Trades College Australia (TCA) can no longer provide courses in refrigeration and air conditioning after its authority as a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) was cancelled.

The cancellation follows numerous appeals and relates to the delivery of recognition of prior learning (RPL) for refrigeration and air conditioning (RAC) courses.

Action was taken by the industry training regulator, the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA).

In a statement released today, the Australian Refrigeration Council (ARC) said it worked with ASQA in its review of the TCA.

ARC CEO, Glenn Evans, said sub-standard courses have no place in the HVACR industry.

He said that with the help of ASQA, sub-standard RAC training courses have been all but eliminated.

“Appropriate qualifications are the cornerstone of the ARCTick licence scheme and, on behalf of all licensed technicians and businesses, ARC will keep up the pressure on training bodies to help ensure quality courses are delivered for our quality industry,” Evans said.

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) can be applied if a person can demonstrate they have the relevant skills and/or experience, but first they must get an RPL assessment.

“However, RPL needs to be conducted with the same rigour as any other form of assessment, including a comprehensive quality process that covers the content (skills and knowledge) of the qualification being assessed,” Evans said.

“The evidence used to make a decision about competence must be valid, sufficient, authentic and current. The RTO should have a system including policies and procedures to support the decision-making process.”

The RPL assessment process requires the learner to submit a significant amount of evidence. Assessment of RPL evidence is technical and demanding because the assessor needs to review and align a range of evidence such as referee reports, resumes, photographic and documentary evidence and interviews with the learners, against all requirements of every competency in every unit of competency.

Evans said the assessor also needs to verify that the evidence is authentic, reliable and sufficient.

“For a qualification that usually takes several years to complete, such as a Certificate III in refrigeration and air conditioning, the documentary evidence for an adequately assessed RPL qualification could be hundreds of pages which must be detailed and mapped across each unit of competency,” he said.

TCA operates in the Canterbury/Bankstown area south-west of Sydney. TCA offered courses in the building and construction industry covering trades such as electrical engineering, air conditioning and construction.

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