Queensland consumers and refrigeration and air conditioning (RAC) technicians are at risk with proposed changes to the Queensland Mechanical Services Regulations due to kick off on 1st January 2020.
The Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) recently updated the Mechanical Services Regulations which could potentially allow technicians to obtain a state-based, mechanical services – air conditioning and refrigeration licence without demonstrating appropriate RAC qualifications.
The major issue is that one of the qualifications required for the QLD licence does not specify core refrigeration or air conditioning units. The Full ARCTick refrigeration and air conditioning licence does specify core RAC units, and is the national licence which many States already align with, supporting the way industry works while achieving environmental and consumer protection objectives.
In essence, QLD are promoting a RAC licence without RAC specific competencies.
If the changes to the Mechanical Services Regulations were to go ahead it will result in a situation where technicians with the QLD licence, but not the appropriate ARCTick licence, will not legally be able to carry out any work on RAC systems operating on fluorocarbon refrigerants. This would be confusing and inconsistent with industry practice. Not to mention the flow on effects to the training sector.
Not only that, it will encourage illegal activity and sub-standard RAC work, jeopardising the safety of technicians and consumers.
The ARC has called on the QBCC to align their QLD licence with the qualification requirements of the ARCTick Full RAC licence for the units of competency required in the MEM30205 (Certificate III in Engineering Mechanical Trade Refrigeration and Air conditioning) or MEM31319 (Certificate III in Refrigeration and Air conditioning) qualifications.