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Refrigerant Handling Licence Frequently Asked Questions

For many in the refrigeration and air-conditioning industry, there simply isn’t 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 Government’s licensing and compliance program and what it means for the individual, business or refrigerant wholesaler.

1) Who needs a refrigerant handling licence?
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Any person who handles refrigerant must hold a refrigerant handling licence.

Handling a refrigerant means to do anything with the refrigerant that carries the risk of its emission, including:

(a) decanting the refrigerant; or
(b) manufacturing, installing, commissioning, servicing or maintaining RAC equipment; or
(c) decommissioning or disposing of RAC equipment.
2) What types of refrigerants do the licences cover?
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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.
3) Why do I need a Refrigerant Handling Licence to handle refrigerant?
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Fluorocarbon refrigerants are harmful to the environment if emitted to the atmosphere. Under the regulations persons handling refrigerant must hold a current Refrigerant Handling Licence issued
by ARC on behalf of the Australian government, this can be obtained by completing the licence
application form on this web site.
4) What do I do if I don’t hold a Refrigerant Handling Licence, but still want to handle
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Under the regulations it is an offence to handle refrigerant without the appropriate licence, you
therefore must apply for the relevant refrigerant handling licence..
5) Once I apply for a Refrigerant Handling Licence, how long does it take for my licence
application to be processed?
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Providing that the application is complete with all requested details, support evidence and application
fee, the process will be completed within 30 days of receipt. Currently processing is completed well
within that time.
6) If my licence has expired, what do I need to do to get a new licence?
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Provided that you have advised ARC of any subsequent change of address you will receive a
notification to apply for your new licence.
7) If I had an Experience Person’s Licence and it’s now expired what do I do?
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This licence is no longer available you will have to apply for the relevant qualified person’s
licence or transitional licence.
8) What is the time frame for implementation of a licence type for marine engineers and
other maritime personnel handling refrigerants?
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Any person who handles refrigerant for any work on refrigeration or air conditioning equipment on
vessels at sea is required to hold a Marine Transitional Licence. A letter from the employer indicating that the applicant is able to competently do the work is required to obtain a Marine Transitional Licence.

The Department of the Environment and Water Resources is currently developing licence types that reflect the complexity and diversity of refrigeration and air conditioning equipment for the marine industries. This work will be undertaken with input from the relevant industries.
9) If I need to undertake a course so that I can apply for a Refrigerant Handling Licence,
who do I speak to?
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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 www.arctick/ref_handling_training.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.

   Copyright © 2007 Australian Refrigeration Council