Legislation updates Public comment

Mandatory CPD for HVAC&R technicians in Victoria

Victoria’s Department of Transport and Planning (DTP) is developing a framework that will require HVAC&R technicians – as well as other building practitioners and plumbers – to meet continuing professional development (CPD) requirements.

The framework will seek to enhance confidence in the community that all practitioners are competent in their work by ensuring they maintain and develop their professional knowledge and skills.

“When competency is not developed or maintained after a practitioner first becomes registered or licensed, knowledge and skills can deteriorate over time or can become outdated due to changes in technology, methods, materials or work standards and regulatory requirements,” says the government.

“This can lead to a number of harms, including damage to property and financial loss, reputational loss for practitioners, and negative health and safety outcomes for practitioners, building occupants and other members of the public.”

The proposed regulations will apply to registered building practitioners and licensed and registered “plumbers”. In Victoria, HVAC&R work is regulated under plumbing regulations, so the changes will cover refrigerated air conditioning and mechanical services licence-holders.

The proposed regulations will not apply to engineers, as renewal requirements for these practitioners are established in the Professional Engineers Registration Act 2019.

The DTP has prepared a Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS) and proposed regulations to seek views on the implementation of a mandatory CPD framework in Victoria.  

The RIS presents the costs and benefits of options to introduce mandatory CPD, which has incorporated feedback received on a 2020 consultation paper and stakeholder consultation workshops conducted throughout 2021.

The RIS outlines three broad options for introducing a CPD framework in Victoria: a government-directed approach; a practitioner-led approach; and a combination approach mixing mandatory and self-directed learning with options to follow an individual learning pathway or sign up to an approved industry program.  

The government is inviting comments on the RIS until April 26, 2024.

This consultation will be the final chance for stakeholders and members of the public to comment on the proposed regulations before they are finalised. Timing for CPD requirements will be informed by stakeholder feedback, noting they will not start until at least six months after the regulations are made, so that industry has enough time to prepare.

For more information about the CPD project, visit the Engage Victoria website.

Photo by Alejandro Escamilla on Unsplash

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