Transitional provisions | Mechanical Services licensing

Consultation has concluded

Submissions through this site closed at 5pm AEST on Friday 5 July 2019.

We would like to thank the organisations and individuals who provided their feedback.

We’re introducing a new licensing framework for mechanical services work, which is established under the Queensland Building and Construction Commission Act 1991 (QBCC Act).

Mechanical services work involves the mechanical heating or cooling of commercial and residential buildings through the use of motors, machines or the flow of temperature controlled fluids, and work on medical gas systems.

Once the mechanical services licensing framework is fully implemented, all individuals or businesses who carry out mechanical services work will be required to hold either a contractor or occupational licence before undertaking this type of work.

Who needs to know about the changes?

The licensing requirements will affect people already performing mechanical services work, for example:

We are considering the best way to seamlessly transition people currently working in the industry to the new licensing framework.

What licences will be available?

Contractor and occupational licences are proposed for the following licence classes:

A contractor licence permits an individual or company to contract, subcontract, advertise to contract and perform the work within the scope of work for their licence class.

An occupational licence permits an individual to carry out work within the scope of work for their licence class but does not permit the individual to contract or advertise to contract for mechanical services work.

How will this be implemented?

We’re considering a two-stage approach to introduce the new licensing requirements:

  • Stage 1: From 1 January 2020 individuals and companies entering the industry (excluding apprentices and trainees) would need to hold a full mechanical services licence. Additionally, we would issue interim (temporary) licences which would permit existing workers (individuals and companies) regardless whether they hold the relevant technical qualifications to continue working up until 31 December 2021.
  • Stage 2: From 1 January 2022 all individuals and companies performing mechanical services work would need to hold a full mechanical services licence noting that apprentices and trainees must be supervised but do not need to be licensed.

We think this approach achieves a reasonable balance between the interests of workers and consumers and gives people working in the industry 2 years to meet the requirements for the full licence.

What does this mean for you?

Individuals currently performing mechanical services work may need to undertake additional training or have their skills assessed through recognition of prior learning (RPL) or similar process to demonstrate that they meet the technical qualifications for the new licence class.

Air conditioning and refrigeration work

If you hold a current QBCC contractor licence for refrigeration, air-conditioning and mechanical services work (unlimited or limited design) immediately before the new licences commence, you will be taken to hold the equivalent mechanical services contractor licence under the new framework.

Medical gas work

Currently medical gas work in Queensland is regulated administratively by Queensland Health through internal policies and procedures. The mechanical services licensing framework will require all individuals performing medical gas work to hold a QBCC licence.

We have been advised that trade qualified plumbers or gas fitters currently perform this work and therefore the impact of transitioning from the existing regime to a mechanical services licensing regime is expected to be minimal.

Mechanical services plumbing

Plumbing is an occupationally licensed trade, meaning all individuals performing plumbing work as an occupation must hold a QBCC licence. Therefore, no significant issues are expected to arise while transitioning to the new licensing framework.

If you don’t have formal qualifications

To provide a seamless transition for industry and individuals, we are considering ways to recognise the skills of individuals currently performing mechanical services work without a relevant formal qualification or licence.

Currently under the Australian Qualification Framework, you can apply to a registered training organisation for recognition of prior learning (RPL). RPL is an assessment process that involves assessment of your relevant prior learning (including formal, informal and non-formal learning) to determine credit towards a course or qualification.

We are also considering a trade skills assessment process. This process involves a registered training organisation assessing that you have the necessary skills, practical experience and employment history (employed in the relevant trade for a minimum period) to demonstrate that you have acquired the competencies of the trade.

Submissions through this site closed at 5pm AEST on Friday 5 July 2019.

We would like to thank the organisations and individuals who provided their feedback.

We’re introducing a new licensing framework for mechanical services work, which is established under the Queensland Building and Construction Commission Act 1991 (QBCC Act).

Mechanical services work involves the mechanical heating or cooling of commercial and residential buildings through the use of motors, machines or the flow of temperature controlled fluids, and work on medical gas systems.

Once the mechanical services licensing framework is fully implemented, all individuals or businesses who carry out mechanical services work will be required to hold either a contractor or occupational licence before undertaking this type of work.

Who needs to know about the changes?

The licensing requirements will affect people already performing mechanical services work, for example:

We are considering the best way to seamlessly transition people currently working in the industry to the new licensing framework.

What licences will be available?

Contractor and occupational licences are proposed for the following licence classes:

A contractor licence permits an individual or company to contract, subcontract, advertise to contract and perform the work within the scope of work for their licence class.

An occupational licence permits an individual to carry out work within the scope of work for their licence class but does not permit the individual to contract or advertise to contract for mechanical services work.

How will this be implemented?

We’re considering a two-stage approach to introduce the new licensing requirements:

  • Stage 1: From 1 January 2020 individuals and companies entering the industry (excluding apprentices and trainees) would need to hold a full mechanical services licence. Additionally, we would issue interim (temporary) licences which would permit existing workers (individuals and companies) regardless whether they hold the relevant technical qualifications to continue working up until 31 December 2021.
  • Stage 2: From 1 January 2022 all individuals and companies performing mechanical services work would need to hold a full mechanical services licence noting that apprentices and trainees must be supervised but do not need to be licensed.

We think this approach achieves a reasonable balance between the interests of workers and consumers and gives people working in the industry 2 years to meet the requirements for the full licence.

What does this mean for you?

Individuals currently performing mechanical services work may need to undertake additional training or have their skills assessed through recognition of prior learning (RPL) or similar process to demonstrate that they meet the technical qualifications for the new licence class.

Air conditioning and refrigeration work

If you hold a current QBCC contractor licence for refrigeration, air-conditioning and mechanical services work (unlimited or limited design) immediately before the new licences commence, you will be taken to hold the equivalent mechanical services contractor licence under the new framework.

Medical gas work

Currently medical gas work in Queensland is regulated administratively by Queensland Health through internal policies and procedures. The mechanical services licensing framework will require all individuals performing medical gas work to hold a QBCC licence.

We have been advised that trade qualified plumbers or gas fitters currently perform this work and therefore the impact of transitioning from the existing regime to a mechanical services licensing regime is expected to be minimal.

Mechanical services plumbing

Plumbing is an occupationally licensed trade, meaning all individuals performing plumbing work as an occupation must hold a QBCC licence. Therefore, no significant issues are expected to arise while transitioning to the new licensing framework.

If you don’t have formal qualifications

To provide a seamless transition for industry and individuals, we are considering ways to recognise the skills of individuals currently performing mechanical services work without a relevant formal qualification or licence.

Currently under the Australian Qualification Framework, you can apply to a registered training organisation for recognition of prior learning (RPL). RPL is an assessment process that involves assessment of your relevant prior learning (including formal, informal and non-formal learning) to determine credit towards a course or qualification.

We are also considering a trade skills assessment process. This process involves a registered training organisation assessing that you have the necessary skills, practical experience and employment history (employed in the relevant trade for a minimum period) to demonstrate that you have acquired the competencies of the trade.