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Air Conditioning is a specialist trade and involves working with dangerous elements, such as hydrocarbon refrigerants. Air Conditioning Technicians complete a 4-year apprenticeship and a National Certificate III in HVAC to receive a QBCC Mechanical Service Licence and a Full (RAC) National Refrigeration Handling Licence, issued by the Australian Refrigeration Council (Arc), to carry out air conditioning services.

Electricians are not permitted to install split air conditioners without a Limited Refrigeration Handling licence. To be competent for a Limited Arc licence, electrical tradesmen have to complete a Certificate II in Air Conditioning & Refrigeration.

On January 1, 2020 new regulations came into effect and It is now illegal for Limited Arc licence holders to carry out HVAC services over the value of $3 300. From January 1, 2022, all individuals or companies will be required to hold a QBCC mechanical services licence.

The holder of a full ‘RAC’ licence is qualified to;

✓ Work with any air conditioning system, split system or otherwise, of any cooling capacity

✓ Undertake all aspects of installation, service, repair, maintenance or decommissioning of air conditioning systems.

The holder of a restricted ‘Splits’ licence is not qualified and not permitted to:

✗ Work with any split system air conditioner of more than 18kW cooling capacity

✗ Install multi head split system air conditioning systems

✗ Carry out any service, repair or maintenance of any split system air conditioner.

The one exception is single head split systems. Holders of a Certificate II qualification and a national refrigerant handling licence issued by the Australian Refrigeration Council (ARC) will still be able install a single head split air conditioning system without a QBCC licence if the value of the work is under $3,300.

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Queensland tightens Cert II rules