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On the Question about Concept Drawings by OTs – a Qld Perspective

I have been in touch with Cameron Murphy, the Manager of Regulatory Services at the Queensland Building and Construction Commission to double check the information he provided in 2011 about whether OTs can do drawings of major modifications in homes to guide builders.  He has indicated the information below regarding the Qld context (OTs from other States and Territories are encouraged to contact their own building authorities):

As an OT, you may, without a QBCC licence, do concept drawings of the work required to bring a dwelling up to the standard required for any therapy.  That means you may nominate positioning of grab rails and locations of ramps, steps and the like.  You may even do concept layouts of kitchens and bathrooms etc.  If, however, the work involves any structural or loadbearing building member, a QBCC design licence is then required.

Additionally, I can advise that interior designers are exempt from holding a QBCC design licence where their preparation of plans and specifications for building work does not relate to a part of the building that is loadbearing or a structural member.

If you wish to obtain a QBCC design licence, the most appropriate licence class is Building Design Low Rise.  To obtain this licence you will need to: hold the technical qualification of Certificate IV in Residential Drafting; have 2 years’ experience in preparing plans and specifications for class 1 and 10 buildings; and meet QBCC’s financial requirements for licensing.  The cost of a QBCC licence will be $668.95 for a turnover up to $300k and then $304.60 yearly fee after that (fees based on 14/15 financial year).

If you do not hold the QBCC design licence and a particular dwelling requires an architect or QBCC designer to prepare the plans, then the designer will need to be engaged by the homeowner – you are not able to engage the designer on the owners behalf.

If a QBCC licensed builder has been engaged to do this work then he does not also need a design licence.  Builders can design the work they install (but not design for 3rd parties).

Government employees – government employees (not contractors) doing work in their government role (eg QBuild, Health dept, communities etc.) do not need to hold a QBCC licence to do designs including structural designs.  The same government employee doing private work (outside of their government role) does need a QBCC licence where appropriate.