Project: HVAC hygiene

This project was completed on the 28th of October, 2019.

Air conditioner repairmen

On behalf of Airconstruct, Artibus Innovation is developing a qualification in heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) hygiene to be submitted to ASQA for accreditation.

We want to hear from you

Does the proposed qualification meet vocational training needs for HVAC hygiene? Are there any changes that should be made to the list of units included in the qualification?

Our initial consultation period closed on February 15th. Feedback we received in that period is currently being evaluated and responses will be made to all those who participated.

However, we are still open to more feedback.  Please contact project manager Gordon Campbell. 


Phone: 03 6218 2841


Regular cleaning of ducted and split-system air conditioning installations is very important for efficient performance and for protecting indoor air quality and human health. Although there are millions of these systems in Australia, there are no nationally recognised qualifications for this work. We believe there is a strong need for such a qualification.

To fill this need, we have developed a Certificate II in HVAC hygiene consisting of three enterprise units (written for this qualification) and nine existing training package units.

Graduates of this course are likely to work for organisations providing air-conditioning cleaning for:

  • residential customers
  • accommodation services
  • mining offices and accommodation
  • educational institutions
  • government offices, hospitals etc.

Current skills gap

Currently, some of this work is done by people with non-formal training. This means that:

  • worker skills are less transferable between employers
  • clients have less certainty that workers meet performance and safety standards

In other cases, this work is done by air-conditioning and refrigeration mechanics. These workers have Certificate III qualifications and licences beyond those required for this work, leading to higher costs and reduced efficiency.

The proposed qualification is designed to deliver the right amount of training for the work required. It provides an entry point into the industry, and can open up employment opportunities for less-qualified or new entrants to the work force in regional and remote areas.

Further reading

The Cold Hard Facts 3 report  (Commonwealth Department of the Environment and Energy) released in September 2018 reports that there are more than 11 million single split system air conditioners in Australia, with 1.3 million new systems sold annually (p. 27, p. 32). On p. 150 it says:

… hundreds of thousands, and in some cases millions, of pieces of equipment are likely to be under serviced. Routine maintenance of air conditioning equipment (or lack of it) can have a profound effect on overall energy use in RAC [refrigeration and air-conditioning] equipment … Cleaning of air filters and removing grime from heat exchange surfaces are very simple measures that have a direct impact on energy efficiency in RAC equipment as well. Unfortunately, even such simple servicing of RAC equipment is often not done.

A number of submissions to the Commonwealth Report on the Inquiry into Biotoxin-related Illnesses in Australia, released in October 2018, point out that poorly maintained HVAC systems become clogged with mould and dust and are frequently a major source of biotoxins in indoor air (§ 2.39, p. 18).

Contact: Gordon Campbell

Project last updated: February 2019
This project has had 871 visitors.