Interstate or overseas applicants | Queensland Building and Construction Commission

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 Mutual recognition for interstate or New Zealand applicants

 Mutual recognition does not apply to a company or partnership.  

If you are applying for a licence in Queensland under mutual recognition please be aware that special rules apply:  

  • we may only issue a licence that is equivalent to the licence you already hold  
  • if your interstate or New Zealand licence is subject to a condition or restriction, we must impose the same condition on your Queensland licence 
  • where there is no QBCC licence equivalent to your interstate or New Zealand licence, the QBCC will not be able to issue you a licence.  

Who can apply? 

We accept applications from interstate and New Zealand:  

  • Australian Capital Territory 
  • New South Wales 
  • Northern Territory 
  • South Australia 
  • Tasmania 
  • Victoria 
  • Western Australia 
  • New Zealand   

NSW, SA and NZ applicants

Contractor or qualified supervisor licence 

If you hold a contractor or qualified supervisor licence in NSW, the equivalent Queensland licence type would be either a contractor licence or nominee supervisor licence.  

Unqualified supervisor licence 

If you hold an unqualified supervisor licence in NSW, the equivalent Queensland licence type may be a site supervisor licence or an occupational licence. This will depend on the licence class. A site supervisor licence would entitle you to supervise building work as an employee only. An occupational licence would entitle you to supervise and personally perform the work as an employee only.  

Builder licence 

Builder licences issued by NSW Fair Trading only apply to Domestic Building Construction Work. 

There is no requirement for a builder to hold a builder licence in NSW if they are performing commercial work. As the NSW licence only applies to domestic construction work, QBCC will restrict your equivalent Queensland builder licence class to BCA Class 1a, 2, 4 and 10.  

If you are a builder and wish to perform commercial work in Queensland or if you hold a NSW supervisor licence, you need to consider your options. It may be more appropriate and easier for you to apply for the full licence class under Queensland requirements.  

As an alternative, if your builder licence is not limited to any work other than being restricted to BCA Class 1a, 2, 4 and 10 and you wish to apply for an unrestricted licence when you submit your mutual recognition application, you must provide: 

  • the appropriate technical qualification for the licence class  
  • relevant details of your experience in the commercial sector 
  • written references to verify your experience.  
Contractor plus supervisor licence 

If you hold a contractor and supervisor licence in SA, the equivalent Queensland licence would be either a contractor licence or nominee supervisor licence.  

Contractor-only licence 

If you only hold a contractor licence in SA, you are not able to apply under mutual recognition as Queensland does not have an equivalent licence.  

Before applying, submit a certified copy of your New Zealand licence (this includes those who have a site licence in areas 1, 2 or 3), so that we can determine whether you need to complete a managerial course first. 

Site Licensed Building Practitioner licence 

If you hold a Site Licensed Building Practitioner (LBP) licence in NZ, you are not able to apply under mutual recognition as Queensland does not have an equivalent licence. In NZ, a Site LBP cannot supervise Restricted Building Work, such as the structural elements or external moisture management systems of a building.

Mutual recognition of nominee for a company 

If you intend to trade through a company in Queensland, the company must hold a licence in its own right. To obtain a Queensland licence, a company must have a QBCC licensed contractor or nominee supervisor licensee as its nominee. The nominee must hold the same QBCC licence class as the company.  

If you intend to be the nominee for your company, you may be able to get mutual recognition as an individual for an equivalent Nominee Supervisor licence. Submit a Queensland company application at the same time you lodge your individual mutual recognition application. 

Keep your interstate/NZ licence active  

Your interstate lor New Zealand licence must remain active to qualify for a QBCC licence. Be sure to renew your licence on time and pay any outstanding fines. If your interstate licence is cancelled or suspended prior to approval of a Queensland licence, you will not be entitled to a Queensland licence under mutual recognition.

To apply you can submit the Mutual Recognition application form:

Already licensed with us?

Report changes to your interstate or NZ licences

All licensees must immediately (within 14 days) notify QBCC of any licence events interstate or New Zealand, such as:

  • new licences granted 
  • licences cancelled or suspended.

Notify us either:

  • online through myQBCC
  • by completing a 

Form S109B (PDF) 

You can submit the form to us:

 Overseas applicants

If you are from a country other than Australia or New Zealand, and you wish to work in the building and construction industry in Queensland, you need to meet all the usual eligibility requirements of the licence class and licence type you are applying for. Most significantly you will need to:

  • demonstrate you have permission to work in Queensland 
  • get your qualifications recognised or assessed to see if it is equivalent to the one listed for the licence you wish to apply for. 

Permission to work in Queensland  

You must have one of the following: 

  • be an Australian citizen or permanent resident or 
  • have a current visa or ImmiCard issued under the Migration Act 1958, entitling you to work in Australia. 

Recognition of qualifications 

If you have a qualification that you think may be equivalent to the one listed for your licence class, you may be able to get it recognised or may already meet requirements. The following processes may assist you: 

  • Recognition of prior learning – This process allows you to have your overseas skills and experience assessed through a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) in Queensland. Look up technical qualifications to find out more about RTOs 
  • Professional organisation membership – If you hold a post-trade overseas qualification (Diploma, Degree, etc.) and you are a member of a professional organisation (RICS, CIOB, EA etc. in Australia or overseas), you may meet the technical qualifications for a licence. Please contact us for further information. 
  • Overseas trade assessment bodies – If you are still living overseas, a registered training organisation in your home country may be able to assess and recognise your qualification in certain trades. Find out which assessment body can recognise your trade

Occupational plumbers and drainers 

If applying as an occupational plumber or drainer, you should include in your application either your:

  • if completed—Certificate III in Plumbing CPC32413 in Australia and overseas apprenticeship
  • overseas plumbing and drainage:
    • apprenticeship
    • qualifications
    • resume
    • other documents demonstrating experience.

Last reviewed: 30 Aug 2021 Last published: 30 Aug 2021
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