Developing national competency standards for thermal imaging
The Australian Thermographers Association (ATA) has engaged an independent consultancy group to conduct a comprehensive scoping study into the industry with an aim to provide in-depth insight into the current use of thermal imaging cameras and covering all industries, users and the diverse range of non-accredited courses.
The review, which is being overseen by the Haystack Group, will identify operators, industry sectors using thermal imaging, as well as the size and projected growth of the industry in Australia.
The ATA said the review will also aim to establish current skill sets across all thermographers, non-accredited training courses and the hazards and risks associated with thermography in a non-regulated industry. With concerns about unqualified operators, the ATA is calling for urgent introduction of national competency standards and vocational qualifications for Australia’s thermal imaging industry.
The ATA will also approach relevant industry bodies, government departments (both federal and state) and regulatory bodies to provide input to the scoping study.
Why is regulation required?
According to the ATA, thermal imaging is a rapidly emerging industry yet remains the only unregulated trade skill industry in Australia. Not only is the quality of work an issue, but safety considerations are a significant concern.
“The crossover of thermal imaging into multiple other regulated trade industries has created a hazardous environment that needs to be brought under control,” a spokesperson for the ATA said.
“Left unregulated, a catastrophic event is inevitable.”
The ATA reports that the inability to use thermal cameras due to a lack of skills provides for poor interpretation of results and may lead to improper interpretations of thermograms.
National competency standards will provide for skilled thermographers and, most importantly, will ultimately protect customers, providing them with a degree of assurance that they are receiving services from a trained professional.
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