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RTO 1820

How to get a South Australian Contractor’s Licence Featured

In South Australia, a contractor’s licence is essential if you want to run a business in plumbing, gas, electrical, restricted building (trades) or general building (full domestic builder). By law, any individual wishing to carry out building work in these areas must have a current SA Contractor’s Licence, whether the work is for sale or lease of land. If you hold a supervisor’s licence, this will only allow you to do, or supervise, the work only. Without a Contractor’s License, you cannot enter into a binding contract with anyone to perform the work. Any business contract relating to construction, including carrying out building work for others, performing building work for the purpose of sale or lease of land, or carrying out improvements for the purpose of sale or lease will require a contractors license.

In order to get the contractor’s licence, you will need:
  1. Knowledge and experience: this includes having completed a “business criteria course” or another acceptable form of business knowledge as recognised by the Consumer and Business Services. PCD Training’s SA Contractor’s business criteria course meets this requirement.
  2. Minimum of $10,000 net tangible assets. If you don’t have $10,000 in net assets then it may be possible to get a sub-contractor’s licence. This will only let you contract to other contractors however; you will not be allowed to contract to the public directly until you attain a full contractor’s licence.
  3. Fees: depending on the business structure and licence, you will need to pay the appropriate fees to Consumer and Business Services (CBS). These fees are fully detailed on the South Australian Government website here.
  4. National Police Certificate no more than 12 months old. This can be applied for through the South Australian Police website here.

While there are many options to meet CBS’ requirement of the ‘business criteria’ component, the most common and efficient is ‘Option 2’ which involves the completion of two nationally accredited units of competency. At PCD Training, we train our applicants in two nationally accredited business units (BSBSMB401 Establish legal and risk management requirements of small business and BSBSMB404 Undertake small business planning), which meets the requirements presented by ‘Option 2’.

While many Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) can provide training in this area that is recognised by CBS, the issue can be with relevancy. Training with most RTOs involves a wide, unspecialised approach that incorporates elements from multiple different disciplines, regardless of the specifics of the applicant’s profession or the relevant state in which the applicant wishes to do business. Further, many training providers purchase and use only third party materials, which are written as a generic resource not specifically tailored to the building industry, or even to the legal requirements of South Australia. The third party materials used by such training organisations are used to provide the minimum required education and training to all applicants, without taking into account the desired profession, relevant skills, or relevant state authority that and applicant falls under.

You should be wary of training providers trying to force you to complete the full Certificate IV in Building and Construction (Building) in order to receive a contractor’s licence. This is in no way required to complete a contractor’s licence course, or to accept contracts in the building industry. You only need to complete what is accepted by CBS to meet the ‘business criteria’ component.

In addition, you should also be wary of training providers offering non-accredited courses. Non-accredited means that the course is not regulated in any way by a governing body (such as ASQA with nationally accredited training). With such unregulated training courses, you cannot be guaranteed that the course is of a quality standard, nor that the course will legally satisfy the requirements of the CBS to receive a contractor’s license. Remember, without the meeting the statutory requirements of the CBS, you will be unable to legally accept contracts in the building industry.

The PCD Training System

Unlike other RTOs, PCD Training has developed and implemented its own training materials that have been specifically tailored to the building industry, and the exacting requirements of the South Australian Government. PCD Training’s learning resources are entirely designed in house, using no third-party materials. This means that the training experience provided by PCD is entirely unique, tried and tested by industry professionals in order to give relevant and effective training. These learning resources have been developed and implemented by current building licence holders, both in Queensland and South Australia. By tailoring our own materials to suit the specific business of our applicants, the process of receiving a Contractor’s License is streamlined from a generalist boilerplate program into a targeted, refined regimen.

The training provided by PCD is also streamlined to provide the legal requirements of a Contractor’s License in an extremely efficient manner, regardless of the availability of the applicant. A licence applicant can complete PCD Training’s SA Contractors business criteria course either online, or in a workshop at our office in Pirie St in the city. Regardless of which mode an applicant chooses, they will be issued their Statement of Attainment immediately as soon as they have successfully completed the course. This completion certificate will be issued within the hour, unlike the 30 days processing period that other providers can take. Our fees are also very competitive compared to other providers. Some charge upwards of $990, whereas ours are close to half that.

The workshop is an efficient, personalised training service provided over the course of a single day; registration can be booked online 24/7, and is delivered in its entirety in one business day, without the need for post-workshop study or assessment. By the end of the workshop, an applicant will be able to walk out the door with their certificate in hand, having been given the highest quality tailored training for their field.

If preferred, the course is also delivered online via a fully supported online digital course. This course can be completed at the applicant’s leisure, while receiving the full assistance of PCD training staff over the course of training. This course can be registered for and completed at any time, and the completion certificate will be emailed to the applicant upon its conclusion.

PCD Training also has an association with Sam Cottell from SA Trade Licensing. Sam can help with the licence application side of things, which takes the pain of putting your licence application and submitting it. More info on how Sam can help you can be found at:

If you need to get your SA Contractor’s Licence and need to do the business criteria course, training with PCD will ensure that any applicant will receive only the most relevant and up to date training available. We don’t ask for payment up front, so if you are not satisfied with our course, simply cease studying with no loss out of pocket. We don’t even ask for payment up front for a workshop; your training and satisfaction our utmost priority. Feel free to contact us with any questions you may have, we are here to ensure you receive only the best training the industry has to offer.