The Australian Refrigeration Council (ARC) is set to announce the establishment of a new advisory body to provide industry specific advice on a range of issues likely to impact licensing in 2019.

The new body will provide advice on the introduction of new gases or equipment used in Australia, international trends that could impact local industry, improvements to licensing and training requirements as well as regulatory changes.

ARC will call for nominations for the industry advisory body in coming weeks, however, a council spokesperson was unable to provide further details.

Meanwhile, ARC has released its annual report for the 2017-18 financial year which shows there are 89,237 licensed individuals and authorised businesses registered in Australia.
This includes 2,767 new licence and authorisation holders.

During the financial year, ARC completed 5,768 permit checks and education visits. A total of 84 licences were cancelled due to non-compliance.

The Department of the Environment and Energy has announced that fees for RAC licences and authorisations increased by 2.282 per cent from January 1, 2019, in-line with the Wage Price Index (WPI).

Also, from January 1, 2019, the default duration for refrigerant handling licences and trading authorisations will be three years, except for refrigerant trainee licences which will remain at one year.

In other RAC news, a new residential air-conditioning standard for residential heating and cooling systems AS/NZS 5141:2018 has been released.

This standard specifies requirements for the design, selection, installation and commissioning of climate control systems to maximise operating energy efficiency within Class 1 residential buildings.

It is also worth noting that new Victorian plumbing regulations also came into effect. The new regulations remove the requirement for a licensed plumber to sign off on refrigeration and air conditioning (RAC) work, better reflecting the way the RAC industry actually operates.

The competencies for the new regulations also align better with the RAC permit scheme, with the underlying qualification covered in the electrotechnology stream.


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