As reported last year, Queensland is updating its licensing framework for mechanical services work, including air conditioning and refrigeration. It is now looking for feedback on the proposed licence classes and transitional arrangements.
Perhaps the biggest change for air conditioning and refrigeration is the introduction of the occupational licence class, with a minimum Certificate III qualification or equivalent. The department estimates that there are around 4,500 individuals currently working in the industry who would have to obtain this licence.
They may need to undertake additional training or have their skills assessed, through a recognised prior learning (RPL) or similar process, to obtain the new licence.
To minimise the impact to industry, the department is proposing transitional arrangements that would give all tradespeople enough time to change into the new licensing regime. It would be introduced from January 1, 2020 for new workers. From January 1, 2022, the transition would end, and all workers would have to be fully licensed.
Another change is the removal of a $3,300 threshold for contractor licences. In the new system, the threshold value for contractor licensing requirements will drop from $3,300 to $0. Note that this does not apply to work on single-head split systems, where the $3,300 threshold will still apply.
The Air Conditioning and Mechanical Contractors’ Association (AMCA) has been reviewing the framework and has flagged various issues. Chief among these is that the scope of work for the new occupational RAC licence does not accurately reflect the work that a technician would be required to do. The AMCA is currently in talks with the department to address these problems.
The Queensland Department of Housing and Public Works is also seeking feedback from industry and the community about the draft regulation and the proposed mechanical services licensing framework as discussed in the regulatory impact statement (RIS).
Stakeholders are invited to provide feedback about the matters raised in the RIS. An online survey is also available.
The closing date for submissions and for completing the RIS survey is July 5.
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