Australia: Reminder : BSA Site Supervisor Licence - Transition Period Ends 19 December 2008 - Just Four Weeks To Go

Last Updated: 17 December 2008

What is the Site Supervisor Licence?

The Building Services Authority in Queensland ("BSA") introduced the Site Supervisor Licence on 19 December 2007. There are now three classes of licence: Contractor, Nominee Supervisor and Site Supervisor. The Site Supervisor Licence allows the holder to personally supervise building work being carried out under the employer's licence. However, the Site Supervisor Licence does not allow the holder to enter contracts to carry out building work personally or be a nominee supervisor for a company.

Who needs a Site Supervisor Licence?

Any person who supervises the carrying out of building work as an employee of a contractor, where the supervision of the work does not require the applicant to hold either a Nominee Supervisor or Contractor Licence, requires a Site Supervisor Licence. Contractors and Nominee Supervisor licensees are required to ensure that all building work is adequately supervised as required by the Queensland Building Services Authority Act 1991 (Qld). To meet this obligation, the BSA expects that at least one licensed Site Supervisor is appointed to each job.

What is the transition period?

Up until 19 December 2008, the BSA is allowing existing unlicensed site supervisors to obtain the Site Supervisor Licence without having to obtain any additional technical qualifications.

After 19 December 2008, all applicants for a Site Supervisor Licence must demonstrate completion of varying levels of technical qualifications in order to obtain the licence.

What are the technical qualifications required after 19 December 2008?

The qualifications required will vary depending on the licence class held by the employer. For example, if a site supervisor works for an employer who holds a Trade Contractor Licence, the site supervisor must have a full technical qualification which canvasses the scope of work for that job.

Reduced technical qualifications apply to the builder classes of licence. For example, an employer holding a Builder Open Licence must ensure that the site supervisor has completed the following courses: BCGBC6001A – Codes And Standards; BCGBC6004A – Manage Legal Obligations; BCGBC6016A – Assess Construction Faults in Large Building Projects; and BCGBC 6014A – Construction. The full list of the technical requirements as they apply to each separate builder class licence can be found in the Regulations to the Queensland Building Services Authority Act 1991 (Qld). Please contact us if you would like further information on this point, or a copy of the technical requirements.

How do I obtain a Site Supervisor Licence without technical qualifications?

An applicant for a Site Supervisor Licence that does not have formal technical qualifications has until 19 December 2008 to provide a declaration from their employer, either the individual contractor or if a company, the nominee supervisor, verifying that:

  1. the applicant has carried out building work as an officer or employee of the contractor for a period of 12 months or more;
  2. the employer has had the opportunity to assess the skills of the applicant during this period;
  3. the employer has satisfied themselves that the applicant has the skills to carry out the duties of a site supervisor in the employer's licence class.

If the employer cannot agree with all three conditions, the applicant is not able to transition and will have to obtain the relevant technical qualifications for the licence class.

Importantly, the provision of false and/or misleading information by the employer may result in the cancellation of the employer's licence and fines being issued under BSA legislation and the Criminal Code.

The following must be noted when completing the declaration:

  • Only a company's Nominee Supervisor can act as a declarant, not a company director. The Nominee Supervisor is the only person who can establish to the BSA that they have the knowledge and skills to determine the applicant's suitability.
  • If the Nominee Supervisor has been with the company for less than 12 months and the former nominee cannot be located, the current nominee can act as referee but needs to be aware of the history of the applicant and whether they have the required skills and experience.
  • The employer can only complete the employer declaration if they have held a BSA licence in the relevant class for at least 12 months. The 12 month period must be reached on or before 19 December 2008.
  • The employer must hold a licence class that is currently available in order to sign a declaration. If the employer is able to upgrade to a new and current licence class and this is done prior to 19 December 2008, the employer will be able to complete a declaration.
  • The Site Supervisor Licence obtained through transitioning will ensure that the holder does not need to provide evidence of formal technical qualifications at any point in the future for that same licence class.
  • A previous employer is able to sign a declaration for a Site Supervisor Licence applicant as long as the previous employer is satisfied that the applicant has met the three conditions set out above.

The BSA Site Supervisor Licence application form can be found at the following link:

The employer site supervisor declaration form can be found on page 5 of the application form. In order to rely on the declaration, the applicant must tick option 1 on page 1 of the application.

The cost for applying is the same as that for a Nominee Supervisor Licence, that is, $298.70.

CT NOW – the transitional period during which you can apply for a Site Supervisor Licence without requiring technical qualifications ends on 19 December 2008!

By Jim Demack and Dan Pennicott


Jim Demack

t (07) 3231 1570


Dan Pennicott

t (07) 3114 0102


The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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