What is a Test and Tag License?
There are a lot of myths and misinformation going about regarding test and tag qualifications and licenses and it can be quite confusing for those wanting to ensure they are doing the right thing.
To do test and tagging, you must be a competent person as defined in S 1.4.4 of the Standard AS/NZS 3760:2010. This sets out that the responsible person (S 1.4.19) needs to ensure that whoever is doing the test and tagging has the (theoretical and practical) skills – obtained through training, qualification, experience etc – to correctly undertake the required tasks.
In Australia there is currently no formally recognised system to determine or deem a person is competent or a competent person. Nor is there any formal or recognised qualification or licensing system for test and tag technicians. In short, what all that means is you can test and tag appliances so long as know what you are doing, have the right equipment and can do it in accordance with all the requirements of the Standard.
That may seem quite surprising given the important nature of the work involved, but that’s how it is at this point of time. Some course providers offer a nationally accredited course UEENEEP026A and on completion issue something along the lines of a Statement of Attainment and a Certificate Number. Neither of these are a test and tag qualification or license. A certificate number is usually a referencing system for administrative purposes only and is not a license number.
I have been made aware some course providers do issue what they call a license, however it must be made clear this is something of their own making and it has no recognised standing. It’s a bit like the “license” I got for doing a few hots laps at the local go-kart track. I’ve even heard that during some courses students are told it is mandatory they renew their “license” every two years and this is subject to them doing a refresher course, naturally it needs to be done with the same course provider. Doing a refresher course every few years or so is certainly something to be encouraged as we all forget things and changes to regulations, Standards and Codes etc do happen but there is no requirement for anyone to do a refresher course. If you don’t do one, don’t worry, it shouldn’t stop you from continuing your test and tagging work provided you have kept up to date with any changes and can still do everything in accordance with the Standard.
With fear of being subject to some hostile feedback, it needs to be noted that an electrical trade qualification does not automatically make a holder a competent person unless that qualification included modules / training on the requirements of AS/NZS 3760:2010 or they have gained that understanding through other means. Be aware some jurisdictions may have different requirements, as may some Industry Codes, Codes of Practice etc. For example, if you are going to test and tag appliances on a construction or demolition site you will need a White Card to get on site and if it is a unionised site, chances are they will only allow qualified electricians (who are a member of a union) to perform the work despite there being no requirement under any legislation or code for this. Sometimes you gotta play by their rules.
TIP: A competent person needs to have an understanding of the application and requirements of the Standard. If you haven’t read the Standard AS/NZS 3760:2010 then you need to get hold of a full copy a.s.a.p and get yourself up to speed.
Want to learn how to correctly test and tag electrical appliance – register for a TATSA test and tag course today.
See also Test and Tag License Part 2 Updated 12 July 2016