The Queensland government is currently consulting with the HVACR industry to fine-tune its new mechanical services licensing framework which is set to begin on January 1, 2020.
The proposed framework has been revised several times as part of the consultation process with feedback on the latest Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS) officially closing July 5, 2019.
The latest proposal is a significant improvement on the government's previous attempts which were strongly opposed by industry for being too much like the Victorian licensing model. Concerns were raised with the government about Refrigeration and Air Conditioning (RAC) technicians being displaced by plumbers and other trades.
These concerns are covered in the latest RIS which states: “The consultation identified broad industry concern about Queensland simply adopting the Victorian mechanical services licensing model. In response to feedback received, the Queensland model was substantially modified to recognise the specialist streams of mechanical services work and enable the regulation to divide the licence into licence classes that reflect the specialist streams of work.”
The Queensland government estimates there are around 4,461 RAC technicians that will need to obtain the new license by the time the transitional period ends on January 1, 2022.
The new framework recognises air conditioning and refrigeration as its own specialised trade with license holders expected to hold a Certificate III qualification or equivalent.
Individuals with on the job experience rather than formal qualifications can apply for RPL (Relevant Prior Learning) which provides credits towards a qualification based on work history.
Victoria and Tasmania are the only other states that issue a mechanical services work license.
Further talks with industry groups are expected to take place in coming months.