Changes to Australia’s most widely offered RAC qualification were finally approved by the Australian Industry Skills Committee (AISC) on August 12 as part of Release 2 of the UEE Electrotechnology Training Package.
The qualification, UEE32220 Certificate III in Air Conditioning and Refrigeration, will supersede the current UEE32211 course. Apart from amendments to meet the 2012 Standards for Training Packages requirements, major changes were made to a number of units of competency.
Many units have been updated to include flammable A2 and A2L refrigerants, which already dominate some sectors of HVAC&R, for example, residential split systems.
Likewise, the unit on recovering, pressure testing, evacuating, charge and leak testing has been split into two units to include the ever-increasing range of refrigerants including class A2/A2L and A3 flammables and CO2.
In the current qualification, separate units deal with installing, commissioning, maintaining and fault-finding. To make training more intuitive for students, the material has now been split across different types of systems, with each unit covering the full cycle of work activities.
Finally, a new unit has been added on recovering refrigerant from stationary self-contained end-of-life decommissioned equipment. This meets the requirements of the national RRR12 – Restricted RAC Recovery licence administered by the Australian Refrigeration Council (ARC).
The UEE32220 qualification is just one of 79 qualifications in the UEE11 Electrotechnology Training Package approved by AISC, which contains a whopping 530 units of competency and 50 skill sets. This includes 12 HVAC&R qualifications, from Certificate II to Advanced Diploma, and 13 Skill Sets focusing on natural refrigerants.
The package was considered on February 25, 2020, but not approved – though the hold-up was due to issues with qualifications other than refrigeration and air conditioning.
The package will now go to the Skills Ministers for sign-off. It is hoped the final approval will occur by mid-September.
Registered Training Organisations must transition to the new training package within 12 months of a revised package’s publication on the national register. In this case, however, the AISC supported an extended transition time-frame of two years.