Yesterday, RACCA Australia made a submission to the Queensland Department of Housing and Public Works, on the proposed licensing reforms under the Queensland Building Plan and its accompanying fact sheets.
You will find our submission below, if you have any feedback, please don’t hesitate to contact RACCA Australia on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Queensland Building Plan
Department of Housing and Public Works
15 March 2017
Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the proposal for licensing reforms under the Queensland Building Plan.
The Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Contractors Association (RACCA) is a peak organisation that represents the best interests of refrigeration and air conditioning contractors across the country.
RACCA does this by representing contractors at board level at the Australian Refrigeration Council (ARC), Refrigerant Reclaim Australia, Refrigerants Australia and most recently, as a member of the Electrotechnology Industry Reference Committee (IRC). We provide this representation to ensure that contractors are fully informed on current issues and future developments within the industry. We also provide representation for contractors by our participation and attendance in industry events such as ARBS and RACE.
Our services also include providing crucial workplace relations and business advice to contractors to save them time and money, and assist in the smooth running of their businesses.
As a national organisation, RACCA is a driving force in the refrigeration and air conditioning industry and is a major factor in the continued success and security of refrigeration and air conditioning contractors.
RACCA supports occupational and environmental licensing for the refrigeration and air conditioning industry managed by the ARC, and we would like to see both combined into one licence.
We would like to comment on the proposed licensing reforms as follows:
ARCTick Environmental Licence:
The ARC’s environmental licence has its shortfalls as it doesn’t cover all low GWP refrigerants. Our industry is currently in transition, moving towards flammable refrigerants or refrigerants which present certain dangers. Therefore the industry needs a highly regulated and skilled workforce to be working on the systems carrying these refrigerants.
ARCTick Occupational Licence:
RACCA believes that occupational licensing should be managed by the ARC and not by plumbers. Plumbing is a very small part of our industry and is generally subcontracted out.
Refrigeration contractors and mechanics with the Certificate III qualification deserve the right to have their own industry-run licensing scheme. This can be achieved by giving the ARC the authority to manage the occupational licensing scheme.
As we move into the future with these new refrigerants, there will be a requirement for the upskilling of the industry and with a new licensing scheme in Queensland, this would be an ideal opportunity to monitor and regulate the upskilling process.
Mechanical Services Licence:
Any work completed on refrigeration and air conditioning single head split systems requires totally different competencies to those in the plumbing training package. The majority of contractors working in the Australian refrigeration and air conditioning industry supports and uses the Electrotechnology training package.
If our industry doesn’t have its own occupational licensing scheme and is instead managed by other trades, such as plumbing, we will run the risk of becoming secondary constituents. Our industry will no longer be seen as their core business, it will be perceived as part of the plumbing industry.
RACCA does agree that a restricted licence would be beneficial to mechanical service plumbers, for the limited work that they carry out on refrigeration and air conditioning systems.
Skills and Occupational Licensing:
Within our industry there is a massive skills shortage and this will not change anytime soon. One contribution to this skills shortage is the marketing, or rather lack of, for our industry. We need to make sure our industry is appealing and lift its image. Poor workmanship within our industry gives it a bad reputation and is a reflection of the training provided.
The refrigeration and air conditioning industry needs to be lifting its competencies and this can be enhanced through occupational licensing. However this can only be achieved with a licensing authority that truly understands the industry as the ARC does.
RACCA welcomes further discussion on the issues raised in this submission and should you require any further information, please do not hesitate to contact me.
RACCA Australia President