Members are key for BESA


24 August 2021

ACR Journal takes a look at BESA and how it has become an active member of ACRIB, representing refrigeration, air conditioning and ventilation services and contractors.

The Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Industry Board (ACRIB) is a central forum for trade associations and professional bodies from all sectors and interests in or served by the RACHP industry. Established for over 20 years, ACRIB has been involved in supporting the UK Government in implementing F-Gas legislation, providing a balanced input to policymakers and legislators, and responding to legislative consultations and meeting with Government representatives while offering technical advice and industry guidance on good practice.

Several trade organisations are members of the ACRIB Board, including the Building Engineering Services Association (BESA, previously known as the HVCA). The organisation is a trade association representing and supporting its members active in the design, installation, commissioning, maintenance, control and management of engineering systems and services in buildings throughout the whole of the UK.

Members’ voice

BESA operates several specialist groups, including the RACHP Group (Refrigeration Air Conditioning and Heat Pumps), who are active members of ACRIB and represent broadly the building services engineering contractors in the air conditioning and ventilation sector as well as commercial refrigeration contracting. It has three members of the BESA RACHP Group sitting on the ACRIB Board and has provided a number of prominent ACRIB Chairs from its membership – many of whom have provided leadership for the whole sector over many years, driving forward the issues that affect contractors so much, such as education, training and technical standards. BESA feels it is essential for its members to be at the heart of the decision making process in driving the sector forward and improving the commercial landscape its members need to thrive in, in addition in representing their interests to Government departments and NGOs.

David Frise, group chief executive officer at BESA

BESA’s mission is to act as our member’s voice, representing the best interests of firms active within the built environment at a regional and national level. Its members range from the smallest enterprises to the largest organisations within the industry, and it offers specialist support services, training courses and advice that is tailored to meet individual requirements.
A range of member benefits will help members win work, get paid, be supported, and demonstrate competency and compliance. Free technical, HR, legal and H&S guidance is available and support from the BESA team of experts. It also offers a range of discounted benefits ranging from industry software, employee benefits, business insurance, technical publications, free Jobs Board and Trustmark status, plus many more.

Extensive network

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BESA has a number of subsidiary companies that support members and the building engineering services industry, including REFCOM, Engineering Services SKILLcard, BESA Academy, SFG20, BESCA and its schemes, the BESCA Vent Hygiene Elite and BESCA Competent Person Scheme and Welplan.

REFCOM is the UK’s original and market-leading F-Gas register, with over 6,700 F-Gas members, over 300 members of its REFCOM Elite scheme and many manufacturers, distributors and wholesalers are part of its REFCOM Elite Supplier scheme. 

They offer a range of benefits to its members, from discounted F-Gas software, business insurance, training to free technical guidance and support. In addition, REFCOM has fully supported the moves towards a national register of operatives to sit alongside the company registration introduced by the F-Gas legislation and support this by asking REFCOM Elite members to have their engineers registered with ACRIB SKILLcards.

Engineering Services SKILLcard is the industry recognised card issuing and personnel registration scheme for people working in the mechanical sector of the building engineering services industry throughout the UK. For those working in the RAC sector, they offer the Blue/Gold ACRIB/SKILLcard Refrigeration/Air Conditioning Engineer SKILLcard and the White ACRIB Refrigerant Handler SKILLcard, which will enable you to gain access to site.

BESA Academy is the training and apprenticeship arm of the Association and the learning solution for the building engineering services sector. They offer RAC apprenticeships, free online CPD, online F-Gas Renewal course, a range of refrigeration courses throughout their approved training centres in the UK and an online H&SE test, which meets the health and safety requirements for all Craft and Operative SKILLcards.