Digital Contractor Licenses May Help with Identifying ” Fake Tradies”

    From time to time ITC is made aware of “fake tradies” operating in the Lane Cove Council area.

    In March 2019 the North Shore Area Command asked ITC to let people know about fake roofing contractors operating around Lane Cove.

    Fake Tradies would knock on a homeowner’s door and advise the resident their home needed urgent roof repairs.  One of the tradies climbs up on the roof, while the other occupies the homeowner, and remove tiles.  The tradie then take photos of the “roof repairs”.  In some cases, they have already been on the roof before they knock on the homeowner’s door.   They then offer to “fix” your roof.   Read more about the scam here.

    How to Protect Yourself Against Fake Tradies

    A tradie/contractor must have a licence before they do any residential building work in NSW, including minor trade work, valued at more than $5000 (incl GST) in labour and materials.

    Minor trade work means new, repair or replacement work that cannot be easily assigned to an individual specific trade area.

    Resilience NSW has some good tips in their fact sheet on Fake Tradies.



    Check the Contractors Licence

    You should always ask a contractor to see their licence details (and insurance documents).  Previously to check the licensing details you need to do a search or call Service NSW.

    This week the NSW Government launched the NSW digital individual contractor licence in the Service NSW app, allowing tradies to easily access their work licences and contractors and consumers to quickly check credentials.

    Minister for Customer Service and Digital Government Victor Dominello issued a press release stating this was about being a smarter NSW.  It is a great idea and will help people to quickly identify licensing requirements.  However, it is ONLY available for tradies who hold an individual licence.  You may be contracting with a company so you will still need to check them online.

    The digital certificate was introduced after a successful trial of more than 1400 tradies.  The digital contractor licence was now available free across the State for individual Contractor Licence holders who wanted to go digital.

    “This is about a smart NSW making it easier for people to do business across the state and for consumers looking to check a tradie,” Mr Dominello said.

    “Security is baked into the digital licence which includes an animated NSW Government logo, auto-refreshing date and time, QR code that expires and reloads, and a Waratah hologram.

    “But for those who want to keep using their existing card that will always be an option.

    “And we have heard loud and clear from tradies during the trial that they also want access to digital qualified supervisor and tradesperson certificates and we are planning to roll these out in late April.”

    The NSW digital contractor licence is the second trade licence and credential to be digitised following the launch of the digital white card in April 2021, which has more than 185,000 people using it in the Service NSW app.

    Minister for Small Business and Fair Trading Eleni Petinos said the new licence app will strengthen consumer safeguards against prospective tradies.

    “Digital contractor licences will make it convenient for consumers to assess the qualifications of a tradesman prior to entering into a contract,” Ms Petinos said.

    “The digital contractor licence is a quick and secure way for contractors to display their credentials on site and for consumers to check a licence when engaging a tradie.

    “A digitised licence adds another layer of protection for consumers by allowing them to quickly check details such as name, date of issue and any conditions.

    “This is a perfect case of a licensing regime keeping pace with modern technology, making it easier for tradies to do business while protecting consumers from dodgy scammers.”

    Funded by the Department of Customer Service’s digital restart fund, the NSW Government’s licensing program is working to digitise trade licences and create end-to-end licensing journeys with the aim of improving customer service, providing convenience and making compliance with legislation easier.

    Local Tradies

    If you are a local tradie and want to add the NSW digital contractor licence to your the Service NSW app which is available to download from the Apple App Store or Google Play. It is currently available for individual contractor licence holders only and they will need a MyServiceNSW account.

    For more information, please see digital trade licences on the NSW Government website.

    If you are looking for local tradies – we have our local trade guide here.

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