Controlled substances licences

You will require a controlled substance licence (CSL) to possess certain explosives, vertebrate toxic agents or fumigants.

For a list of substances that require a CSL, see:

Licensing requirements for Class 1 explosives (PDF 99 KB)

Vertebrate toxic agents requiring a controlled substance licence (PDF 60 KB)

Fumigants requiring a controlled substance licence (PDF 52 KB)

Am I eligible for a controlled substance licence?

To apply for a CSL, you must:

  • hold a current Certified Handler Compliance Certificate issued by a Compliance Certifier that covers the substances you need to possess.
  • be 17 years of age and over; and
  • require possession of the substance to carry out your work; and
  • be a fit and proper person to possess the substance concerned

Please refer to information on:

How can I apply for a controlled substance licence?

If the above requirements are met, you can apply for a CSL.  A Compliance Certifier can assist with the application process.

Application for a controlled substance license (PDF 203 KB)

Fit and proper assessment form (PDF 130 KB)

Assessing fit and proper person status: Technical guide (PDF 212 KB)

Application fee

The application fee for a CSL can be found in Schedule 2 of the Health and Safety at Work (Hazardous Substances) Regulations 2017(external link)(external link). The compliance certifier will also charge for any assistance they provide, including for issuing the certified handler compliance certificate.

How can I renew my controlled substance licence?

A CSL is typically valid for five years or until the certified handler compliance certificate expires.  If you wish to renew your CSL you should start the process at least 2 months prior to your licence expiring. 

To renew your CSL, this requires:

  • a completed application form (the same as the one used for new applications above)
  • 2 x new/recent passport photographs (taken within the last 12 months)
  • current evidence that the substances are required for your work
  • proof of your current address
  • a current certified handler compliance certificate

A new fit and proper person check will be done.

The application fee to renew your CSL is the same as the fee for new CSL application (refer above).

How can I add a new substance to my existing controlled substance licence?

To add a new substance to your existing CSL, this requires:

  • a completed application form (the same as the one used for new applications above)
  • current evidence that the additional substances are required for your work
  • proof of your current address
  • a current certified handler compliance certificate for the new substance

A new fit and proper person check will be done.

The application fee to add a substance to your existing CSL is the same as the fee for new CSL application (refer above).

How can I apply to replace a lost or damaged controlled substance licence card?

To apply for a replacement CSL card, this requires:

  • a completed application form (see below)
  • proof of your current address

Application form – Replacement of a controlled substance licence  (PDF 76 KB)

Controlled substance licence suspension and cancellation

A CSL can be suspended or cancelled if the person is no longer fit and proper or if they provided false or misleading information in their application for a CSL.

Refer to regulations 7.4 to 7.8 of the Health and Safety at Work (Hazardous Substances) Regulations 2017(external link).

Controlled substance licence

Persons in possession of a controlled vertebrate toxic agent, fumigant or explosive are required to hold a current CSL. A CSL must always be sighted by a person selling or transferring controlled substances, and the transfer must be tracked.

Controlled substance licence conditions

A controlled substance licence is subject to conditions, which WorkSafe will set when the CSL is granted.  These conditions will be referred to on the licence card.  Further information on the types of conditions WorkSafe may set can be found in the document below.

Standard conditions for a CSL (PDF 38 KB)