Legislation Updates

Licence deadline looming for RAC contractors

The Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) is encouraging air conditioning and refrigeration contractors to apply for a free Mechanical Services licence by June 30.

Existing air conditioning and refrigeration contractors have until June 30 to submit an application for a free Mechanical Services – Plumbing licence using the alternative qualification pathway provided by transitional arrangements.

After July 1, 2020, all contractors who carry out mechanical services plumbing work – which includes water-side systems such as chillers, cooling towers and condenser-water systems – must hold the Mechanical Services – Plumbing licence. Normal application and licence fees will apply from this time.

Transitional arrangements are also in place, providing a number of options to existing QBCC licensees and employees (including site supervisors) undertaking mechanical services work to assist their application for a mechanical services licence.

To be eligible for a free Mechanical Services – Plumbing licence during the transition period, you must:

  • Be an existing QBCC mechanical services – air-conditioning and refrigeration contractor
  • Submit your application by June 30
  • Have the required technical qualifications, or hold a plumbing and drainage licence or an apprenticeship in plumbing and show that you have performed mechanical services plumbing work (or employed staff to carry out this work) for a minimum period of six months, prior to January 1, 2020.

The Mechanical Services – Plumbing licence fact sheet lists the required technical qualifications. For more information about the experience required see the Mechanical services experience fact sheet – plumbing.

Recent amendments to the QBCC regulation allow applicants for the Mechanical Service – Plumbing licence to benefit from a broader scope of alternative pathways.

If you have applied or you’re thinking of applying for the Mechanical Services – Plumbing licence, the following amendments to the eligibility criteria may make it easier to use your skills and experience to qualify for a licence during the transitional period:

  • Additional qualifications will be accepted
  • The alternative qualification pathway will be extended to December 31, 2020
  • If you are unable to demonstrate competence for the complete scope of work for the new licence class, the QBCC may be able to grant you a licence with restrictions on the scope of work you are lawfully allowed to perform.

The QBCC has advised that applicants may submit a licence application with a qualification they wish considered as equivalent and the QBCC will undertake such a consideration.  Should any holder of a Certificate III in Engineering – Mechanical Trade MEM30205 or Certificate III in Air Conditioning and Refrigeration UEE32211, which are the prescribed qualifications for the Air Conditioning and Refrigeration limited design contractor and occupational licence classes, or a superseded version of these qualifications apply for a licence, the QBCC will consider such qualifications under the element for equivalency for the Mechanical Services – Plumbing licences.

Contractors, including companies and their nominees, seeking to perform mechanical services work are encouraged to apply to the QBCC as soon as possible.

While the proposed amendments are designed to assist a smoother transition for industry, there are important elements of the Mechanical Services licensing framework that remain unchanged:

  • Employees who may perform mechanical services work do not need to be licensed until 1 January 2022 if the work is performed for their appropriately licensed employer.
  • Apprentices performing mechanical services work must be supervised but do not require a licence. Persons who complete their apprenticeship after 1 January 2020 will be required to obtain a licence to perform mechanical services work.

You can apply for a mechanical services licence via myQBCC.

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