So today before I got in my car I walked down to the police station and showed them my license. Then I walked back home and drove off in my car. Uh no…. I am assumed to be licensed until I am not.
The belief that there is a legal requirement for a Principal Contractor to collect licenses and credentials from contractors is one big myth. To be clear contractors providing specialised services are the PCBU/ employer obligated to hold correct and current qualifications and licenses to undertake their work.
To say that somehow an employer/ PCBU who hires a contractor is responsible for ensuring contractors are licensed is just another silly myth perpetuated in the safety world. Here is why. I was sent a list of questions from a client recently asking for my thoughts on their collection of licenses. The list clearly demonstrates by the questions asked why it is not reasonably practicable for an employer/ PCBU to be responsible for license collection and verification from contractors.
I know you may be rolling your eyes and thinking these are silly questions, but I get asked them all the time and in fact, it is quite reasonable that a person who does not work in or has limited expertise in a trade/ profession is not aware of what licenses are required (hence why it is not reasonably practicable to require a Principal Contractor to confirm technical licensing of independent contractors). The only exception is where there is an obligation directly placed on you to check licensing for example working with children checks/ vulnerable person/ police checks where a contractor is working directly with people in these classes. Or white cards in the construction industry.
If you want to go out and have a chat with a contractor and ask them if they need a license to do their work, and if the answer is yes do they have it on them fine, but I for one probably wouldn’t even know what I was looking for or at in relation to most contractor licensing.