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Air-conditioning and refrigeration 

A licence from Fair Trading is required before any air-conditioning and/or refrigeration work can be undertaken in NSW, regardless of the cost of the work and regardless of whether the work is residential, commercial or industrial. 

Tradespeople handling refrigerants will also need to obtain a Commonwealth Government refrigerant handling licence through the Australian Refrigeration Council. For more information, visit their website at www.arctick.org or call 1300 88 44 83.

Air-conditioning and refrigeration work is defined in Clause 11 of the Home Building Regulation 2004.

Scope of Licence
Qualifications

Scope of Licence 

Air-conditioning work 

Under the Regulation, air-conditioning work is:

  • any work required to install, maintain and service an air-conditioning system (other than a self-contained single-phase plug-in domestic air-conditioning system) in a structure, building, vessel, container or railway vehicle
  • work required to comply with the requirements of Australian Standard AS 1668.2 – 2002, The use of ventilation and airconditioning in buildings, Part 2: Ventilation design for indoor air contaminant control
  • work required to comply with the requirements of Australian/New Zealand Standard AS/NZS 3666:2002, Air-handling and water systems of buildings – Microbial control, relating to the maintenance of cooling towers,
  • associated electrical wiring work of the kind described in the section below.

The following is not air-conditioning work:

  • the installation of an air-conditioning system in a railway vehicle by the manufacturer of the vehicle
  • the installation, maintenance or repair of ducting or insulation in premises other than a dwelling.

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Refrigeration work 

Under the Regulation, refrigeration work is:

  • any work required to install, maintain and service a refrigeration system (other than a self-contained single-phase plug-in domestic refrigeration system) in a structure, building, vessel, container or vehicle
  • work required to comply with the requirements of Australian/New Zealand Standard AS/NZS 1677:1998, Refrigerating Systems
  • associated electrical wiring work of the kind described in the section below.

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Associated electrical wiring work 

The Regulation also refers to associated electrical wiring work, which consists of electrical wiring work relating to the general servicing and maintenance of an air-conditioning system or a refrigeration system, involving any of the following:

  • testing of, and diagnosis of problems in, control and power circuits and electrical equipment and electric motors
  • disconnection and reconnection of electrical components designed to be permanently connected
  • the replacement of electrical components on the load side of the mains supply
  • the repair and adjustment (in accordance with normal trade practice) of electrical components,
  • the repair, replacement or making good of cable terminations or defective electrical wiring,
  • minor alterations to electrical wiring.

Remember, it is an offence to undertake air conditioning or refrigeration work except with a licence. You can be fined $22,000 as an individual or $110,000 if you are a company for doing this type of work unlicensed.

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Qualifications 

Current qualifications 

Completion of one of the following courses:

  • UEE32211 Certificate III in Air conditioning and Refrigeration
  • UEE31307 Certificate III in Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning
  • UEE31306 Certificate III in Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning
  • UTE30999 Certificate III in Electrotechnology (Refrigeration and Air Conditioning)

OR

If you have ever held a NSW licence in air conditioning and/or refrigeration and you apply for an equivalent licence, your former licence will be accepted in lieu of the current qualification requirements.

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Prior to 20 December 2010 

One of the following four options will be accepted for the issue of a supervisor certificate or contractor licence for air conditioning or refrigeration work, if the courses or qualifications were commenced or completed prior to 20 December 2010.

(1) Completion of one of the following:

  • MEM30298 Certificate III in Engineering – Mechanical Trade (Refrigeration) OR
  • MEM30298 Certificate III in Engineering – Mechanical Trade (Air Conditioning) OR
  • MEM30205 Certificate III in Engineering – Mechanical Trade (Refrigeration and Air Conditioning) OR
  • MEM40105 Certificate IV in Engineering (Refrigeration and Air Conditioning)

Transcripts presented for the above qualifications must include the following units of competency: 

  • MEM05006 B (5.6AA) Perform brazing and/or silver soldering
  • MEM09002 B (9.2AA) Interpret technical drawing
  • MEM10002 B (10.2AA) Terminate and connect electrical wiring
  • MEM10009 B (10.9AA) Install refrigeration and air conditioning plant and equipment
  • MEM10010 B (10.10AA) Install pipework and pipework assemblies
  • MEM12002 B (12.2AA) Perform electrical/electronic measurement
  • MEM12023 A (2.5C11) Perform engineering measurements
  • MEM18001 C (18.1AB) Use hand tools
  • MEM18002 B (18.2AA) Use power tools/hand held operations
  • MEM18049 B (18.49AA) Disconnect/reconnect fixed wired equipment up to 1000 volts a.c./1500 volts d.c.
  • MEM18055 B (18.55AA) Dismantle, replace and assemble engineering components
  • MEM18086 B (18.86AA) Test, recover, evacuate and charge refrigeration systems
  • MEM18088 B (18.88AA) Maintain and repair commercial air conditioning systems and components
  • MEM18092 B (18.92AA) Maintain and repair commercial and/or industrial refrigeration and/or air conditioning controls

(Unit numbers in parentheses are from the MEM98 training package.)

(2) Completion of an apprenticeship as a Refrigeration Mechanic, including attainment of an approved qualification, which may be evidenced by a Certificate of Proficiency

(3) Completion of the Refrigeration/Airconditioning Trade course 7795 through TAFE NSW; OR

(4) Completion of a Mechanical or Electrical Engineering Degree or Diploma or Associate Diploma through TAFE NSW plus a minimum 2 years acceptable relevant practical experience verified by supporting statements of practical experience from employers, licensed contractors or engineers.

Note: The licence or certificate will be conditioned to say that it excludes the associated electrical wiring work, unless the transcripts show completion of MEM18049B and MEM18046B (for equipment up to 1000 volts a.c./1500 volts d.c.).

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Associated electrical work 

The licence or certificate will be conditioned to say that it excludes the associated electrical wiring work, unless transcripts are provided that show completion of the competencies provided in one of the 6 pathways below:

  1. UEENEEP012A – Disconnect/reconnect composite appliances  connected to low voltage installation wiring, and
    UEENEEP017A - Locate and rectify faults in low voltage composite appliances using set procedures
  2. UEENEEP001B – Disconnect/reconnect fixed wired electrical equipment to a Low Voltage Supply, and
    UEENEEP007B - Locate and rectify faults in electrical low voltage equipment following proscribed procedures
  3. UEENEEP001A – Disconnect/reconnect fixed wired electrical equipment to a Low Voltage Supply, and
    UEENEEP007A - Locate and rectify faults in electrical low voltage equipment following proscribed procedures
  4. UTENES208 - Disconnect/reconnect fixed wired Equipment up to 1000 volts ac/1500 volts dc, and
    UTENES505 – Locate & rectify fault(s) in Electrical equipment 1kVac/1.5dc by procedures
  5. MEM18049 B (18.49AA) Disconnect/reconnect fixed wired equipment up to 1000 volts a.c./1500 volts d.c and
    MEM18046B Fault find/repair electrical equipment/components up to 1000 volts a.c./1500 volts d.c.
  6. National Electrical Restricted Licensing  (NREL) course modules 1 and 2 and 12

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