The role of the qualified technical person (QTP)
All electrical work performed by a licensed electrical contractor must be performed or supervised by a qualified technical person (QTP) who is endorsed on the licence.
Every electrical contractor licence must have an eligible and valid QTP
The QTP must be:
- a fit and proper person
- competent to perform the role of QTP for a Queensland electrical contractor licence
- licensed to perform electrical work within the scope of the work being contracted for
- competent in that type of work, even if a licence is not required for the type of work being undertaken (e.g. testing and tagging electrical equipment).
The QTP must be either an employee of the electrical contractor, member of the partnership, or an executive officer of the corporation. Regular checks are conducted by the Electrical Safety Office (ESO) to identify individuals nominated as a QTP on more than one electrical contracting licence. Where that is the case, the electrical contractor will be asked how they are ensuring that the QTP is able to perform and supervise their work properly.
An electrical contractor needs to ensure that the QTP is given the necessary time, resources and support to enable them to fulfil their role. In some circumstances more than one QTP may be required, for example where the business is divided into specialist divisions or operates in a number of different geographic locations throughout the state.
An electrical contractor licence is automatically suspended if the QTP ceases to be the nominee for the licence. No electrical work can be carried out until a new QTP is nominated. If a new QTP is not nominated within one month, the electrical contractor licence is automatically cancelled.
Each QTP needs to maintain the currency of their electrical work licence and promptly advise the electrical contractor licence holder if they no longer hold an electrical work licence, such as when their licence is suspended for disciplinary reasons, or it has expired. The electrical contractor must take steps to replace the QTP, noting that an automatic suspension of the electrical contractor licence takes effect from the time the QTP no longer holds an electrical work licence.
What must a QTP do?
A QTP is essential for the electrical contractor to trade and to conduct their business in a way that is electrically safe. An electrical contractor cannot transfer their electrical safety duties to the QTP, however in some cases the QTP and the electrical contractor will be the same person, such as for a sole trader.
Like every electrical worker there are requirements that the QTP must meet. For example, the QTP must perform electrical work in accordance with the regulations and applicable standards.
Only a QTP can sign documents about electrical work that are required by the Electrical Safety Act 2002 or by an electricity entity.
It is important for QTPs to understand that their name and licence details, including any conditions or disciplinary matters, are publicly displayed on an online electrical licence register.
How does a QTP go about their role?
QTPs will often be delegated certain tasks as part of normal work practices. Each electrical contracting business may have a different approach depending on their particular circumstances. Some general ways that a QTP can support an electrical contractor to conduct their business safely, include.
Safe systems of work
- Develop and implement risk management systems, policies, procedures and job safety assessments.
- Develop safe work procedures for the way electrical work is carried out (e.g. live work, installation testing procedures, emergency rescue).
- Ensure that electrical work complies with the Wiring Rules and other standards
- Ensure that electrical workers are trained and know how to implement the business's installation inspection and testing procedures.
- Audit and enforce compliance with the electrical contractor's risk management system.
- Review and update safe work procedures when common issues and/or defects are identified, or when there are changes to the nature of the work.
Training and competence
- Ensure all electrical workers competencies are up to date (e.g. CPR), including anyone acting as a safety observer for energised electrical work (e.g. CPR/LV Rescue).
- Note that all electrical workers licences are current and extend to the scope of work being performed.
- Ensure electrical workers are only performing electrical work they are competent to do.
- Manage the electrical contractor's licensed worker register.
- Manage the work program of electrical apprentices and trainees to ensure they receive the depth of experience to enable successful completion of the profiling requirements.
- Arrange regular training and skills programs for electrical workers, including refresher training.
- Conduct regular tool box talks or other ways to engage and consult workers in improving electrical safety.
- Induct and mentor new employees.
- Provide appropriate levels of supervision to all workers.
- Ensure that apprentices and trainees are supervised at all times by an electrical worker who is licensed to perform the work, taking into account:
- the type of electrical work being performed
- the adequacy of the apprentice/trainee's training
- the competency of the supervisor.
- Assist licensed electrical workers who are required to supervise and train apprentices and trainees to understand what is expected of them.
- Implement relevant, effective, and appropriate monitoring and communication systems to support apprentice and trainee supervision.
- Provide an effective means of communication for remote or isolated workers.
- Be actively involved in workplace consultative committees.
- Advise on matters such as Australian Standards, legislation and codes of practice.
- Analyse how new technologies or systems of work may create electrical safety risk and recommend ways to control risk.
- Apply and monitor quality assurance systems and processes, such as keeping up-to-date with product recalls that may impact on the business.
Electrical contractor guide
The Electrical contractor guide (PDF, 0.5 MB) assists electrical contractors, QTPs and QBPs develop a safe system of work for their business. While every business is different, the guide provides general advice that all electrical contractors should consider.