Plumber at work
  • 22 Jun 2021
  • 4 min read
  • By the Queensland Building and Construction Commission

What is notifiable work?

Form 4, Form 4A, QBCC

When having plumbing and drainage work carried out at a property you manage, it may be considered notifiable work.

Notifiable work is a type of plumbing and drainage work performed in existing buildings and includes changes to existing water supply and drainage systems. For example:

  • kitchen and bathroom additions, extensions or renovations
  • installing or replacing hot water heaters including electric, solar or heat pumps
  • installing new or relocating fixtures such as toilets, showers and sinks.
Plumbing and drainage work associated with new building is not notifiable work.

Most work performed in existing buildings is classed as notifiable work. This means it can be performed without local government permits or inspections, saving the property owner time and money.

Instead, your licensed plumber and drainer can simply get on with the job. When they finish notifiable work, they must register a Form 4 (or a Form 4A if the work is being carried out on behalf of or for a public sector entity) with the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) within 10 business days.

Notifiable work and the property manager's role

If a house or an apartment you manage needs maintenance work or is being renovated, please check with your plumber if the work requested is notifiable work or not. In some cases, apartment renovations may be more complex and require a local government plumbing permit to carry out the work.

Some other work may require a local government permit instead, including:

  • installing new fixtures in a building that is connected to a combined sanitary drain or a dual reticulated water supply
  • work for, or connected to, trade waste (such as an apartment block with a street-level restaurant)
  • when it is not practicable to perform the work within the required standards (eg. performance solution).

What is a Form 4/4A?

Form 4/4A is a notice to the QBCC that notifiable work has been performed at a property. Form 4/4A contains information about who performed the work, what work was completed and the address where the work was undertaken.

Who gets a copy of the Form 4/4A?

Typically, the licensed plumber or drainer is responsible for registering the notifiable work with the QBCC. They must also give a copy of the notice to:
  • their customer, as the owner of the premises where the work is carried out; or
  • the person/entity that engaged the person providing the Form 4/4A
For example, as the agent or property manager, you engage a plumber, on the owner's behalf, to replace a hot water heater at the property. On completion of the work, the plumber registers a Form 4 with the QBCC and must provide a copy of the form to the agent or property manager.

The property owner, where notifiable work has been performed, may visit the QBCC's website to search and obtain a copy of the Form 4. If you cannot find the form, it might be because the plumber or drainer hasn't registered the notifiable work or has not paid the fee. In this circumstance, you can consider submitting a Notification of Offence Form with the QBCC.

Notifiable work compliance

The QBCC regularly audits plumbers and drainers to ensure they are registering Form 4s when they have carried out notifiable work. The QBCC may also investigate when plumbers and drainers fail to submit Form 4s. Failure to submit a Form 4/4A for notifiable work is an offence.

Once a Form 4/4A is registered, a plumbing inspector from your local government authority may inspect the work to ensure it complies with the plumbing code requirements.

You can also contact your local government authority to request an inspection at any stage during the work. They may charge a fee for this service.

Request a Form 4/4A

If you have not received a Form 4/4A and believe you should have, you can visit and search for the property address to download a copy. If you cannot find the Form4/4A on the QBCC's website, you may consider submitting a Notification of Offence Form.

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