ACRIB (Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Board) has unveiled a new website featuring links and summaries to help end users and employers negotiate some of the complex areas around training, qualifications, technical issues and legislation.
- an interactive map of training providers allowing users to search for centres by post code and check which qualifications or courses they offer.
- links to trade association databases of members to encourage end users to use reputable contractors.
- downloadable application forms for ACRIB SKILLcard – the voluntary ID card scheme that provides evidence of an operative's refrigerant qualifications
- brief summaries of technical issues and legislation for equipment users, employers, technicians and manufacturers
Guide to industry recognised qualifications
It can be difficult for end user and employers to keep up with the changing national qualifications, mandatory certifications and short courses available. The ACRIB website gives an overview of apprenticeships, short courses, F-Gas training. It also explains how the ACRIB SKILLCard can be used to provide evidence of a technician’s qualifications.
Those that already hold ACRIB SKILLcards, which is part of the Engineering Services SCSC scheme, know that this card is a convenient way for technicians working on RACHP equipment to show that they have the required F Gas Certification. The F-Gas Regulations also stipulates that equipment owners can only use F Gas Certified personnel to undertake refrigerant handling activities on their equipment, so a simple card featuring the individual technician’s image and listing their F Gas certificate number as well as all of their other refrigerant handling qualifications such as Hydrocarbon, Ammonia or Carbon Dioxide certificates is essential.
The ACRIB SKILLcards are “smart-card” format which means that a scanner can be used when the individual arrives on site to read all the qualifications registered to that card holder. On the ACRIB website there is a full list of required and optional qualifications that can be included on the cards. A unique feature of this card is that operatives do not need to have a Level 2 or 3 NVQ to gain the construction related operative level “white” card, if they only need this for refrigerant handling work.
Online help and guidance
The ACRIB website is a central point to access free information available from the reputable trade associations, industry professional institutes and government websites. Links to relevant guidance notes are included in regularly updated Technical and Legislation advice sections. ACRIB has also provided brief explanations of some of these requirements and technical issues as an introduction to the topics for those from non-technical backgrounds. The technical guidance section covers a range of topics such as ammonia, carbon dioxide, safety standards and why GWP values change, with handy links to relevant web sites if you need more detailed information. A summary of the most critical legislation provides updates on F Gas regulations, Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS Regulations), Energy Audits, Energy Performance and Building Regulations. There is also a news and press section for visitors to keep abreast of the sector’s latest developments and users can register to receive regular updates to the ACRIB site.
What is ACRIB?
For anyone who may not have heard of ACRIB, it was founded in 1995 as an umbrella body for the key trade associations and institutions active in the refrigeration, air conditioning and heat pump sectors. Members represent trade associations made up of end users, manufacturers, contractors and professional institutions cover refrigeration, air conditioning and heat pumps in the stationary and transport sectors. ACRIB is designed as a forum for the sharing of information, preparing cross industry responses to consultations and a single point of contact for government departments on policy matters affecting the sector. In addition ACRIB contributes to the raising of professional standards by supporting initiatives such as the Apprenticeship revisions, SKILLcard, F Gas certification and raising awareness of changes to RACHP legislation or standards.
To find out more about the members of ACRIB and to see the new website visit http://www.acrib.org.uk