All electrical wiring work must be tested and certified by the licensed electrician or electrical contractor who carried out the work.
Access Canberra randomly inspects completed electrical work, and audits all new installations. New installations are not to be energised until they have passed their electrical audit by Access Canberra electrical inspectors.
Poor performers are inspected regularly and good performers are inspected less regularly. Disciplinary action may result for practitioners found in breach of legislation. Failure to submit a certificate of electrical safety form may also delay the certificate of occupancy or use.
Before beginning work
Electricians may request attendance of an electrical inspector to provide compliance advice before completing the electrical installation.
When work is ready for inspection
When the electrical work is ready for inspection, lodge a certificate of electrical safety form within 14 days of testing the work. Provide a detailed list of the work done including any tests for compliance. Also provide a copy to the electrical installation owner.
The electrician is not required to be on site when the Access Canberra electrical inspector is there, but if you would like to be in attendance, contact us on 02 6207 7775 to arrange an appointment.
Additional supporting information, such as dossiers or compliance certificates can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
A separate certificate of electrical safety form is required for each of these:
- main switchboard
- distribution board
- meter panel
- point of attachment cubical
- unit in a multi-unit complex.
New electrical work
Electrical work is considered new when:
- the electrical installation is metered for the first time
- a certificate of occupancy and use has not yet been issued
- a new distribution board with a sub-main is installed
- the consumer mains or sub-main to the electrical board is upgraded to a larger size, for example from 10mm to 16mm or a single phase to three phase supply.
On a new building project, all work is new work until the certificate of occupancy or use is issued.
Exemption from new work for building class 1 and 2 buildings include:
- split air-conditioning systems
- stormwater and wastewater sump pumps and their control circuits
- control boards for refrigeration and cool rooms.
Electrical work is considered to be an alteration when:
- existing circuits are extended, have their protection changed, have additional electrical equipment added to them or the purpose of the circuit changes
- extra circuits are placed on an existing electrical board
- an existing electrical board is replaced, upgraded or moved
- consumer mains or sub-mains are replaced with the same sized cable or equivalent metric size when replacing imperial sized cable
- the consumer mains point of supply are moved.
Clause 1.9.3 of AS/NZS 3000:2018 forms the basis of these guidelines and should be read in conjunction with this.
Electrical work is considered to be a repair if:
- the load or characteristic of the circuit has not changed (like for like replacement)
- electrical equipment is replaced with the same type of equipment and wiring work is not involved
- a single socket outlet is changed to a double.
Before main switchboards are given authorisation to be energised they must:
- be fixed permanently in position and installed to meet the requirements of AS/NZS 3000:2018 clause 2.10 of the Wiring Rules
- be installed in a suitable well ventilated place
- be protected against the effects of moisture and dust
- have clear access without being obstructed by contents of the building or by fittings and fixtures within the building
- have all doors installed
- be labelled and main earth and bond locations marked
- have all labels in place as required by the Wiring Rules for safety services
- be 100% complete
- have all penetrations filled for fire sealing and prevent vermin entry.
Other requirements include:
- all smoke doors and fire doors are to be fitted
- prescribed clearance around the switchboard on all sides where people are to pass to allow for servicing and maintenance
- all sub-mains are terminated, danger tagged and locked off
- no cables are to be drawn into cabinets after the switchboard is energised
- where required, mechanical protection of the switchboard is in place, for example vehicle bollards are in place
- where required, stop switch room doors being blocked, for example bollards installed in front of doors.
For a switch room environment:
- In case a switchboard is installed in a car park or installed lower than parking bays, all bunds or barriers must be in place to prevent spillages reaching the main switch room.
- Signage must be in place for the location of the main switchboard at the fire indicator panel or at each entry for the building.
- Signage must be affixed to the doors of more than one switch room indicating the location of other switch rooms on the same site.
- The main switch room and switchboard internals are clean of dust and metallic debris.
- All foreign objects are removed from against the switchboard and switch room floor area.
- The main switch room is not to be used as an office or storage room during final construction stages of the project.
- Permanent lighting in the main switch room must be completed and maintained from the temporary supply before connection of the network supply.
- Emergency lighting plus emergency exit signage must be working and tested.
- Advise construction safety officers installation cables emanating from the main switch room are live as from authorisation date.
For switchboards with maximum demand or supply of 80Amps per phase or higher:
- Maximum demand figures must be available to the electrical inspector when on site.
- Where maximum demand is between 80Amps and 100Amps per phase, consideration should be given to installing a commercial switchboard.
- Where maximum demand is 100Amps or greater per phase, a commercial switchboard is required.
As per AS/NZS 3000:2018 Clause 7.2 protective devices shall be selected so:
- a fault on the general electrical installation will not result in loss of supply to safety services
- fault-current limiters used to protect safety services shall not be used to provide protection to any part of the general electrical installation.
To comply with this clause:
- In all cases, the metering arrangements of the electrical installation should not cause the loss of supply to safety services if a fault occurs in the general electrical installation. In some electrical installations, this may require separate electricity metering for safety services in order to comply with the Wiring Rules.
- All labels required by the Wiring Rules for safety services are to be in place prior to inspection.
Please note all points in this notice also need to be checked against the distributor’s Service and Installation Rules. All requirements must also be met. Service and installation rules for the ACT can be found at Evoenergy.
When an electrical inspector finds an electrical installation that is not compliant to the Wiring Rules (AS/NZS 3000) the electrician who tested the electrical installation and signed the certificate of electrical safety may be issued a defect notice.
In most cases the notice will include:
- a description of the non-compliance
- the rule and standard the work is in breach of
- the time period we give to make repairs which is usually 14 days
- any cost that will apply if a reinspection by the electrical inspectors is required
- the electrical inspector's contact details.
Requesting a review of a defect notice
To request more information from the electrical inspector, or seek a review of the defect notice:
- Call the electrical inspector. Their mobile number is on the report.
- If you would like a review from a senior electrical inspector, contact us.
- Where you feel the defect is in error and you are unable to resolve the differing views with the issuing inspector and their supervisor, contact the Deputy Registrar (Electrical) in writing stating your reasons for the review by email to email@example.com.
- After following the above process and you would still like a review, write to the Registrar of Construction Occupations stating your reasons for the review and mail to:
The Registrar of Construction Occupations
GPO Box 158
Canberra ACT 2601
Due to privacy considerations, we can only communicate with the electrician whom the defect notice was issued to. Where a licensed electrical contractor is noted on the certificate of electrical safety, we’ll communicate with the nominee of that licensed electrical contractor.
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