New laws

Important changes for Mechanical Services Licences

New mechanical services licensing requirements will commence on 1 January 2020. The new laws will apply if you contract for, supervise or personally carry out mechanical services work in Queensland regardless of the value of the work.

Mechanical services work involves the construction, installation, replacement, repair, alteration, maintenance, testing or commissioning of a mechanical heating or cooling system in commercial and residential buildings, for example air conditioning, refrigeration and air handling systems.

Mechanical services work also includes work on medical gas systems found in hospitals and other health services such as dental facilities.

These systems contribute to the overall health and safety of the community and can have fatal consequences if incorrectly installed or maintained. Licensing of practitioners provides consumers comfort that operators hold an appropriate technical qualification, contractors are financially sound and that the QBCC, as the industry regulator, can take action against individuals performing substandard work or using non-conforming building products.

These changes will be implemented in a phased approach:

  • From 1 January 2020 all new businesses (contractors) commencing mechanical services work for the first time and apprentices finishing a relevant apprenticeship after 31 December 2019 will need to hold a relevant mechanical services licence. 
  • From 1 January 2020 all existing QBCC licensed refrigeration and air-conditioning contractors will transition free of charge to the new equivalent mechanical services licence. These licensees will not have to do anything.
  • From 1 July 2020 all existing contractors who perform mechanical services work, including medical gas, must be licensed. 
  • From 1 January 2022 all other individuals (workers) performing mechanical services work for a licensed contractor must have the relevant mechanical services occupational licence.

The mechanical services licensing framework includes the following specialist streams:

  • mechanical services – medical gas
  • mechanical services – air-conditioning and refrigeration
  • mechanical services - plumbing

The licensing framework was established after extensive industry consultation. A Regulatory Impact Statement was released in June 2019 on the technical details of the new mechanical services licensing framework to be included in the QBCC Regulation which included:

  • licence classes
  • scopes of work
  • eligibility requirements (including technical qualifications)
  • transitional arrangements

Feedback received through the consultation process assisted in refining the content of the amendments to the QBCC Regulation 2018 which prescribes the details of the mechanical services licensing framework.

More details on the changes to mechanical services licensing arrangements including licence classes, the process for obtaining a licence, scope of work, experience and technical qualifications, can be found in the section about mechanical services licences.