The Federal Government has announced a review of HVACR trade training and skills.

The review recognises that current certifications and training for the trade are out of date and in need of a complete overhaul.

Current qualifications are based on the UEE06 Electrotechnology Training Package, which was first released in November 2006 and are based on industry requirements more than 15 years ago.

The Electrotechnology Industry Reference Council has developed two 'Cases for Change' for the UEE11 Electrotechnology Training Package and is seeking feedback by close of business Friday, October 20, 2017.

The changes involve the development of new training products in the following areas:

1) Certificate III in Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Trade Qualification and 50 Units of Competency
2) Certificate IV in Advanced Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Trade Qualification and 30 Units of Competency
3) New Units of Competency in the handling of A2 Flammable Refrigerantsand the recovery of refrigerant from stationary self- contained end of life decommissioned equipment.

The council's case for change recommends training cover the essential knowledge and skills required for RAC technicians including the generic skills required to install, commission, test, fault find, repair, replace components and maintain equipment. This is instead of trying to cover too many specialisations in core units.

“It is currently very difficult for an apprentice to acquire all the required skills and work experience to be able to achieve competency in all of the specified specialisations,” the council said.

“This new qualification will alleviate this problem because it will focus on providing the essential knowledge and skills required by all competent refrigeration and air conditioning technicians.”

The new Certificate IV in Advanced Refrigeration and Air Conditioning will contain the Cert III core units and a choice of AQF 4 level specialisation electives covering higher level skills or more complicated equipment and systems.

Meanwhile the two new units of competency will provide skills in the handling of A2 flammable refrigerants as well as how to recover refrigerant from decommissioned equipment.

Many Class 2 refrigerants are new to the Australian market and this unit will also provide gap training for existing workers so they can safely use and handle flammable synthetic refrigerants that can not be released to the atmosphere.

The unit for refrigerant recovery was developed at the request of the Australian Refrigeration Council (ARC) to establish a national unit of competency to meet the training requirements of its Refrigerant Handling License.

At present the only training requirement is a knowledge assessment and a practical assessment by an approved assessor.

The new qualifications and units will incorporate the latest technologies, equipment, standards, codes and regulatory requirements.

Industry's response to the review is included in a special report on the 'case for change' in the November edition of CCN Magazine available later this month.


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