A Notice To Show Cause is a document issued by NSW Fair Trading that acts as the first step towards disciplinary action initiated by NSW Fair Trading.

The NTSC provides several key pieces of information including:

  • A description of the alleged misconduct,
  • The specific grounds for the disciplinary action,
  • Ways in which you can respond to the notice and by when, and
  • Whether there is an availability for verbal submissions and how to schedule an appointment for such submissions.

Grounds for a Notice To Show Cause

A NTSC can be issued for any number of grounds. Some common grounds are:

  • Failing to comply with a rectification order,
  • Failing to execute work with due care and skill,
  • Not a fit and proper person to hold an authority, and/or
  • Guilty of improper conduct.

A NTSC is issued when there are reasonable grounds to take disciplinary action against an individual or company that holds certain authorities, such as a Tradesperson Certificate, Nominated Qualified Supervisor Certificate or a Contractor Licence.


Depending on your response, NSW Fair Trading may decide to impose disciplinary action. The different forms of disciplinary action include:

  • A formal caution or reprimand,
  • A monetary penalty, or
  • A condition on your licence.

If the conduct is serious, NSW Fair Trading may cancel your licence and prohibit you from obtaining or holding a licence in the future.

Generally, licence holders have 14 days to respond to a NTSC, however, an extension may be granted. A failure to respond to your NTSC by the given date means that a decision may be made in the absence of your response.

Case Study

A company called Plumbing ABC has received a NTSC from NSW Fair Trading, alleging that Plumbing ABC submitted a Certificate of Compliance that contained an incorrect contractor licence number and the incorrect name of the company. The NTSC alleges that this Certificate of Compliance contained false and misleading information, and are now requiring Plumbing ABC to show cause as to why disciplinary action should not be taken against them on any or all of the Disciplinary Grounds alleged against them.

What can JFMLAW do?

At JFMLAW, our priority is securing the best possible outcome for you. We can assist you by:

  1. Helping you understand what the allegations made against you are, the seriousness of these allegations and the possible outcomes,
  2. Reviewing the strength of the evidence provided by NSW Fair Trading,
  3. Helping you prepare a response to your NTSC, and
  4. Advising you of any necessary review steps.

Recently, NSW Fair Trading have issued NTSC’s to tradespeople who obtained their qualification from Green Skills Australia. If you are concerned about your qualification from Green Skills Australia or have received a NTSC from NSW Fair Trading, we can help you.

Call John Morrissey or Mariam Chalak on (02) 9199 8597 or email us at front.desk@jfmlaw.com.au if you need help responding to a Notice to Show Cause issued by NSW Fair Trading.