BICSI South Pacific CEO’s Bulletin

Welcome to the last BRCA Bytes newsletter for 2022. Looking back over 2022, the past year has been challenging, to say the least, for all of us. We’ve stepped out of the ‘COVID-world’ with trepidation; we’ve endured personnel shortages; we’ve endured product shortages; and we’ve endured record inflation. It’s no secret that our industry has done it tough.

But the good news is that the trauma of COVID-restrictions seems to be behind us. COVID certainly hasn’t gone away, with persistently high cases still occurring around the country. But at least we’re mostly getting back to ’normal’ now.

BRCA and BICSI has also finally been able to move on past COVID this year, having appointed new staff and moving out of our home offices and into a proper commercial office. In this issue of BRCA Bytes, you’ll find an article that introduces our new staff to you.

You’ll also find a couple important commentaries about AS/CA S009:2020 that help cablers better understand the intent of the regulation. One article provides clarification on the ‘Fitness for Purpose’ Clause in the Wiring Rules; while the other provides details on Field Terminated Modular Plugs in response to an inquiry from the industry. Please be sure to read these two articles and digest their import to our industry.

We’ve also included another insightful safety article from safety expert Gary Rowe, outlining recent safety regulatory changes from the Victorian and New South Wales safety regulators.

Unfortunately, inflation has impacted BRCA in 2022 with increased costs, which we were able to sustain through till the end of this year without any fee increases for cabling registration. But as of January 2023, our registration fees will go up slightly – from $40 for a one-year registration to $42; and from $91 for a three-year registration to $94). We’ve been able to maintain the registration fee increase (5% for one-year registration and 3.3% registration for three-year) to well under Australia’s current inflation of 7.3%.

Over the past year, we’ve noticed some disparate views and understanding on cabling competencies amongst cablers. So we’ve included an article that succinctly outlines the ACMA’s requirements on these to hopefully give a clear picture of how that relate to you. Please read this article, even if you have a good understanding of it. As always, feel free to contact the BRCA office on Ph: 1800 306 444 or E: if you need any additional information.

Paul Stathis
BICSI South Pacific


  1. Clarification on Fitness for Purpose Clause in S009:2020 Wiring Rules
  2. Do I need to have competencies attached to my cabling registration?
  3. Recent safety regulatory changes
  4. Australian Employment Forecast: Job Growth at a Turning Point
  5. Comms Alliance response to industry inquiry on Field Terminated Modular Plugs
  6. Staff Changes at BICSI and BRCA
  7. National Broadband Network Rollout Information

Clarification on Fitness for Purpose Clause in S009:2020 Wiring Rules

Communications Alliance recently published its response to a query earlier this year seeking clarification of the ‘Fitness for Purpose’ in Clause 5.5.1 of the AS/CA S009:2020 Installation requirements for customer cabling (Wiring Rules).

This important issue has been frequently discussed amongst the cabling industry, so we thought it best to share the officially published response in our newsletter for the many BICSI members who have sought clarification on this issue.

The response was written by the Publication Advisory Group (PAG), which was established several years ago by the Customer Equipment and Cable Reference Panel (CECRP) to provide the opinion of experienced members of the Communications Alliance technical bodies to queries of the intent of specific requirements in published Standards and Guidelines for which the CECRP is responsible.

The PAG’s response is as follows:
“The Foreword of AS/CA S009:2020 indicates this Standard is referenced under the Telecommunications Cabling Provider Rules 2014 (CPRs).

1. The CPRs are subject to subsection 421(1) of the Telecommunications Act 1997 as they ‘relate to the performance of cabling work’ concerning the installation of, connection to, and maintenance of customer cabling to a telecommunications network (Section 418 of the Act). The CPRs ‘govern the performance, and the supervision of the performance, of customer cabling in order to protect the health and safety of persons, and the integrity of the telecommunications network’

2. CPRs require a registered cabling provider to work within the scope of their registration, to perform and certify the cabling work in accordance with AS/CA S009:2020.

Clause 5.5.1 of AS/CA S009:2020 is to be read in the context of the CPRs and the rest of the Standard. The selected cabling products and installation methods used must be suitable for the intended performance of the cabling products, whether express or implied, when intended for use connected to or in connection with a telecommunications network.

Clause 5.5.1 notes some examples of installation practices that are not fit-for-purpose, such as the selection of a plug with inadequate performance characteristics or an ineffectively terminated plug. Other examples may include suitability for emergency services calling or suitability of cabling where safety-related application systems are commonly used, such as medical alerts, assistive-living systems, security systems, and fire-alarm systems.

2 Explanatory Statement, Telecommunications Cabling Provider Rules 2014,

While not referenced by AS/CA S009:2020, attention is drawn to The Australian Consumer Law (ACL) which states suppliers must not make false or misleading representations about standards compliance, quality, value, grade, composition, style or model of goods and services they supply.

The mandatory Consumer Guarantees in the ACL says in section 54(2) that “Goods are of acceptable quality if they are as fit for all the purposes for which goods of that kind are commonly supplied; and acceptable in appearance and finish; and free from defects; and safe; and durable.”

Consumer guarantees in the ACL also apply to the installation workmanship, which is a ‘supply of services’ as per sections 60 and 61. Section 61 covers ‘fitness for a particular purpose” and applies where “the consumer, expressly or by implication, makes known to the supplier any particular purpose for which the services are being acquired by the consumer’.

Clause 5.5.1 of AS/CA S009 is intended to align with these ACL requirements in the context of expressly stated or reasonably implied customer requirements.”

Do I need to have competencies attached to my cabling registration?

The simple answer is “it depends”.

A more involved answer to explain what it depends upon is noted in the latest ‘ACMA cabling provider rules Pathways to cabling registration’ document (December 2020):

From 1 July 2014, all cablers (who had not already done so) were required to gain additional specialist competencies/endorsements to their base registration type competencies to enable them to perform that type of specialised cabling work.”

“All cablers experienced cablers with Open CPR qualifications are required to have the appropriate specialised competencies/endorsements when working on optical, co-axial, structured, underground and aerial customer cabling.”

“All cablers with Restricted CPR qualifications are required to have the broadband specialised competency unit when working on specialised point-to-point data or coaxial telecommunications customer cabling.”

“It should be noted that a cabler is not required to hold all of the specialised competencies—they are only required to obtain competencies for the work that they are intending to undertake.”

Additionally, the Telecommunications Cabling Provider Rules 2014 state:

A cabling provider may only perform or supervise the performance of a particular type of cabling work if they have obtained the necessary competencies for that type of cabling work.”

So, in a ‘nutshell’:

  • Open Registration cablers MUST have the appropriate competency to work on cabling that the ACMA lists as ‘specialised’ ie: Structured cabling (eg Cat5, Cat6, Cat 6A, etc); Optical Fibre (single & multi-mode); and coax. If you DON’T work on any of these cabling types, you DON’T need the competency. For example, if you install Cat 6A cabling, but not fibre, you’ll only need Open Registration along with Structured competency.
  • Restricted Registration cablers (who can only work in residential environments) can only obtain the Broadband competency, which is a scaled-down version of all three competencies. You can’t obtain the Structured, Fibre or Coax competencies.

How do you add the appropriate competencies to your cabling registration?

It’s simply a matter of completing the relevant competency subjects listed below and forwarding the Statement of Attainment (SoA) that the RTO provides you upon completion of your subject(s) to the BRCA office and we’ll add the competency(ies) to your existing cabling registration.
The ‘ACMA cabling provider rules Pathways to cabling registration’ document lists the following subjects to obtain the competencies:

Competency Subject code – ICT Stream Subject code – Electrotechnology Stream
Structured cable ICTCBL301 UEEDV0008 (note 2)
Co-axial ICTCBL303 UEEDV0008 (note 2)
Optical fibre ICTCBL322 UEEDV0006
Broadband (Restricted Registration) ICTCMP203 (note 1 ICTCMP203 (note 1)

Note 1: ICTCMP203 Perform restricted customer premises (point-to-point) data or co-axial telecommunications customer cabling work is a restricted competency unit. An Open registered cabler can obtain this competency, but they will only be able to undertake data or co-axial customer cabling work in a domestic or small office/home office environment.
Note 2: Co-axial and structured cable training is delivered through the Electrotechnology stream as a single competency.

Recent safety regulatory changes

The Victorian and New South Wales state governments have both recently updated safety regulations that may affect a large number of registered cablers. Safety expert Gary Rowe, CEO of Safety Action, has written a brief description of these changes, as follows:

New South Wales amendments to WHS Regulations
The NSW government has recently passed two significant amendments to the state’s WHS Regulations:

  1. Work Health and Safety Amendment (Demolition Licensing) Regulation 2022

Under the new amendments that will commence March 2023, all persons conducting ‘licenced demolition’ work must be licenced and trained to undertake the work.

  1. Work Health and Safety Amendment Regulations 2022

As of 1 October 2022, the regulations clarified the requirement under WHS Regulations for PCBUs [Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking] to manage the risks arising from Psychosocial hazards in the workplace per standard risk identification, assessment, and control. This moves the obligation from just management of Psychosocial injuries to a pro-active obligation to reduce the risk of a psychosocial injury arising in the workplace, as far as reasonably practicable.

Victorian Dangerous Goods Regulations 2022
The new Dangerous Goods (Storage and Handling) Regulations 2022 came into effect in Victoria on 26 November 2022, replacing the expiring DG (Storage and Handling) Regulations 2012.

What’s changed?

  • The provision to allow old placards that were already in place, has been removed – i.e. small (5mm) DG diamonds on placards are no longer permitted. These now need to be 100mm in size.
  • Other changes mirror the 2021 Amendments to the DG Regulations:
    • Must update Notification to WorkSafe within 3 business days of DG storage changes, not 14 days, per 2012 Regulation.
    • DG notification to be renewed every 2 years, not every 5 years.
    • More specific about when notification to be updated – i.e. increase or decrease quantity of scheduled DG by 20% or more.

Australian Employment Forecast: Job Growth at a Turning Point

According to a recent Deloitte Access Economics report, Australia’s rapid post-COVID recovery of 2022 is nearing its end, with the slowing global and national economy likely to take some further steam out of the domestic labour market. The recent pace of improvement has slowed, with employment increasing by only 28,000 over the last four months, compared to a 154,000 increase in the four months prior.

Strong labour demand to-date has seen Australia’s employment grow to over 13.6 million – with more than 300,000 additional Aussies becoming employed this year alone.

Despite the global and domestic pressures, the labour market remains very tight, with unemployment sitting at just 3.4%. Underscoring the labour market’s strong performance is the fact that the participation rate remains very strong at 66.5%.

But a slowdown has emerged – likely more pronounced for blue-collar jobs. There are still opportunities for white-collar workers, and it may still be some time before the number of unfilled job vacancies returns to normal levels.

Those gains will in largely depend on Australia being able to return to typical, pre-COVID levels of net overseas migration. Deloitte expects total national white-collar employment growth will moderate after a record-breaking 357,800 in 2021/22, to a still strong 282,800 in 2022/23, before slowing to 143,100 in 2023/24. Looking ahead over the next decade, total national white-collar employment is expected to grow annually on average by 1.8% between 2021/22 and 2031/32 – outpacing blue-collar employment which is forecast to grow annually on average by just 0.8%.

“White-collar employment within the public sector grew above the national average during 2020/21 and 2021/22 due to pandemic-related government stimulus, as well as recent disaster-related spending on floods and social assistance payments. But we expect part of this growth will be unwound in 2022/23 – seeing white-collar employment decline by 17,700 workers.

Deloitte also expects CBD white-collar employment will grow by 2.8% during 2022/23 – slightly slower than national white-collar growth of 3.0%. Rapid interest-rate rises may cause greater employment risk in those CBD areas more exposed to financial services employment which is forecast to decline during 2022/23. That means greater short-term risk for the Sydney and Melbourne markets.

Australia’s population grew by 0.5% in Q1 2022 – the fastest quarterly growth since March 2018 – with the uptick underpinned by the largest quarterly increase in net overseas migration on record.

An important issue holding Australia’s labour market back is the lack of job mobility. Part of the extreme skills shortage issue is a mismatch between those wanting to work and the vacant jobs – a large part of which is driven by differences in the skills required by employers and the qualifications and experience of the unemployed.

International research found that low labour mobility can result in a misallocation of labour across cities within a country, resulting in lower aggregate productivity. In addition, moving jobs lets individuals understand their worth in the labour market and forces employers to ensure they’re re-evaluating employees’ wages – part of the reason we’ve seen wage growth stagnant over the last decade.

Comms Alliance response to industry inquiry on Field Terminated Modular Plugs

Comms Alliance response to industry inquiry on Field Terminated Modular Plugs

Communications Alliance recently published its response to a query earlier this year seeking clarification of the ‘Plug-terminated customer cabling’ in Clauses 5.9.1 and 5.9.2 of the AS/CA S009:2020 Installation requirements for customer cabling (Wiring Rules).

This important issue has been raised by several members of the cabling industry, so we thought it best to share the officially published response in our newsletter for the many BICSI members who have also sought clarification on this issue.

The response was written by the Publication Advisory Group (PAG), which was established several years ago by the Customer Equipment and Cable Reference Panel (CECRP) to provide the opinion of experienced members of the Communications Alliance technical bodies to queries of the intent of specific requirements in published Standards and Guidelines for which the CECRP is responsible.

The PAG’s response is as follows:

Plug-terminated customer cabling

With respect to your query, please note that the CECRP response is restricted to expressing the PAG’s view of the intent or likely intent of the words of the Standard concerned. Some queries therefore may be more appropriately addressed to the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), a test laboratory or experienced consultant concerned with Customer Equipment design requirements.

The inquiry:

  1. Clause 5.9.1

Does Clause 5.9.1 mean that a pre-terminated HDMI cable installed to say, a projector or wall-mounted TV, cannot be connected directly to that equipment going through a ‘brush-plate’ and that the cable would have to be fitted off to a HDMI socket wall plate and then a patch cable to the equipment? Does this also apply to data and coax with plugs fitted by a cabler? Also, if the equipment is in an AV rack where clients can access the rear of the equipment, would that mean that those pre-terminated cables would also have to go to a fixed plate before going onto the equipment?

  1. Clause 5.9.2

Does Clause 5.9.2 mean that AV racks with rear-ported switches and data cables fitted can be direct connected to those switches without going through a fixed patch panel? If not, where does this stand with HDBaseT equipment where some manufacturers state not to use patch panels or sockets, but direct-connect instead? What about other equipment like ceiling-mounted Wi-Fi access points, wall-mounted intercoms and CCTV cameras – are direct-connect plugs allowed to be fitted to these?

  1. What are you trying to achieve with these rules? From what I can tell is that the outcome is to have a socket on the wall for everything so the client can’t move any part of the fixed wiring.

PAG response to this inquiry:

Referring to Clause 2.2 ‘Objective in AS/CA S009’, this Standard intends to “protect the health and safety of any person who may operate, work on, or use … or be affected by the operation of a Telecommunications Network or a Facility” and to “protect the integrity (proper end-to-end functioning) of a Telecommunications Network or a Facility”.

AS/CA S009 applies to ‘cabling work’ for cabling that is defined as ‘customer cabling’ under the Telecommunications Act 1997 Note 1, which is described in the standard in Clause 2.1 Scope, and Clause 4.2.29 Definition of customer cabling.

Further clarification can be found in the ACMA Telecommunications (Types of Cabling Work) Declaration 2013 Note 2 which lists in Schedule 1 the types of work that is not cabling work. This clarifies that connection of customer equipment to the communications socket, or the connection of customer equipment with other customer equipment, is not cabling work subject to AS/CA S009 provided that the interconnection cabling is labelled and is not “concealed in a building cavity” such as a “wall, floor or ceiling cavity of the building”. Note 3

Building cabling that is part of an antenna system for use with broadcasting services Note 4, or part of a standalone system that has no connection to a telecommunications network, is also not customer cabling for the purposes of AS/CA S009.

Cabling which is wholly or partly fixed to or concealed in the building that is intended to be used for services which may operate over a telecommunications network Note 5, such as public telephony or the internet, is customer cabling that is in-scope of AS/CA S009.

Plug-terminated cabling on fixed or concealed customer cabling may be installed without intervening wall or building sockets, where the plugs are either out of arms-reach or contained within a secure location.

See Clause 5.9.1(b)(iii) of AS/CA S009:2020.

Response to specific questions:

  1. No. Please refer to the principles outlined in the response above. In short:
    1. A registered cabling provider working within the scope of their registration may connect a plug-terminated cable coming out of a brush plate to an out-of-reach equipment.
    2. Where another person is intended to make the connection to or between equipment, the fixed or concealed building cabling must terminate in a building socket.
  2. No. Clause 5.9.2 does not apply to the question of concern. See response 1 above.
  3. The intention is that only a registered cabling provider working within the scope of their registration may perform cabling work as defined under the Telecommunications Act 1997 and instruments made under that Act.

Notes: 1. Section 20 of the Telecommunications Act 1997:
2. See
3. Telecommunications (Types of Cabling Work) Declaration 2013, Schedule 1(4)
4. This has the same meaning as in the Broadcasting Services Act 1992
5. Refer to the definition of Telecommunications Network in Clause 4.2.95 of AS/CA S009:2020

Staff Changes at BICSI and BRCA

Earlier this year in our return to ‘normal’, we emerged from our ‘work-from-home’ COVID situation and moved back into an office, while adding four new staff members to the BICSI and BRCA teams. It’s been quite a few months since these major changes were made, so several of you have already interfaced with our new people.

But to formally introduce them to you, Maree Georgiou (formerly Training Manager at a large Australia furniture manufacturer) and Effie Corio (formerly administrator at a financial services company) are your primary interfaces for day-to-day BRCA administrative activities. Over the course of time, you’ll liaise with Maree and/or Effie for all things relating cabling registration. As some of you have already experienced, Maree and Effie bring exceptional customer service to the BRCA.

More recently, Daniel Zaccaria joins the BICSI team as event coordinator and web administration, having previously worked at a custom-PC production facility. Daniel is from the ICT industry and holds a Diploma in IT Networking and brings a youthful and fresh creative perspective into the BICSI team.

Paul Tuzson (or ‘Paul 2’ as he has come to be known as) also recently joined BICSI as our technical writer. Paul was a former editor of a number of Automotive Engineering journals and has a serious appetite for all things technical. Starting early 2023, you’ll see several articles in BRCA Bytes authored by Paul. And with his journalist background, you may be approached by Paul for your insight on particular industry issues, of which we’d welcome, to ensure our articles are in-touch with industry sentiment.

National Broadband Network Rollout Information

Every week, NBN Co issues an update document to reflect its position in rolling out the National Broadband Network around Australia.

For the week ending 8 December 2022, a total of 3,720 additional lots/premises were ready to connect during the week. This included an increase of 124 in Brownfield areas, an increase of 2,723 in New Development areas and an increase of 873 premises in fixed wireless and satellite areas.

During the week, an additional 2,497 premises had services activated on the network, including 2,416 more on fixed line services and 81 more using satellite and fixed wireless technologies.

Click here for the full details, including an ongoing record of the weekly statistics dating back to May 2022.

Have you checked out lately?

If you’re doing any cabling that has the potential to be connected to the NBN, you’ll need to visit this site regularly to keep up with the latest information on premise cabling, the NBN rollout and the technologies enabled by the NBN. You can also register there as a qualified cabler for consumers to contact when they need cabling carried out in the homes and businesses.

Click on the image below to visit the web site.