Every year more than one million licence applications are received, processed and approved by the NSW Government. That’s a lot of work. Especially considering that licence schemes across NSW still require significant manual involvement by licensees and assessors who use a range of existing legacy systems – systems that make data sharing extremely limited.

NSW’s current licensing systems and processes are siloed across Government and not centred around customer needs. We’re aligning with the Premier’s Priority of Putting the customer at the centre of everything we do and tackling this system head on.

Transforming our frontline services

Funded by the Digital Restart Fund, The Licensing Program is in Phase One and is already delivering digital products and transformed processes and systems to our customers, including NSW government regulators. The program is aimed at increasing the ease and speed with which customers can apply, renew and use their licences, and allowing regulators to use data to better monitor and enforce licensing requirements.

A holistic initiative of technological and process improvement for the NSW Government, the program is already delivering a return on its investment through addressing key pain points experienced by customers, Government and regulators interacting with the licensing and the regulatory environment. Staged deliveries of products, with licence schemes grouped into patterns, are ensuring that key ways of working are established early within the Program. 

“We have been on a very big learning journey through the program. Not only has it helped validate the way forward for us as a team, but we’ve also been able to identify where we need to be distributing our time and effort during each phase so that we can deliver to the speed that we need to and ensure great results for both NSW customers and for government.” 
- Richard Pilgrim, Program Director Government ICT

A trade secret no more

The Licensing Program has to date delivered a major win in the form of the Digital Trade License, or the White Card as it is more commonly known. This card is essentially what every tradie requires to work on a building site in New South Wales. Digitising this makes life much easier for both licence holders and site management.

Since its launch in mid-March, there are already 85,000 Digital White Card holders, clearly showing a real demand for digital adoption.

And, as of the 1st of July, Design and Building practitioners are able to be deemed automatically online to meet a new legislative requirement introduced to strengthen compliance in a construction industry that has recently been riddled with certain high-rise ‘difficulties’.

The next phase of the project will focus on the effort to digitise the licence application processes as well as the delivery of 9 additional licence schemes with the priority being real estate and property licences.

These schemes are used by both customers in NSW as well as government employees, and we know we’ll see a wide range of benefits. For customers: reduced time and effort to apply and faster approvals, for regulators: reduced licensing processing times and costs; more responsive regulatory processes; better, data-based decision making; faster ‘to-market’ with new and amended licence schemes.

The Licensing Program represents a major opportunity for the NSW Government to transform its frontline service provision when it comes to licensing as a whole. In total, the Licensing Program is expected to drive over $540m in external benefits and $81m in internal financial benefits over the next 10 years.