Mechanical services licence for air conditioning and refrigeration work

Licensing requirements

Refrigeration and air conditioning (RAC) is a licensed trade under the Queensland Building and Construction Commission Act 1991.

The new licensing requirements include the introduction of a RAC occupational licence.

From 1 January 2020, you must hold a mechanical services licence to be able to lawfully perform RAC work, if you are:

  • completing a relevant apprenticeship
  • a contractor
  • a nominee supervisor
  • a site supervisor.

All other individuals will have until 31 December 2021 to obtain a mechanical services RAC licence.

The mechanical services RAC licence will have licence classes for limited design and unlimited design. The scope of work for each RAC licence will cover the same work as the existing QBCC licence classes.

Technical qualification requirements

New licensees will need to meet the technical qualification requirements for the mechanical services RAC licence.

Unlimited design

Contractor and nominee supervisor licence

Managerial requirements

Successfully completed one of the following:

  • BSBSMB401 – Establish legal and risk management requirements of small business
  • another course the QBCC considers as equivalent.

Technical qualifications

One of the following:

  1. UEE51211 – Diploma of Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Engineering, including the following electives:
    1. Develop and implement energy sector maintenance programs UEENEEE110A
    2. Evaluate and report on building services energy management systems UEENEEJ136A
  2. a course the QBCC considers as equivalent
  3. a qualification or statement of attainment of required competency for the class of licence.

Experience requirements

From 1 January 2022, if you’re applying for a mechanical services – RAC contractor or nominee supervisor licence you will need to demonstrate a minimum of 2 years’ experience in the scope of work for the licence class.

Site supervisor licence

Managerial requirements

There are no managerial or experience requirements for the site supervisor licence.

Technical qualifications

  1. Any of the following courses:
    1. an apprenticeship in refrigeration and air conditioning
    2. Certificate III in Engineering - Mechanical Trade MEM30219
    3. Certificate III in Air Conditioning and Refrigeration UEE32211
  2. a course the QBCC considers as equivalent
  3. a recognition certificate as a qualified refrigeration and air conditioning mechanic
  4. a qualification or statement of attainment of required competency for the class of licence.

Limited design

Contractor and nominee supervisor licences

Managerial requirements

Successfully completed 1 of the following:

  • BSBSMB401 – Establish legal and risk management requirements of small business
  • another course the QBCC considers as equivalent.
Technical qualifications
  1. Any of the following courses:
    1. an apprenticeship in refrigeration and air conditioning
    2. Certificate III in Engineering - Mechanical Trade MEM30219
    3. Certificate III in Air Conditioning and Refrigeration UEE32211
  2. a course the QBCC considers as least equivalent
  3. a recognition certificate as a qualified refrigeration and air conditioning mechanic
  4. a qualification or statement of attainment of required competency for the class of licence.

Experience requirements

From 1 January 2022, if you’re applying for a mechanical services – RAC contractor or nominee supervisor licence you will need to demonstrate a minimum of 2 years’ experience in the scope of work for the licence class.

Site supervisor licence

Managerial requirements

There are no managerial or experience requirements for the site supervisor licence.

Technical qualifications

  1. Any of the following courses
    1. an apprenticeship in refrigeration and air conditioning
    2. Certificate III in Engineering Mechanical Trade MEM30219
    3. Certificate III in Air Conditioning and Refrigeration UEE32211
  2. a course the QBCC considers as equivalent
  3. a recognition certificate as a qualified refrigeration and air conditioning mechanic
  4. a qualification or statement of attainment of required competency for the class of licence.

Occupational licence

Managerial requirements

There are no managerial or experience requirements for the occupational licence.

Technical qualifications

  1. Any of the following courses:
    1. an apprenticeship in refrigeration and air conditioning
    2. Certificate III in Engineering - Mechanical Trade MEM30219
    3. Certificate III in Air Conditioning and Refrigeration UEE32211
  2. a course the QBCC considers as equivalent
  3. a recognition certificate as a qualified refrigeration and air conditioning mechanic
  4. a qualification or statement of attainment of required competency for the class of licence.

Transitional arrangements

Contractors, nominee supervisors and site supervisors who hold a current QBCC licence will be able to continue to work under their existing licence until it is due for renewal.

When applying to renew the existing licence, the application will automatically become an application for the mechanical services RAC licence (equivalent scope of work).

Fees will apply to the renewal application in the same way they apply now. No additional fees will apply and the old licence classes will eventually be phased out as everyone transitions to the mechanical services RAC licence classes.

Pending applications

If you have applied for a QBCC RAC licence (contractor, nominee supervisor or site supervisor licence) before 1 January 2020 and the application has not been decided, your application will be assessed for the mechanical services licence. No additional requirements need to be met and no additional fees or applications need to be lodged.

The QBCC will decide if the mechanical services licence will be issued.

Existing QBCC contractor licensees who employ plumbers and RAC tradespeople under the current framework

You may be eligible for a mechanical services – RAC and mechanical services – plumbing contractor licence during the transition period, if you:

  • hold a current QBCC RAC contractor licence, and
  • have carried out work or employed individuals to carry out mechanical services plumbing work under a single contractor licence.

You will need to make an application to the QBCC for the two licence classes and demonstrate you have been lawfully carrying out or employing people to carrying out work falling within the scope of work for both licence classes.

If the QBCC is satisfied you’ve met the requirements you won’t be charged a fee for the mechanical services plumbing licence.

When you apply to renew the licence you will need to pay the fees for both licence classes.

Each licence class permits different scopes of work and it is a business decision to undertake the broader scope of work, like all other QBCC licence classes.

Workers (including site supervisors)

From 1 January 2020, businesses (contractors) will have six months for the QBCC to approve their licence application. During this time, individual workers (other than apprentices and nominee supervisors) will be able to work for a contractor or person who is having their licence application considered.

If you’re an individual worker (other than apprentices and nominee supervisors), you will be able to work for a contractor who holds the relevant mechanical services licence until 31 December 2021.

From 1 January 2022, you will need to hold a mechanical services licence to lawfully perform mechanical services work or risk being fined.