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How to become a site supervisor

July 3, 2023

So, You Want to be a Site Supervisor? Does your construction company employ site supervisors, construction managers, foremen, site managers, or project managers? If so, are you aware that they need to have a QBCC site supervisor licence?

Ensuring that your construction company has adequate supervision by QBCC-licensed site supervisors is essential for compliance.

At National Licensing, we offer a turnkey solution that covers qualifications and licenses, all under one umbrella.

1. A brief history of QLD Site Supervisor Licences.

In 2007, a limited licence was created for two purposes:

  1. To provide a way for new entrants in the building and construction industry to obtain core skills and knowledge.
  2. To help principal building contractors fulfil their responsibility to ensure that all building work performed under their licence is supervised by an appropriately licensed person.

However, the use of fully licensed builders as supervisors can be difficult for commercial sectors, medium to large-scale residential builds, or large projects across multiple sites. Such, the limited licence was introduced to provide a solution.

2. What is ‘adequate supervision’?

‘Adequate supervision’ in the QBCC Act refers to work that is properly overseen to meet the:

  1. Plans and specifications of the work set out in the contract between the licensed contractor and client.
  2. The standard expected of a competent contractor in the appropriate licence class.

Adequate supervision does not necessarily mean a supervisor must be onsite when every job is done.

The requirement depends on how complex the work is, and the skills of the tradespeople involved.

In some cases, a supervisor may not be watching over the work as it is happening. Although, it is critical that the supervisor checks the work to ensure it meets the requirements of the Building Code of Australia, related Australian Standards, and plans and specifications of the contract, achieving an appropriate level of workmanship.

3. If you don’t follow the rules, you’ll be fined

Section 43 of the QBCC Act states that a licensed contractor (whether an individual or a company) must ensure building work is personally supervised by:

  1. The contractor.
  2. The company’s nominee.
  3. An officer or employee of the contractor who holds one of the following licences of the relevant class, authorising supervision of the building work:

                 A nominee supervisor’s licence.
                  A site supervisor’s licence.
                  A fire protection occupational licence.
                  An occupational licence.
                  An individual who holds a contractor’s licence of the relevant class.

         Maximum penalty:

         (a) for an individual—200 penalty units

          (b) for a company—1,000 penalty units.

4. Beating the challenges

QBCC states that regardless of whether you are an employee or contractor, you must hold a site supervisor licence to lawfully supervise building work.

On the other hand, QBCC states that if you are employed, you are not required to hold a licence (exceptions include occupational licences such as plumbers, electricians, etc).

To cover all bases, all employees that are supervising construction sites, should at least hold the appropriate level of builder site supervisor licence.

It also provides a career path for your employee to gain lawful experience, upskill and upgrade their licences.

5. Criteria for getting your licence

A site supervisor licence requires only specific units from the full builder qualification.  The technical eligibility criteria is as follows:

6. Don’t worry, we have a solution!

National Licensing offers a corporate client QA package, providing a detailed analysis of your building/construction supervisors’, experience, qualifications, and existing licences. We can then facilitate licence applications, gap skills/qualifications, and build pathways for your existing and future employees.

National Licensing’s sister company Techskill Academy is a Registered Training Organisation. Such, we can provide a seamless service, delivering qualifications and assisting with QBCC Licence application and submission.

Our corporate package provides you with a dedicated client manager to discuss and explore your existing and future licensing requirements.

National Licensing can also cross-check the licences of your subcontractors to ensure that their scope of work matches the contracted work. It is equally important that all your subcontractors have the appropriate licence.

Contact us at National Licensing for more information about corporate licensing packages.

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