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Licensing – now and towards 2050

The Australian Institute of Refrigeration, Air Conditioning and Heating (AIRAH), led by its Refrigeration Special Technical Group, has released a position statement on HVAC&R licensing in Australia, and is seeking input from industry stakeholders.

Although there are well-established and successful licensing regimes in place – most notably the national ARCtick licence scheme – AIRAH CEO Tony Gleeson, M.AIRAH, says there is room for improvement.

“There are undoubtedly opportunities to enhance licensing for HVAC&R technicians,” says Gleeson.

“We support a nationally harmonised approach to licensing that covers all refrigerants, based on minimum standards of competency and sector of operation. It should also include a separate contractor or business licence if required.

“And to be effective, the scheme needs to be supported by ongoing activities to ensure compliance, including education, monitoring and enforcement of regulations.”

Licensing has been a long-running concern for industry, and a number of attempts have been made over the years to address the issue. Gleeson says that this latest initiative builds on the lessons from those experiences.

“In order to make a compelling case for regulators and government, we need good, clear data,” he says. “So far we have found that is lacking. So a big part of this project is getting the key industry stakeholders involved and working together to build the case for change.”

AIRAH has released the full position statement on its website, with a survey for providing feedback. Input will be accepted until May 31.

Gleeson says that improved licensing will bring many benefits.

“In day-to-day terms, improved licensing will produce better outcomes for HVAC&R systems while also improving safety for technicians, homeowners and building occupants alike,” he says.

“In the longer term, it will help Australia reduce direct emissions from refrigerant gas leaks, and indirect emissions from energy use, thereby allowing us to meet our international commitments under the Paris Treaty.”

To read the position statement and leave feedback, click here.

2 Replies to “Licensing – now and towards 2050

  1. Air conditioning Licencing
    Installation of air conditioners / repair and maintaince of air conditioners are two completely different trades with some crossover
    Different skills, mindset ,equipment and knowledge. Mechanical plumbers do not want to repair and refrige mechanics do not want to install as they are not trained ,do not have the equipment and are generally not interested so I do not see the issue. If cert 2 installers are stretching the boundary’s and causing a problem it would show in the manufacturer’s warranty calls why do I have to be trained in fault finding, compressor change over s etc, when all I do is install new equipment covered by manufactures warranty
    There is no difference in commissioning a 17 kw or a 25 kw system the smaller system with a long pipe run may have a larger charge than a bigger system with short run
    Why are electricians with a five day course and no experience treated the same as an experienced mechanical services plumber
    The real issue is the $600.00 split system install . Multiple installs cutting every corner. No reclaim , No nitro pressure test, no Vac, purge through to fill, oversized unit to compensate, cheap equipment
    Recent changes by VBA have only caused more confusion in the industrie
    If a regulation does not make sense then it undermines the whole system

    The refrige industry could benefit from cross pollination from other trades
    How does a plastic dust cap stop a cylinder leak
    Why document refrigerant use when it is on supplier / customer invoices
    Suicide fittings and leads are still in everyday use , outlawed in every other trade
    Bottle adaptors and gauge adaptors are required to use equipment, these where banned over 20 years ago in the gas industry due to cross connections
    A power point should be required and enforced within 20 metres of an outdoor unit for commissioning and decommissioning [ gas heaters must have a light in a roof space ]
    A rebate on reclaimed refrigerant to offset cost so honest people are not disadvantaged

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