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Common sense prevails in change to HC retrofit requirements within AUR Training Package

ASA welcomes the upcoming replacement of controversial Unit of Competency AURETU005 “Retrofit and modify air conditioning and HVAC systems” as part of a broader update to the Automotive Retail, Service and Repair (AUR) Training Package due to concerns raised by this organisation and other industry groups.

Unit of Competency AURETU005 included a focus on retrofitting existing automotive air-conditioning systems to hydrocarbon refrigerants, while its replacement, AURETU105 “Retrofit automotive air conditioning and HVAC systems”, requires that students must be able to demonstrate an understanding of “reasons why R134a refrigerant must not be retrofitted to blends of hydrocarbons.”

It is arguable whether a Unit of Competency about retrofits is still required, given that in the current automotive market there is little practical requirement to retrofit air conditioning systems. Although this situation is not expected to change in the near future, VASA is comfortable with the provisions of this new AURETU105 Unit of Competency.

A bulletin announcing the AUR Trainng Package changes was circulated among the Australian Refrigeration Council board (on which VASA Vice President Brett Meads is a representative of the automotive sector alongside figures from motor trades associations and the IAME).

The document outlines that “numerous safety considerations and risks have been identified with the retrofitting of air conditioning and heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems to the extent that industry has come to recommend greater rigour in training standards for all tasks”.

“Units of competency have been edited to reflect safety and legislative requirements and provide flexibility for replacement of system components as an industry activity,” it says.

“Skills gaps have also been identified in general tasks such as identifying gases along with their safety requirements. Consequently, this latest project updated air conditioning units of competency to ensure knowledge of refrigerants and their inherent requirements when handled were reflected within these units.”

Updated training products will be released in late September and include a new AUR20220 Certificate II in Automotive Air Conditioning Technology qualification that reflects the changed curriculum.