ACMA New Regulation – Why the change?

Author: CCTV Supplies Category: NEWS Date: 2013-08-06 Hits: 8227 Comments: 8
ACMA changes the rules for the Open Cablers License - Good for the industry, or just another burden on small business?

In my original post, I commented on how the new ACMA changes to the Cabling License requirements was brought about by an effort from the Labor government to impose yet another cost onto small business in a desperate attempt to stem the flow from the hemorrhaging budget.

However, I now stand corrected – one of our loyal customers and a long serving Cabler himself for many years (longer than myself) informed me of some interesting facts. The ACMA has no affiliation with any political party. I guess the timing is somewhat suspicious when looking at the current economic climate, It’s not hard to see the changes as just another money grabbing exercise. I thank him for his input. However the catalyst for these changes started with the NBN roll-out according to some ACMA literature. Good or Bad depending on your point of view.

When I obtained my license in the early 2000’s – there were 2 licenses classes – OPEN & RESTRICTED. Restricted licenses permitted you to install cable that was no more than 6 core (NO CAT5), whilst the OPEN license permitted you to cable all types. Restricted was OK for security installers connecting MODE 3 sockets with 6 or 4 core phone cable to customer’s phone lines and some CCTV Coax and Figure-8.

The new changes now require Cablers with an existing Open License without Endorsements to retrain and obtain the endorsements. Interestingly, Cabling License  “Endorsements” were originally implemented but then removed and now re-implemented. The nett effect is another cost we have to bear, with little apparent gain.

You might be thinking, “Hey I have my Open License, had it for years and cable in Cat5/Cat6 & Coax everyday! I don’t need to go back and do it again.” Well, yes you do, or you will be limited to 6 core cable & figure-8 – according to an ACMA Brochure which accompanied my Open License renewal. ACMA has now effectively turned all of our OPEN licenses into RESTRICTED licenses with the stroke of a pen.

So, if you are a Cabler (which you are if you install CCTV or security products) you now need to go back to school to re-learn how to cable Cat5/Cat6, Coax & Fibre.

What does this all mean to the Cabler? The simple answer is, 5 days of your time re-training for what you already know and $1,000 down the toilet. After all, it’s not like anyone will miss a thousand dollars and loss of income for a week, right? We all make too much money anyway and would otherwise just go to the pub and drink it or go fishing. ACMA will have you believe that it is better for the industry by removing the cowboys, but my thoughts are, how will anyone ever know? Are they going to police it? Not actively I’ll bet.

Please, if you have any comments on this, we would love to hear them.


Date 2013-08-09 17:05:07 Posted By CCTV Supplies Comment Link
Hi Robert, We have had a lot of interest on this subject. Many installers and people in the industry would like to see some media coverage. A customer of ours with many years experience has outlined that RPL (Recognition of Prior Learning) should be an option to avoid the 5 day training & thus save some money. However according to him the ACMA don’t control this but rather the Registered Training Organisations do. This means that your RTO can grant you the Endorsements in recognition of your experience and prior training if they want to. If not then you have to do the 5 day training. It was an interesting point. Funny the literature I received from the ACMA didn’t point this fact out, just that open cablers need to attain the endorsements by 30th June 2014 and when I enquired to my RTO they didn’t mention this option but rather stated, “there has been so many changes since you obtained your license that you need to do the training”
Date 2013-08-09 16:20:23 Posted By Robert L Comment Link
Hey folks, there is a great opportunity to voice our opinion through local members (politicians) as it is an election year. Even go to the media to highlight this money grab and yet another impost on small business. Just might do it!
Date 2013-08-09 13:20:35 Posted By CCTV Supplies Comment Link
Thanks Geoff for your comments. I guess training organisations have more to gain from changes in regulation whereas the industry associations are passive collectors of income with renewals on a regular basis. So is the industry gaining anything? Not likely.
Date 2013-08-09 12:53:12 Posted By Geoff Brewer Comment Link
To be honest I don’t have a problem with the endorsements, what annoys is the fact that (recognition of prior learning) has been overlooked, a simple solution would have been to allow those who had held an open licence for ( lets say 5 years ) to upgrade to the Structured & Coaxial without needing to lose 5 days work. Sadly training organisations seem to have more voice than our industry associations who do little at the best of times.
Date 2013-08-08 11:05:20 Posted By CCTV Supplies Comment Link
Thanks Shaun for your comments. It has been a problem for a long time and no new legislation or more regulation has made any difference in the industry to date. Better education/training and protective legislation is always a good idea to block the seedy characters and help the industry become honest and reputable. The failure as you said is in the POLICING. What happens to all the money spent to comply?
Date 2013-08-08 11:05:18 Posted By Shaun Comment Link
Until they start to police the industry the cowboys will continue to rout the system, so more money to pay out to the government while i loose work because someone unlicensed will do it cheaper, and who will check his licences NO ONE. Not only do we need endorsements most of the major Data companies want you to have done there own courses again at your expense so companies can offer warranties on the cable and installation anyway. When will it stop, when all of the smaller business are broke !!!
Date 2013-08-07 16:27:30 Posted By John G Comment Link
Labor Party Brilliance! I cant think of anything better then spending $1000’s on staff for information they have already learned and been practicing in the field for longer then Labor has been in power! Next thing you know they will charge us to use water… oh wait… too late! Just a quick list if you would like to get into the industry: – Personal Security License – Corporate Security License – Compulsory Security Association Membership – Finger Print Fees – Cabling License – Compulsory Cabling Industry Association Registration – Company & Public Liability Insurance – Workers Compensation – Superannuation – NOW A NEW CABLING LICENSE – (Not to mention vehicle registration and insurance) At what stage can I make my mortgage payments? That’s right… LAST!
Date 2013-08-07 12:59:03 Posted By Doug Tetonga Comment Link
Hi Guys, Great story… absolutely love it great work. Cheers Doug

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