Demolition licences

Demolition work can be potentially dangerous so it requires a licence.

There are two types of demolition licences:

  1. a demolition licence
  2. a restricted demolition licence

Demolition licence

This licence is required to demolish (or partially demolish), any building, structure or installation that:

  • is over 15 metres in height
  • is a chemical installation
  • involves a tower crane on site
  • involves a mobile crane with a rated capacity of more than 100 tonnes
  • has structural components that are pre-tensioned or post-tensioned
  • involves floor propping
  • involves explosives.

Restricted demolition licence

This licence is required to demolish (or partially demolish), any building, structure or installation that:

  • is between four metres and 15 metres in height involving mechanical demolition such as using excavators, bulldozers or cranes
  • is between 10 metres and 15 metres in height and affects its structural integrity
  • involves the use of load shifting machinery on suspended floors.

Eligibility criteria

People at least 18 years of age, partnerships and businesses can obtain a licence provided they satisfy all the eligibility criteria and application requirements.

Those requirements include that you are determined to be 'fit and proper'.

In determining if you are fit and proper we look at:

  • if you have been convicted of an offence under NSW work health and safety or other legislation administered by SafeWork NSW
  • if you have made a statement or provided information in connection with a SafeWork NSW licence, permit or notification, knowing that the statement or information was false or misleading
  • if you have failed to comply with the conditions of a conditional asbestos or demolition licence
  • if you have been issued a significant number of notices pertaining to unsafe systems of work
  • if you had an asbestos or demolition licence cancelled or suspended by SafeWork NSW.

The period of assessment for fit and proper will be two calendar years preceding the date of the licence application.

Application process

To get a demolition licence you must complete an application form.

You must:

  • select either restricted demolition or demolition
  • provide a certificate of currency for workers compensation insurance if you have employees and are not an exempt employer
  • provide a certificate of currency for public liability insurance that lists the business activity as 'demolition'
  • nominate a supervisor involved in the management of the business. The management supervisor must have completed the approved training and have demonstrated experience (generally three years) in demolition related work

The licence fee is listed in our fees and charges.

Applications can be lodged by:

Our demolition guide has more information or call 13 10 50.

Training requirements

Effective 1 January 2016, SafeWork NSW will approve 11 units of competency from the Certificate III in Demolition (CPC30413) and Certificate IV in Demolition (CPC41013) which will meet the training requirements for individual applicants and supervisors nominated in a new application. These units are:

Unit number



Plan and prepare for activities on demolition sites


Read and interpret plans and specifications


Select and use small plant and equipment for demolition tasks

*this unit has a prerequisite unit CPCCOHS2001A Apply OHS requirements, policies and procedures in the construction industry


Demolish small buildings and structure using hand tools and small plant equipment


Identify hazards on demolition sites and apply risk management strategies


Select and use tools and equipment for hot work in the demolition industry


Manage demolition recyclable and waste materials using load shifting equipment


Supervise individual activities on demolition sites


Plan and supervise demolition work to minimise environmental and public health and safety impact


Manage occupational health and safety in the building and construction workplace


Finalise demolition activities and supervise property handover

Individuals who, prior to 31 December 2015, complete the demolition courses, 91181NSW Course in Demolition Supervision (Restricted) or 91182NSW Course in Demolition (Unrestricted) will have these qualifications recognised in licence applications made to SafeWork NSW up to 31 December 2018.

Effective 1 January 2016, SafeWork NSW will no longer accept other qualifications as meeting the requirements of approved training.

Our demolition guide has more information or call 13 10 50.

Special requirements

Each work site must have an approved supervisor in attendance while demolition work is being carried out.

Each site supervisor must have:

  • completed the approved training through a registered training organisation
  • demonstrated experience, generally three years, relevant to the type of demolition licence.

You can have multiple supervisors attached to your licence. To register additional supervisors for your licence, you must complete the demolition supervisor nomination form for each supervisor. If your internet browser won't open this form print out this static version.

You can also use this form to:

  • remove a supervisor from a demolition licence
  • update details of a supervisor attached to a demolition licence
  • add another demolition work authorisation to an existing supervisor

Obligations or duties

In addition to ensuring a nominated supervisor is in attendance while demolition work is being carried out, each licence holder must ensure they comply with all the requirements of the WHS regulation. These include:

  • conducting a risk assessment before commencing work
  • ensuring that demolition work is performed in a manner that reduces the risk to the health of both demolition workers and the public
  • informing workers of the dangers involved and the precautions that should be taken
  • ensuring all workers are adequately trained in safe work methods for demolition work (either unrestricted or demolition work)
  • applying to have any changes to the nominated supervisor/s registered to your licence within 14 calendar days
  • display a copy of the licence at the site.