The safety of consumers and refrigeration and air conditioning (RAC) technicians is being jeopardised by changes to licensing in Queensland.
Australian Refrigeration Council CEO, Glenn Evans, said the Queensland Mechanical Services Regulations introduced on January 1, 2020, is bad news for the industry.
The Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) recently updated the Mechanical Services Regulations which could potentially allow technicians to obtain a state-based, mechanical services (air conditioning and refrigeration) licence without demonstrating appropriate RAC qualifications.
“The major issue is that one of the qualifications required for the Queensland licence does not specify any refrigeration or air conditioning units,” Evans said.
“The Full ARCTick refrigeration and air conditioning licence does specify RAC units, and is the national licence which many States already align with, supporting the way industry works while achieving environmental and consumer protection outcomes.
“In essence, Queensland is promoting a RAC licence without RAC-specific competencies. Not only that, it will encourage illegal activity and sub-standard RAC work, jeopardising the safety of technicians and consumers,” he said.
“Thankfully an ARCTick licence is still required for RAC systems operating on fluorocarbon refrigerants, irrespective of whether the Queensland licence is obtained.”
ARC has called on the QBCC to incorporate RAC competencies in their RAC licence by aligning their QLD licence with the qualification requirements of the ARCTick Full RAC licence for the units of competency required in the MEM30205 (Certificate III in Engineering Mechanical Trade Refrigeration and Air conditioning) or MEM31319 (Certificate III in Refrigeration and Air conditioning) qualifications.