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Registration and licensing of building trades Victoria

Registration and Licensing of Building Trades Victoria

Overview

Building trades play an important role in the building industry. Recent amendments were made to the Building Act 1993 to provide for the registration and licensing of practitioners who carry out these trades. Certain building work will require registration or a licence to perform. To have effect, the new framework will require regulations to be made. The Victorian Government is currently developing these regulations, which will specify what building work can only be carried out by a registered trade contractor or subconstractor, or licensed employee (prescribed work), who will need to be registered and licensed, and the requirements for registration and licensing.

CLICK HERE to have your say!!

The objectives of the regulations are to deliver:

  • greater individual accountability for non-compliant building work through the application of appropriate disciplinary processes to building trades;
  • confidence that people who carry out or perform prescribed work have adequate qualifications, skills and experience to do so;
  • incentives for improved skills formation in the building industry (including completion of apprenticeships);
  • consistency between the approach taken to trade contractors and building trade employees;
  • a reduction in the incidence of non-compliant building work; and
  • a staged approach to transition to registration and licensing.

Staged Approach Not all building trades will be required to be registered or licensed under the new framework at once. Certain types of building work will be identified as priority areas which will need to be registered or licensed first. Other areas of building work will be considered for prescription in later transition stages.

Initial Consultation

Have your say on what building trades should be registered and licensed first

Consultation paper & information sheet

PDF (168.35 KB)

Consultation paper & information sheet

MS Word (192.62 KB)

CLICK HERE to have your say!!

It is important that the new registration and licensing schemes are introduced with as little disruption to industry as possible. Your input is sought to help identify appropriate criteria to select priority areas of building work, and compile a complete list of building trades to apply this criteria to. As part of this consultation stage, we also seek your views on:

  • the scope of work each trade performs
  • how each trade is generally engaged (i.e. employed, contracted, sub-contracted or a combination)
  • the acceptable minimum level of competency – training and practical experience – which should be required for each trade for registration and licensing.

Download the consultation paper for more details, including key stages and timing Please provide your feedback by completing the survey below or download our consultation document and upload your submission below. Submission deadline: Close of business, Friday, 9 August, 2019.

CLICK HERE to have your say!!

Top 4 hazards Tradies can avoid in their Business

As a Tradie you have to take advantage of business opportunities when and where they arise to keep your business profitable. When the construction industry is going strong, there are plenty of jobs going around as big companies often need contractors to get through their projects on schedule.   A construction site can be a hive of activities with more than one company working on site. You might have contractors coming in for a short time or over a few days, and moving from project to project. All this will need to be managed and scheduled well to make it work.  If you’re new to working in the construction industry, you’ll want to make sure that you get started on the right foot, as there are many pitfalls that can get your business undone rather quickly. And when that happens, it will not just affect your business, but also the life of your employees or contractors.  To help you avoid some of these pitfalls of working in the construction industry, here are our tips.  Keeping on top of payments  With many construction projects Tradies often hire as sub-contractors to form a big enough team to get the job done. Whether you’ve got staff on your payroll or have a team of contractors, you’ll need to be able to have enough cash flow to pay them when they’ve done their job for you.   The key is to keep a really tight rein on your financial administration. This will allow you to cover the payment time lag you may experience from project to project. The old way of doing your admin is long gone and has been replaced with powerful new accounting software which is accessible on the go via your mobile devices. You can issue invoices and take payments on the spot, when you’ve got the right systems set up.  Get expert help with your financial systems and company set up  If you’re not sure how to get started using “cloud-based” software such as XERO, find a team of experts to set it up right to start with.  This will put you in good stead to weather any storms that can hit the construction industry due to its unpredictable nature.   Make sure you hire a bookkeeper and accountant who work with the latest online software, so that you can have peace of mind knowing you’ve got a true handle on your cash flow, what’s coming in and what’s going out. The biggest advantage of using this type of online software is that everything is happening in real time. If you enter a payment for wages or payment to the supplier, it will immediately show on your bottom line.  A really important aspect to working in the construction industry is to have the right company structure and insurance set up. You can also protect your company assets by incorporating your business, and your accountant can give you the best advice on what is the suitable for you and your operations.  Page Break  Get in first and stand out from the crowd  When people are looking for a Tradie, they often ask their mates or other people they know for a recommendation.  The same applies to companies who are looking for sub-contractors for a large building project. If the Site Manager has had a particularly positive experience with your company, he will more than likely want to work with you again and refer you on.   Building a good rapport and reputation with the companies you work with is a great way to encourage word-of-mouth referrals. Use mobile job management and quotation systems to get in first with your quotation… and it doesn’t hurt to keep a clean shirt in your Ute to make a lasting first impression. They might have other people attending as well, and being well presented just adds to a professional image.  Keep updated  Last but not least, make sure you don’t neglect your knowledge of safety laws and other building regulations. Keep your certifications up to date by going on training courses. This is important whether you’re a builder, electrician, plumber, carpenter or other worker. Your insurance may also depend on up-to-date certification – and you’ll probably get more work, too.

Rules for Getting Organized & Decluttered

What would it take to get your life decluttered and organized?  That might be a tall order for many of us, but the truth is, we could do it in bursts and spurts, using a handful of easy-to-follow rules.  The other day I wrote about the idea of setting rules instead of goals … today I want to share a few ideas for rules to help you get decluttered and organized.  I know in my life, going from being overwhelmed with clutter to minimalism was a slow but rewarding journey, and now I feel happy every time I look around and see the lovely space around me.  If you’re feeling overwhelmed, I’m here to testify that it’s not impossible, and it just takes some small steps that add up over time.  Here are the rules I suggest — though I don’t suggest adopting them all, and especially not all at once. Try a few out, see how they work for you, then try a few others. 

  1. Get yourself organized at the start and end of a day. As you start your work day, write down your 3 Most Important Tasks (MITs). Write down a handful of other things you’d like to do today as well. Clear your desk, get things in order. At the end of each day, tidy things up, check off your list, maybe even get things ready for tomorrow. 
  1. When you get up from your desk, put one thing away. Whenever you get up for a glass of water, to go to the bathroom, to take a break … pick up something off your desk and put it away. If your desk is clear, look for something nearby. 
  1. When you’re done eating, wash your bowl. This is self-explanatory. Mindfully wash your dishes instead of leaving them in the sink. If there are other dishes in the sink, wash a few of them too. 
  1. Wipe down the sink when you use it. Whenever you wash your hands or brush your teeth in the bathroom, wipe down the sink so it’s clean. Do the same in the kitchen sink. Clear away a few things around the sink too if you can. 
  1. When you walk through a room, find one thing to put away. If you’re going from your bedroom to the living room, find one thing during that trip to put away. You don’t have to get stuck in putting everything away, just one thing. 
  1. When you take off a piece of clothing, put it away. When you shower or change clothes, instead of leaving them on the floor or on a piece of furniture, put the clothes away or in a hamper. Look for a few other clothes to put away too if there are more lying around. 
  1. Keep flat surfaces clear. Your tables, counters, desks, floors … keep them clear. If there’s a ton of clutter there now, see the rule below about decluttering on Saturdays. But if it’s doable, just start clearing whatever is on the floor (except furniture and the like). When you walk by the kitchen counter, look for things other than oft-used appliances to put away. 
  1. At the end of the work day, file stuff. If you still use papers, file them at the end of the day. If you are all digital, clear your computer desktop and put files where they belong. 
  1. Deal with an email instead of putting it off. When you open an email, give it the space to deal with it immediately. Read it, reply, take action, or archive it. Or put it on your to-do list for later if it’s a big task. Don’t just constantly open emails without handling them. 
  1. Work to only having 3 emails in your inbox. Slowly clear away the hundreds or thousands of emails in your inbox. Archive or delete them, put a handful in a to-do folder, file others into informational folders, unsubscribe from newsletters. 
  1. Put non-essential items you want to buy on a 30-day list. Create a 30-day list, and whenever you want to buy something that’s not absolutely essential (other than groceries, cleaning supplies, toiletries), put it on the list with the date you added it. Then don’t allow yourself to buy anything until it’s been on the list for 30 days. At the end of the 30 days, see if you still want it before buying. 
  1. Put your clothes in a different closet or box, and only take out what you need. Move all your clothes to a closet in an unused room if you have one, or put them in a box or two. Only remove the clothes you really need to wear. After a month of doing this, you’ll see what clothes you can consider donating. 
  1. Declutter on Saturdays. Every Saturday morning, spend an hour or two (or half a day) decluttering one area. 
  1. One in, two out. When you bring something new in your life (buy something online, get a gift), get rid of two other similar things. For example, if you buy a pair of shoes, donate two other pairs. In this way, you’ll 1) think more about each thing you buy, and 2) slowly have fewer and fewer possessions. Eventually you’ll want to switch to a “one in, one out” rule when you think your possessions are at a good level. 
  1. Limit how many things you have. Consider limiting yourself to 30 pieces of clothing, or 30 books, or something like that. Get rid of everything else, don’t allow yourself to go beyond the limit. The individual limit you set is up to you, whatever feels slightly uncomfortable is good. 
  1. At the end of each month, clear out computer clutter. Self-explanatory. Back things up! 
  1. Every three months, purge. Also self-explanatory. Spend a weekend purging all your unneeded belongings. 

Of course, these are just suggested rules … you should modify them to suit your life.    How to Implement the Rules  Now, those are a lot of rules, but I don’t think you should implement them all at once. In fact, I suggest trying one per week. Really focus all week on making that rule happen. If it goes well, keep it. If not, toss it out. The next week, try another.  Set a reminder on a certain day each week (let’s say Monday) to review how your rule went, and to pick a new rule to try out. Have a physical, paper note somewhere visible so you’ll remember to do the rule throughout the week.  One at a time, you’ll find the rules that work for you. And one step at a time, your life will slowly become less cluttered, more organized. And you’ll be set up to make great things happen in the rest of your life.    BY LEO BABAUTA 

How to Avoid the Pitfalls of Working in the Construction Industry

As a Tradie you have to take advantage of business opportunities when and where they arise to keep your business profitable. When the construction industry is going strong, there are plenty of jobs going around as big companies often need contractors to get through their projects on schedule.

A construction site can be a hive of activities with more than one company working on site. You might have contractors coming in for a short time or over a few days, and moving from project to project. All this will need to be managed and scheduled well to make it work.

If you’re new to working in the construction industry, you’ll want to make sure that you get started on the right foot, as there are many pitfalls that can see your business undone rather quickly. And when that happens, it will not just affect your business, but also the life of your employees or contractors.  To help you avoid some of these pitfalls of working in the construction industry, here are our tips.

Keeping on top of payments

With many construction projects Tradies often hire as sub-contractors to form a big enough team to get the job done. Whether you’ve got staff on your payroll or have a team of contractors, you’ll need to be able to have enough cash-flow to pay them when they’ve done their job for you.

The key is to keep a really tight rein on your financial administration. This will allow you to cover the payment time lag you may experience from project to project. The old way of doing your admin is long gone and has been replaced with powerful new accounting software which is accessible on the go, via your mobile devices. You can issue invoices and take payments on the spot, when you’ve got the right systems set up.

Get expert help with your financial systems and company set up

If you’re not sure how to get started using “cloud-based” software such as XERO, find a team of experts to set it up right to start with.  This will put you in good stead to weather any storms that can hit the construction industry due to its unpredictable nature.

Make sure you hire a bookkeeper and accountant who work with the latest online software, so that you can have peace of mind knowing you’ve got a true handle on your cash-flow, what’s coming in and what’s going out. The biggest advantage of using this type of online software is that everything is happening in real time. If you enter a payment for wages or payment to the supplier, it will immediately show on your bottom line.

A really important aspect to working in the construction industry is to have the right company structure and insurance set up. You can also protect your company assets by incorporating your business, and your accountant can give you the best advice on what is the suitable for you and your operations.

Get in first and stand out from the crowd

When people are looking for a Tradie, they often ask their mates or other people they know for a recommendation.  The same applies to companies who are looking for sub-contractors for a large building project. If the Site Manager has had a particularly positive experience with your company, he will more than likely want to work with you again and refer you on.

Building a good rapport and reputation with the companies you work with is a great way to encourage word-of-mouth referrals. Use mobile job management and quotation systems to get in first with your quotation and it doesn’t hurt to keep a clean shirt in your ute to make a lasting first impression. They might have other people attending as well, and being well presented just adds to a professional image.

Keep updated

Last but not least, make sure you don’t neglect your knowledge of safety laws and other building regulations. Keep your certifications up to date by going on training courses. This is important whether you’re a builder, electrician, plumber, carpenter or other worker. Your insurance may also depend on up-to-date certification – and you’ll probably get more work, too.

Price Bookkeeping Solutions

www.pbks.com.au   @pbks.com.au

Getting back to basics

We often bang on about getting back to basics in business. That’s because there is little doubt that being consistently professional, leaving a job well done, capitalises on ongoing good-will and it is far cheaper to retain a customer than attract a new one.  Excellent communication, respect and relationship skills that make the experience simple are as important as a quality finish. Ensuring a good experience with customers should be part of a great offline marketing strategy.  I recently experienced how and why these basics work from a new customer perspective.  I’ve been looking for tradespeople/skilled labour for some simple tasks around my home, and it would seem that nobody returns calls anymore. How these business run with any modicum of success? I have no dramas with voicemail, but can never understand when one is not returned in business. I suppose some are just overwhelmed and busy, but I often wonder how much is just poor management.    It has reinforced to me how important the basics are. I now don’t even want to bother starting to phone random businesses for quotes now, until someone I know or am even loosely connected to, recommend the business having already used it themselves because for varying reasons, many people are just plain unreliable.   My other whinge is that if you’re going to have multiple modes of communication advertised to the consumer, you need to manage them! As many parents will know, making and taking phone calls just screams “Ambush Mummy” to a fractious child or children… phoning a half dozen people trying to get a quote isn’t always convenient, nor effective. So, email and text are my preferred contact.  But there are so many businesses who are set up for modes of communication, only to ignore anything coming in that way.   Diversify your offline approach  A recent caller to our Network had a new business, seeking ideas on how to grow.  He was spending serious money?? on ‘pay per click’ advertising and was unsure if this was making any difference.  He was also advertising in a local newspaper, which is great as you need to put the word out on many different mediums.  This is what we told him:    Instead of investing in Pay Per Click, continue to advertise in the local publications, but don’t go for the flashiest and biggest ad – go a bit understated. Then you can afford to spread your budget over a greater area; instead of one, advertise across say five.  Like laying down roots, this new business began to grow. A web presence is as necessary as a phone number these days, but also having a good offline strategy that covers your bases is invaluable.   And Online  As far as web presence in building customer numbers goes, have a good but simple website which is impeccable in presenting your professionalism. Include photos and testimonials but make it brief, accurate and to the point. Take advantage of the free online mediums like Facebook but again, if you’re going to use them, try to keep them reasonably active; not stale and outdated. Keep content purely professional; have your personal page separate.  Impressions  Do we need to revisit the human basics? You would need to be incredibly charming and probably really good looking to make a good professional first impression in my home in your filthy overalls, after eight hours on the job in the middle of summer. Take a few moments to ensure you have a clean shirt and some deodorant in your car. Communicate respectfully and call if you’re not going to be there on time. 

5 Things to accomplish in your business over the Christmas break

We also take the opportunity to plan the year ahead.  With this in mind, here are our top 5 things to accomplish this Christmas break: Rest No one likes a grumpy business owner to deal with. Although we may not like to admit it, the truth is, we are not invincible. It is still necessary to take some time off to relax. To tune out, turn off, shut down and do something different. Spend some time with those you love. Plan Every time you get in your car, you have a destination. Whether is school, post office, business meeting, you know where you are going.  Your business should be the same. How can you create a successful, profitable business if you don’t know what your destination is? A business plan is just that. The road map to your end goal, whatever that may be.  It doesn’t have to be pages and pages long, it just needs to include – Your vision, standards, a detailed list of product and services you provide, a detailed description of your target market, how you will market to them and a budget. See our template for more details (hyperlink to download) Review your figures How healthy is your business?  Review your Management Reports- Cash flow, Profit and Loss and Balance Sheet to start with.  Take some time to look at trends, peaks and troughs. This will help you create your plan for 2016. Be aware of what’s in your books rather than looking just at your bank balance. Database Update your database or if you don’t have one, time to start looking for an affordable CRM. Many offer a free version up to a certain level. This is usually enough to start with. Make sure it does everything you need. Keep in mind – Is it cloud based, does it provide email marketing capabilities, can you add tags or notes, can you customise it and finally does it integrate with your other applications like Xero. Marketing Plan Your Marketing plan doesn’t have to be scary. Just list 10 things you can do to market your businesses. For example: Strategic alliances, Join a networking group, update your website. Don’t over complicate it. Just write it down and develop each point from there.   Don’t forget to head to our resources section on the website and down load our free template. Happy planning!

The Smart Way to Stick to Habits

Sticking to a new habit isn’t easy — but if you set up your habit change smartly, you can make it stick. Starting a new habit isn’t too hard — we often get excited about starting an exercise plan or diet or waking up early, for example. But a number of obstacles get in the way of sticking to the habit long enough for it to become automatic. Here are the usual obstacles:

  1. You lose enthusiasm: Probably the No. 1 reason people fail is that the enthusiasm they feel when they first start the habit, when they’re fantasizing about how great it’ll be, fades away after a few days or a week. The habit isn’t as great as you fantasized, usually. So you drop the habit before you see the benefits.
  2. You forget: After the habit becomes automatic, you don’t need a reminder. But in the beginning it’s easy to forget if you don’t have reminders set up.
  3. Your mind tells you that you can’t: When things get tough, your mind says, “This is too hard!” or “You don’t need to do this!” or “Why are you punishing yourself?” or “Skipping it this time won’t hurt!” These are just weaselly ways to get out of discomfort.
  4. You miss a day or two and then toss in the towel: It feels good to get a streak going, but if you miss a day or two, you get really discouraged. You feel like quitting, because now you have to start all over.
  5. You get distracted by other things: The Internet, for example, is so distracting that you might never do your habit. You have so many choices of fun or easy things to do that the habit seems like a less attractive choice.
  6. Illness or travel or a crisis gets in the way: Sometimes something comes up that takes priority, and the habit gets pushed to the background … which is fine, if you started again when the illness goes away or you get back from your trip. But because you missed it, it’s hard to get back on track.

Let’s figure out a smart system that gets around these obstacles.

Addressing Each Obstacle

Let’s address each obstacle one by one, before putting it all together into one system:

  1. Enthusiasm: The answer to this is making a big commitment. Let’s say you decide you’re going to eat carrots at dinner every day … after you lose your vim and vigor for this new diet, you just stop. But what if you had $10,000 bet on whether you’d stick to this habit for a month? You’d forget about your lack of enthusiasm and just eat the carrots, no matter what. Other ways to make a big commitment: tell 1,000 people about it, and commit to a really embarrassing consequence if you fail.
  2. Forgetting: Set up 5 visual reminders, and tie it to an existing part of your daily routine. For example, every time you take a shower, you might do the new habit of flossing … so put up signs and sticky notes everywhere, put your floss on your towel, put reminders in your phone, have your spouse remind you, etc.
  3. Negative thoughtsDon’t negotiate with these terrorists. Notice when these thoughts come up, and banish them. Don’t let yourself fall victim to them. Recognize them for the habit-killers that they are, the lies they are.
  4. Missing a day or two: Set up accountability, so that if you miss a day, you get back on track immediately. Figure out what went wrong, and address that problem. Have someone hold you accountable for getting back on track.
  5. Distracted: Remove choices. Don’t have any visible choices other than what you want to happen. Set up a choice architecture.
  6. Illness or crisis or travel: Again, set up accountability so that you get back on track immediately. Have a planned break if needed, and start again as soon as the break is over.

 Don’t miss next months part two, Good Habit System

By Leo Babauta

LEAD POISIONING

  • I mostly work on old period homes and of course there is always underlying issues with old lead paint. I have invested in a Festool dust extraction system, which comprises an electric sander and a vacuum hose attachment which safely removes dust into the vacuum.  The dust bag is a disposable item with an end cap to trap the paint dust safely. This snaps over the opening to ensure the contents are safe.
  • I find that homeowners are aware of the health risks of lead paint, especially if they have children. I find being able to reassure the homeowner that dust will be minimized by using the dust extraction system gives me an advantage when winning jobs.
  • Recently I visited my local doctor for a check up and asked for a blood test for lead content in my body.  Given that I am a house painter she agreed to this unusual request.  A week later I received a call from the clinic about my results and unfortunately they reported I have very high lead levels in my blood and suggested I should change my work habits.
  • For many years I worked without a dust extractor and this has been a very good investment, however I also need to be careful and wash my hands thoroughly with soap and water several times a day.  In addition I am buying better quality dust masks instead of the cheaper paper ones.
  • Consider having a blood test particularly if you are in the older generation of painters.

Brian Carroll