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Frequently Asked Questions


Who is the ARC?

The ARC is the ‘peak industry body’ for the refrigeration and air conditioning (RAC) sector, with key representation throughout industry.

By industry, for industry, the ARC, our members and Board, are the leaders of the sector. Collectively through the ARC, they contribute to facilitating the future of the industry.

Our members are made up of all the mainstream refrigeration and air conditioning associations around Australia, and our Board consists of nominated and voted member representatives. Three directors responsible for the stationary sector and three directors responsible for the automotive sector. The ARC CEO is the executive director. Read more

What does the Australian Refrigeration Council do?

The Australian Refrigeration Council Ltd (ARC) provides leadership, value and knowledge the climate control industry through:

  • Licensing and regulatory assistance
  • Technical advice
  • Actively promoting training quality
  • Helping industry to build their businesses
  • Connecting customers to ARC-licensed businesses
  • Free promotional materials for ARC-licensed businesses

The ARC holds a major contract with the Federal Government delivering the Award winning, internationally recognised, refrigeration and air conditioning (RAC) licence scheme (ARCTick). The ARC operates this scheme on a not-for-profit basis. Read more

In addition to running the ARCTick scheme, the ARC manages numerous projects in the refrigeration and air conditioning space, as well as related areas such as energy efficiency and training quality.

The ARC also runs an accreditation scheme for the handling of natural and alternative (green) refrigerants. The administration of this scheme is separate to the administration of the ARCTick licence scheme.

What is the ARCTick licence and what has it accomplished?

The ARCTick refrigeration and air conditioning (RAC) licence scheme, run by the ARC on behalf of the Australian Government, has never been more popular, with over 110,000 licence holders and still growing.

The RAC licence scheme is the only National, skills-based licence, regulating the acquisition, possession, disposal and handling of ozone depleting substances and synthetic greenhouse gases in the RAC industry. It is the ‘gold star standard’ for technicians throughout Australia.

The scheme delivers real value to the industry and has been independently and internationally recognised as world-leading. Australia’s regulations around refrigerants was recently acknowledged as ‘world’s best’ by the US Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI).

Perhaps the greatest achievement of the RAC licence scheme is driving the increase in skills within the refrigeration and air conditioning industry. The higher skill levels within industry has directly delivered improved environmental outcomes. ARC-licensed businesses and technicians have helped protect the ozone layer by contributing to a reduction of 24.37 megatonnes of CO2-e direct emissions.

As well, the scheme encourages consumer protection and energy efficiency, through better quality services and work practices. Prior to the ARCTick licence, practically anyone could do refrigeration and air conditioning work. The ARCTick scheme has become the benchmark for a professional and highly skilled industry.

Benefits of the ARCTick National licence over state-based occupational licence models

The ARCTick scheme is a skills-based, National, occupational scheme. It is extremely effective and efficient, acknowledged internationally and independently as one of the world’s best (ARHI report 8018 – Review of Refrigerant Management Programs).

The policy driver for the ARCTick scheme is environmental protection, as opposed to State occupational schemes which are Consumer protection. However, as COAG has independently confirmed, there is no difference between the two schemes “on the ground” (Decision Regulation Impact Statement – Proposal for national licencing of the refrigeration and air-conditioning occupations 2013).

In this report COAG found that the ARCTick scheme is the most effective and efficient scheme in Australia, compared to all the state-based occupational licences that relate to refrigeration and air conditioning work.

Some of the other advantages of the ARCTick scheme over state-based occupational licence models are as follows:

The issue of phoenix companies

A common problem with State run-schemes are people and businesses re-entering the system under a different name after losing their licence. These are commonly referred to as “phoenix companies”.

If you lose your licence under the ARCTick scheme you cannot purchase refrigerant (a licence is a requirement to purchase refrigerant). It puts you out of business. Other occupational schemes do not have this important compliance mechanism, which means losing your licence is no great impediment to continuing to work (illegally).

Effective compliance

Each year, the ARC scheme cancels around 70 licences due to non-compliance. This mechanism means the businesses cannot buy refrigerant and, so, are effectively ‘out of business’. No such mechanism exists in the state-based schemes.

What is the ARC Green Scheme Accreditation?

The genesis for the ARC Green Scheme Accreditation was an overwhelming industry demand for the ARC to manage an industry scheme covering natural and alternative refrigerants.

National, skills-based licensing has been in place for the use of synthetic refrigerants since 2005. These controls have ensured only qualified and professional technicians can legally work with these gasses. As a result, emissions of these environmentally-damaging refrigerants have been significantly reduced, and the skill-level of the industry has been increased.

The emergence of natural and alternative refrigerants, while not damaging to the environment when released, present a unique set of challenges for industry due to their flammability and high operating pressures. Prior to the ARC Accreditation, there wasn’t a National, skills-based scheme to cover these gases.

The ARC Green Scheme Accreditation works independently from the ARCTick scheme. It focuses on technician safety and ensures only qualified technicians represent the refrigeration and air conditioning industry with both distinction and professionalism.