that you should be aware of.
Don’t financially risk your business by neglecting your compliance certificate duties. If your state electrical regulator finds that you’ve failed to lodge or issue certificates on time, or at all, they can and will fine you. As an example, for single case fines, the penalty for failing to issue this certificate can be as high as $5,000 while failure to comply with Australian safety regulations could mean fines of up to $550,000.
Failure to store your compliance certificates for a certain number of years will also result in more fines. For example, in Queensland, the penalty is $4,000. Is it worth the risk? Certainly not!
Losing Your License
Both electricians and electrical contractors could suffer restrictions or lose their license entirely if they fail to issue and file the necessary compliance certificates as needed. The good news is, this task doesn’t have to stressful and involve excessive amounts of paperwork anymore—our QuickSafety app allows you to digitally file and securely store your certificates of compliance for the required five years (or seven years in New Zealand).
Licensed electrical workers, by law, must comply with Wiring Rules, including, of course, the issuing and lodging of compliance certificates, and putting their license number on the document. Electricians who fail to complete a compliance certificate because they aren’t licensed to do the work put their customers—and themselves—at risk of serious electrical accidents and faults. In other words, these certificates can also ensure that the electrician who did the job is licensed to do so. Unlicensed electrical work can result in fines of as high as $40,000.
Loss of Reputation
Reputation is a big deal for electricians and electrical contractors. If you have a reputation for sloppy work practices, this can damage your business long-term—in the eyes of workers and clients alike. Aside from hefty fines and the possibility of getting restrictions or having your license revoked, lodging or filing certificates of compliance late or not at all will certainly negatively impact your reputation. And, since word can get out quite fast especially with instant messaging services, social media, and mobile devices, this could ultimately lead to less work and fewer clients for you.
As an example, recently, a person was fined $7,200 plus costs for unauthorised electrical work without certification. Don’t let the same happen to you.
How QuickSafety Can Help
At QuickSafety, we not only help you do your job more easily, we also help you do it right. Our app functions as an easy-to-use platform that lets you lodge and securely store certificates of compliance. This is done efficiently through online connectivity—however, if you’re out of network range, the app will store the information and upload it once you’re online once again. We also provide electricians with assistance in terms of inspections and testing, including input and validation to current standards.
Lastly, ours is an app that functions as a great tool to manage your and your team’s tasks—especially in terms of planning—and eliminate messy paperwork for a workplace that’s conducive to productivity.