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Source: New South Wales Government 2

Headline: New medical gas licensing scheme begins 1 November 2020

This follows the amendment of the Gas and Electricity (Consumer Safety) Act and the Home Building Act 1989.

From 1 November 2020, there will be 3 new categories of specialist work in the Home Building Act:

  • medical gasfitting work
  • medical gas technician work
  • mechanical services and medical gas work category (begins 1 May 2022),

Transitional arrangements will be in place to allow the medical gas industry to gain the appropriate qualifications and licences in time for 1 May 2021 licensing requirements. 

Medical gas regulation timeline

From 1 November 2020:

  • people can continue to do medical gas work but must apply for a licence to continue beyond 1 May 2021, for medical gas-fitting and medical gas technician work.
  • medical gas work must comply with relevant Australian Standards
  • new requirements for reporting serious medical gas accidents begin

From 1 May 2021:

  • a licence will be required to carry out medical gasfitting work and medical gas technician work.
  • new requirements for safety and compliance testing and their notification will begin.
  • new requirements for the rectification of non-compliant work will also begin.

From 1 May 2022:

  • a licence will be required to carry out mechanical services and medical gas work.

Licence types

From 1 November 2020, there will be 3 licence types that allow the 3 categories of medical gas work to be performed:

1. Tradespersons Certificate
Under this qualification, any medical gas work completed by the holder of a tradesperson certificate must be overseen and signed off by someone who holds an endorsed contractor licence or supervisor certificate. Supervision is required for a Tradespersons Certificate.

2. Qualified Supervisor Certificate

This licence permits a person to undertake the work they have been licensed for and to supervise others doing the same work.

You cannot be self-employed with this licence; you must be employed by a person that holds an endorsed contractor licence.

3. Endorsed contractor licence

This licence allows the holder to carry out the work, supervise, contract and advertise work described on their licence card.

Endorsed contractor licence cards have a ‘Q’ printed on them to show they are equivalent to a supervisor certificate (which allows them to supervise and carry out the work described on their card)

The Endorsed Contractor Licence allows you to work for yourself as a subcontractor or sole trader.

Training requirements

Applicants will need to complete two units of competency before applying for a licence:

  • install Medical Gas Pipeline Systems
  • carry out WHS requirements

These units can be completed through the Install Medical Gas Pipeline Systems course, which provides participants with the skills and knowledge to safely install and test medical gas pipelines for use within hospitals and other medical facilities.

Course participants will learn the requirements for the installation of medical gas pipelines in relation to the Australian Standards (AS) 2896-2011 by taking part in practical fabrication activities and pipework installation exercises simulating real life examples.

The course is designed for registered and/or licensed plumbers or gasfitters and current apprentices.

Service Trades College is currently the only registered training organisation that can provide this course in NSW. It is currently offering the course at the PICAC Glenwood Campus in NSW and the PICAC Beenleigh Campus in South Brisbane, QLD. The course involves three days of onsite training.

Prospective students will need to submit an expression of interest to be contacted by a representative from the Service trades College who will discuss their current qualifications and training needs.

Visit the Service Trades College website for more information.

Qualification requirements

The applicant must meet the qualification requirements, have completed the two units of competency, and have two years’ experience in the specialist work category after obtaining the qualifications to be granted an authority to do the work. The applicant also needs to be able to demonstrate that they have the capability to perform the work for which a licence is sought.

Please note:
The applicant must have gained at least two years’ experience in the relevant medical gas work after obtaining the qualifications.

A person can have both medical gas fitting work and medical gas technician work approved and added to their authority however a person cannot commission and sign off on their own work – the work will need to be commissioned and signed off by another qualified person who did not do the work.

Applying for the correct licence

Applicants will need to decide which type of licence they require and then apply for the relevant medical gas categories.

If an applicant holds a current authority, the relevant medical gas category can be added to the existing authority, assuming the training, experience, and capability requirements have been met.

For information on fees and the application process, visit Fair Trading’s licencing pages

Applications for a medical gas work authority will open on 2 November 2020.

Mutual recognition

Fair Trading may offer mutual recognition of interstate licences that authorise medical gas work.

For more information, or to apply for mutual recognition, visit the NSW Fair Trading website.

More information

For more information on the new medical gas regulatory scheme, visit Fair Trading’s medical gas work page or call 13 22 20.