UK: narrowing the natural refrigerant training gap
25 November 2010
IOR assigns gold medal for research in hydrocarbon refrigeration
25 February 2011
ACRIB's and SKILLcard's collaboration is a response to concerns expressed by companies about the number of different registration cards. The joint card will allow raising the trust in the refrigerant handling scheme, while at the same time lowering the costs and speeding up the turn around of applications. A joint steering group will monitor effectiveness, amendment and take up of the scheme.
Scope and objective
The scheme is intended to update and raise the level of competence of individuals working in the refrigeration industry in response to the increasingly important environmental and health and safety demands made by society and the constantly changing technological requirements. This registration scheme is voluntary but provides industry and individuals with an industry-led national standard, which can be recognised by all.
In the UK, the law requires so far that companies obtain certificates in order to carry out f-gas related activities and that individuals hold a valid f-gas qualification. The easiest way for employers or customers to verify that an individual is qualified is to request sight of a single ACRIB SKILLcard.
Qualification in handling natural refrigerants
As many end users are also asking whether individuals are qualified to work on alternative refrigerants such as hydrocarbons, the scheme will also allow the mentioning of additional qualifications such as training in natural refrigerants. The national skills council SUMMITSKILLS together with the awarding body CITY AND GUILDS are currently developing together with the industry certified short courses for handling hydrocarbon refrigerants. Professionals taking these courses will receive a CPD (Continuing Professional Development) Certificate. These national qualifications will be available later in 2011 and will be recognised by the new ACRIB SKILLcard.
Three types of new ACRIB/SKILLcards are available:
- White - Construction Related Occupation Refrigerant Handling card - stipulates that operatives meet SKILLcard health and safety requirements and hold an appropriate refrigerant qualification, such as City and Guilds 2079 ConstructionSkills J11, or ammonia qualifications
- Blue - RAC Engineering SKILLcard - specifies that operatives have an NVQ/SVQ Level 2 or equivalent and an appropriate F-Gas qualification
- Gold - Skilled Worker's card - requires operatives to have an NVQ/SVQ Level 3 or equivalent and an appropriate F-gas qualification