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On 1 July 2012, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (the ACMA) amended the regulatory requirements applicable to registered cablers. These amendments take effect from 1 July 2014 and apply to all registered cablers undertaking specialised cabling work within customer premises.
 
From 1 July 2014, registered cablers must have the applicable endorsements, or have attained the applicable competencies, in order to undertake any type of specialised cabling work.
 
Specialised cabling work is any installation, maintenance or repair work involving any of the following types of telecommunications customer cable;
 

  1. Broadband (data or co-axial cable in a lift or the home/small office environment); or
  2. Structured (data cable such as Cat 5 or Cat 6); or
  3. Optical-fibre cable; or
  4. Co-axial cable.

 
Registered cablers who have previously attained endorsements for Cat 5, Fibre and Co-axial cabling are not required to attain any additional competencies because these endorsements are equivalent to the new Structured, Optical-fibre and Co-axial competencies respectively. Registered cablers, who do not have the applicable endorsements or have not yet attained the applicable competencies, have until 30 June 2014 to do so.
 
Background
 
The amendments mandated new competency requirements effective from 1 July 2012 with a 2 year phase-in period. The amendments were made to ensure that registered cablers have the appropriate skills required to undertake specialised cabling work for the current and emerging customer cabling environment.
 
Prior to 1 July 2014, the ACMA’s Cabling Provider Rules (CPRs) only required that a person had to have the appropriate cabling registration (Open, Restricted, or Lift), issued by one of the five registrars, to undertake telecommunications customer cabling work – that is, it was not mandatory for them to have any endorsements or competencies.
 
After 1 July 2014, in addition to having the appropriate cabling registration, it is now mandatory for a registered cabler to have the applicable endorsements or competencies in order for them to undertake the specialised customer cabling work indicated above.
 
Failure to attain the applicable competencies does not mean that your cabling registration will cease to be valid. However if a registered cabler does not have the applicable endorsements or competencies it will limit the scope of cabling work they are permitted to perform.
 
The amendments have no effect on the aerial and underground requirements, as such they were not specifically mentioned. A registered cabler is required to hold the appropriate competencies, or endorsements, for any work including aerial and underground they will be undertaking after 1 July 2014.
 
Registered cablers are only required to have an endorsement, or a competency, for the type of cabling work they will be performing.  If they will only be performing structured (data) cabling work they will only be required to have a Cat 5 endorsement or a Structured competency. Similarly, they will only be required to have a Co-axial or an Optical fibre endorsement or competency if they will be performing these types of cabling work.