For many in the refrigeration and air-conditioning industry, there simply isnít enough time to read everything, but the need to stay up to date with industry developments is critical.
Below are just some of the more frequently asked questions concerning the role of the Australian Refrigeration Council (ARC) and the Australian Governmentís licensing and compliance program and what it means for the individual, business or refrigerant wholesaler.
- Who needs a refrigerant handling licence?
Any person who handles refrigerant or works on RAC equipment must hold a refrigerant handling licence.
Handling a refrigerant means doing anything with the refrigerant, or a component of RAC equipment, that carries the risk of its emission, including:
- decanting the refrigerant; or
- manufacturing, installing, commissioning, servicing or maintaining RAC equipment, irrespective if whether or not refrigerant is present; or
- decommissioning or disposing of RAC equipment where refrigerant is present.
- What types of refrigerants do the licences cover?
The refrigerant handling licence and refrigerant trading authorisation cover all fluorocarbon refrigerants: chlorofluorocarbons, hydrochlorofluorocarbons and hydrofluorocarbons. Examples of these include R12, R22, R134A, R410A and R404A.
- Why do I need a Refrigerant Handling Licence to handle refrigerant?
Fluorocarbon refrigerants are harmful to the environment if emitted to the atmosphere. Under the Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Regulations 1995, persons handling refrigerant must hold a current Refrigerant Handling Licence. This licence is issued by ARC on behalf of the Australian government and can be obtained by completing the online licence application form on this website.
- What do I do if I donít hold a Refrigerant Handling Licence, but still want to handle refrigerant?
Under the regulations it is an offence of strict liability to handle refrigerant without the appropriate licence.
You must apply for the relevant refrigerant handling licence.
- If my licence has expired, what do I need to do to get a new licence?
Provided that you have advised ARC of any subsequent change of address you will receive a notification to apply for your new licence.
- What is the time frame for implementation of a licence type for marine engineers and other maritime personnel handling refrigerants?
Under a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the department and the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA), marine engineers holding a current AMSA Certificate of Competency or valid AMSA certificate of recognition as a Marine Engineer Watchkeeper, Marine Engineer Class Two or Marine Engineer Class One will not be required to hold a Refrigerant Handling Licence (RHL) after 1st March 2009.
These exemptions do not apply for Marine Engineer Class Three, any Marine Engine Driver grade certificates or any other maritime qualification or licence, or any other person who handles refrigerant for any work on refrigeration or air conditioning equipment at sea. All individuals not exempt under the AMSA MoU are required to hold a Marine Transitional Handling Licence which permits the holder to handle refrigerant and undertake work on RAC equipment only when a vessel is at sea.
Application for a Transitional Marine Handling Licence must include a letter from the employer indicating that the applicant is able to competently handle refrigerant and do the RAC work.
- If I need to undertake a course so that I can apply for a Refrigerant Handling Licence, who do I speak to?
You will need to speak to a registered training organisation (RTO) to determine which licence qualification you are seeking and enrol in the selected course.
RTOs include TAFE colleges and private providers who are authorised to issue qualification certificates; many are listed on this web site at http://www.arctick.org/training_organisation.php If you believe that you already have the relevant training and experience, but do not hold the required qualification, you may not need to do any further training.
Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) and Recognition of Current Competency (RCC) is a process for recognising that you have gained skills, knowledge and experience from other courses, academic education, work experience and training on the job.
To use RPL or RCC to obtain a licence, you need to obtain the required qualification from a registered training organisation (RTO). In order to do so you must enrol in the relevant course and, having enrolled in the course you may complete it by:
- Applying for partial or full RPL/RCC;
- Completing a program of training;
- A combination of both of the above.
A trainee Refrigerant Handling Licence may be required. Please contact the ARC for more information on 1300 88 44 83.
- Are all refrigerants subject to national controls?
No. There are national controls on all fluorocarbon refrigerants such as HCFCs, HFCs and CFCs. These refrigerants can damage the ozone layer and are potent greenhouse gases. Other Ďnatural refrigerantsí such as ammonia and hydrocarbons are not subject to national controls. However their use may be controlled, for health and safety or consumer protection, by state authorities.
- RHL/RTA Overpayments: can I apply for a refund?
What constitutes an overpayment?
An overpayment is where an application for a Refrigerant Handing Licence (RHL) or Refrigerant Trading Authorisation (RTA) has been approved and issued, and more than the required application fee was paid.
The initial application fee applicable for the RHL or RTA type approved does not constitute an overpayment, The initial application fee paid where the application is not approved or the application is withdrawn does not constitute an overpayment.
How do I apply for a refund if I have overpaid for the licence or authorisation?
If you have made an overpayment for your RHL or your RTA you can apply to ARC for a refund. Applications for a refund of an overpayment should be made either in writing to: Office Manage, ARC Ltd, Locked Bag 3033, Box Hill Victoria 3128 or by email to email@example.com
Your application for a refund of an overpayment should include your RHL or RTA number, your name, your address, your contact telephone number, your email address and a brief explanation of why you are applying for a refund of an overpayment. On receipt of your application, you will be contacted. If an overpayment is confirmed you will be asked to provide details of your credit card for the refund to be paid to and a confirmation email will be sent to you when the refund has been made. Although every effort will be made to refund the overpayment quickly, refunds can take up to 7 days to complete.
- Pre-competency based training qualifications and the RHL renewal process
The ARC licence scheme is underpinned by Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) based qualifications. Certified qualifications are required to be supplied before assessment and
issue of licence can be made.
For technicians who completed their qualifications before the introduction of competency-based training, and who therefore may have difficulty accessing their qualifications and proof of industry
experience, the ARC advises the following options:
If the applicant has a trade qualification certificate but no proof of industrial experience:
- Documentation for 4 years of industrial experience is required. This could include information such as: level and range of experience, (through a letter from employer or state-based licence). If a sole operator,
a letterhead certified by their accountant or lawyer is requested.
If the applicant has proof of industrial experience but no qualification documentation:
- The applicant should obtain recognition of prior learning (RPL) through a relevant registered training organisation or trade recognition body.