Licences and Codes of Practice

National Occupational Licensing System (NOLS)

On 3 July 2008, the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) agreed to the development of a national trade licensing system in the context of its broader agenda for regulatory reform. As part of its decision, COAG specifically required the establishment of a publicly available national register of licensees.

A Decision Regulation Impact Statement (RIS) was released in April 2009. It was agreed that the system would initially apply to the following trade occupations: air-conditioning; refrigeration; electrical, land transport; maritime; plumbing and property agent.

NOLS legislation and regulation will provide for a National Occupational Licensing Authority to maintain information on licensees and make available a public register of licensee information. A consulation paper was released in March 2010 and responses to the paper have informed the development of the framework and specifications for the register. Publicly available information will be a subset of the full information collected by regulators for their management of licensing information.

Four Interim Advisory Committees (IACs) were established and met in November 2010 to review work undertaken to date on licence policy elements relating to:

  • licence categories, scopes of work, licence types;
  • eligibility requirements (skill-based and non skilled-based); and
  • other licence characteristic ( exemptions, conditions, restrictions and provisional licences).

In December 2010, the IACs released a fourth communiqué for stakeholders' information. Download here >>

NOLS will commence in mid-2012 and now you can continue to check its progress at www.nola.gov.au >>.

Mutual recognition for occupational licences in Australia

From February 2007, Licence Recognition arrangements have been in place making it easier for licensed tradespeople, and authorities that issue licences, to know what licence a worker is entitled to when applying for a licence in another jurisdiction. Search for equivalent licences >>

Business Licenses

The term "business licence" refers to any form of government regulation, registration, permit or approval which applies to a business. A licence gives you authorisation to carry on an activity or an occupation, setting out the terms and conditions of operation.

The Business Licence Information Service (BLIS) is a free service that provides details of all licences you may require to operate your business in Australia, including Commonwealth, State/Territory and Local Government requirements.

Whether you are running a business or thinking of starting one, BLIS will help you to find out easily which licences and permits you need for that business - or any other activities related to that type of business.

For more information:
Business Licence Information Service

Codes of Practice
Codes of Practice are published documents that set out commonly agreed sets of guidelines which inform all parties of responsibilities and expectations under the code. COP can be:

  • voluntary agreements where a group of companies or an industry sector agree to abide by a particular code.
  • quasi-regulation where the code may be developed by industry in cooperation with government.
    or
  • co-regulation where the code describes required performance or behaviour or specify acceptable means of meeting broader performance based obligations and there are penalties for non-compliance with the code.

The Australian Codes of Practice Database is a free service that provides details about legislated codes of practice, standards, design rules and other requirements that may be necessary to operate a business. Details provided about each code include a brief description, applicable legislation and contact details for further information

Related Weblinks:
Codes of Practice
Licensing LIne News