Certificate of Compliance (CoC) - Electrical Safety
The Electricity Safety Regulator for the Northern Territory requires that all electrical work, including new installations/alterations/additions and repairs, be documented on a Certificate of Compliance in a manner compliant with the Electricity Reform (Safety and Technical) Regulations 2000.
It is mandatory in the Northern Territory to document all electrical installation work undertaken by an electrical contractor on a customer’s premises. The approved form of documentation is the certificate of compliance which is available as a printed book of 50 self-carbonating sheets available from all Territory Business Centres. Alternatively a downloadable CoC is provided by the Electricity Safety Regulator located on the NT WorkSafe website at no cost.
Offences under the Electricity Reform Act 2000 may result in fines ranging from 10 penalty units ($1540.00) to 200 penalty units ($30,800.00).
Legislation - Use of Certificates of Compliance
Part 5 - Section 69 of the Electricity Reform Act requires that electrical work be carried out as required under the Electricity Reform (Safety and Technical) Regulations and that the notification provisions of the Regulations are complied with.
Regulation 4 outlines the standards to which all electrical work must be carried out and tested
All electrical work on a customers premises must:
- Be carried out and tested to the current edition of the Wiring Rules AS/NZS 3000:2018 and any other standard called up by the Wiring Rules, and
- Comply with Network Operator’s (e.g. Power and Water Corporation) Service Rules, Installation Rules, and Metering Manual.
Regulation 5 outlines how a CoC is used
- CoC are to be completed by the licensed electrical worker who carried out the examinations and tests before the system is energised.
- CoC are to be counter signed by the electrical contractor or their supervisory representative who is acting as a duly authorised agent of the contractor.
- If the work is associated with the making of a connection or re-connection to a transmission or distribution network, the network operator (e.g. Power and Water Corporation) must be given a completed and signed off copy of the CoC.
- The owner or occupier (whoever the work was carried out for) must be issued with CoC within 30 days of the installation being certified. The electrical contractor must keep a copy of each CoC issued, for a period of at least 5 years. The copy may be either hard copy print-out or an electronic (scanned) copy.
Completion of Certificate of Compliance
Certificates of Compliance shall be completed in full; all relevant information shall be provided in a clear legible manner without abbreviation.
- Contractors name: The top section exists to allow you to provide your contractors name in full and ABN number if desired, the Power and Water Corporation NIW No, and the Contractor Invoice Number fields are voluntary, but allow you to cross reference the CoC with those documents.
- Installation details: The address where electrical work was undertaken shall include lot number where known, street number, street name and type, suburb name, and where the property is hard to find other location data as required, GPS co-ordinates are acceptable.
- Owner/occupier details: The names of the customer(s), their postal address if different from their street address and contact phone number(s), and email if available, shall be provided.
Privacy statement: NT WorkSafe does not enter private or third party metadata collected in the Certificate of Compliance regarding the customer, owner or occupier into its databases. This information from the CoC is only referred to by the Regulator to assist with monitoring electrical contractor and worker compliance with Regulation 5.
- Type of installation work: Tick the appropriate box; New, Additions, Alterations, or Repairs.
- Describe work certified: It is important that you give a very clear and complete description of the work that you completed, examined and tested. If a dispute opens between yourself, the owner / occupier, the builder or the Electricity Safety Regulator and you have failed to accurately identify the scope of work undertaken you may find yourself being held responsible for work you have not completed.
- Defects observed: This space is provided to record any defects that you have noticed that are not associated with your work and have not been fixed. It becomes the owner / occupiers responsibility to address these issues.
- Certification sections: These sections must be completed with all details and signed by the licensed electrical worker who personally carried out the examination and tests before the installation was made available for energisation and the contractor or authorised person who has a supervisory role. If the work is done by a sole operator, that person must sign both the contractor's section and licensed worker section.
Clarification of persons who may sign off a Certificate of Compliance
Electrical workers should note that in signing off the electrical worker’s section of a CoC they will currently attract civil and regulatory liability should non-compliance be found with their work.
Under certain circumstances a situation may occur where an electrical worker, who is working alone or without the presence of the electrical contractor’s nominee, must sign off the contractor’s section of the CoC to achieve an outcome (e.g. connection of power by Power and Water Corporation).
This commonly occurs in isolated localities or after-hours call outs to loss of power situations where urgent repairs are required and attendance from a Power and Water Corporation line crew is required to connect or reconnect power.
Power and Water Corporation line crews will not connect power to an installation without a copy of a CoC being handed to them (yellow sheet if using self-carbonating book). Power and Water Corporation is legally obliged under Regulation 5(3) of the Electricity Reform (Safety and Technical) Regulations to obtain a copy of the CoC.
Electrical workers have had concerns about signing off the contractor’s section of the CoC as they feel they may attract some legal liability by doing so.
The Electrical Safety Regulator's view
In certain circumstances the licensed electrical worker may be duly authorised to sign off the CoC
The Electricity Safety Regulator has considered the terms of Regulation 5(2)(b):
“a person who has or had a supervisory role in relation to the worker and who is acting as a duly authorised agent of the contractor must, if satisfied that the standards and requirements referred to in Regulation 4 have been complied with in relation to the work, also complete and sign the certificate in accordance with the directions contained in it”.
The Electricity Safety Regulator has taken the view that in certain circumstances a worker may be classified as self-supervised. This will occur in remote localities and on late night call outs.
The Electricity Safety Regulator has also said that where it can be anticipated that a licensed electrical worker may work in isolation either at a remote locality or whilst on after-hours call, the contractor may duly authorise the licensed electrical worker(s) to sign off the contractor’s section of the CoC on his/her behalf.
Such authorisation must be in writing, and be produced upon request of the Electricity Safety Regulator.
Alternatively where a situation occurs which was unanticipated, the electrical contractor may duly authorise the licensed electrical worker to sign off the contractor’s section of the CoC over the telephone, as long as the electrical contractor documents the approval which must also be produced upon request of the Electricity Safety Regulator.
The Electricity Safety Regulator has further suggested that where an electrical contractor authorises licensed electrical workers to sign off the contractor’s section of the CoC, the electrical contractor inspect the completed CoC and countersign the contractor’s copy (pink sheet if using self-carbonating book) to demonstrate that the contractor does maintain supervision over the authorisation process.
When a CoC is not required
The Electricity Safety Regulator has exempted the following, unless requested by the person for whom the work was carried out, from the need to issue a CoC:
- Direct replacement of faulty or damaged electrical apparatus with the same type; and
- Motor rewinds (disconnects and reconnects) where the same type of motor is reinstalled. In all other cases a CoC must be completed.
Examples of exemptions
Replacing a broken switch, power point or fan control with the same type would not require a CoC. However replacing a broken socket outlet with, for example, a combination switch / socket outlet would require a CoC as it is not a direct replacement.
Similarly, replacing a stove or stove elements with those of the same wattage would not require a CoC. However if the stove or element is of a higher wattage resulting in an increase in the maximum demand of the installation then a CoC is required.
Please note: repairs requiring direct replacement of a mains connection box, any repairs to a meter box, any repairs to a switchboard and/or replacement of independent main switches are excluded from the exemptions above.
If in doubt contact the NT WorkSafe Electrical Safety Unit. Electrical Safety Inspectors are available to assist you in any aspect of the Regulations and can, upon request, provide training in regard to CoC.
Interstate contractors and electricians not exempt
This notice does not exempt interstate contractors and electricians who have not obtained an NT electrical licence from issuing a CoC in the NT.
As soon as a person who holds an interstate license becomes aware they have carried out electrical work in the Northern Territory they shall notify the Electricity Safety Regulator immediately, complete a Certificate of Compliance, and apply for appropriate licenses as required under the Electrical Workers and Contractors Act. Licence applications can be made at any Territory Business Centre.