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UK:  The new Refrigeration Air Conditioning and Heat Pump (RACHP) Engineering Technician Apprenticeship standard and assessment strategy has now been published on the list of approved standards on the Government Trailblazer website.

The Refrigeration Air Conditioning and Heat Pump (RACHP) Engineering Technician Apprenticeship Standard reflects the needs of employers who employ a range of apprentices to carry out work in a variety of roles in installation, commissioning, service and maintenance of systems in a variety of application use such as retail refrigeration in supermarkets, bespoke industrial freezing processes, and air conditioning or heat pumping in commercial buildings.

The standard and the assessment plan have been developed by employers in consultation with providers over the past 18 months, supported by the Institute of Refrigeration Education Committee.

IOR President, Graeme Maidment, commented "We are delighted that the IOR's leadership in education in the RACHP sector has been recognised as a trailblazer.  The new Apprenticeship has been developed on conjunction with employers and in consultation with providers. This has resulted in a framework that is forward-looking and will provide the educational foundation for the needs of our industry. We look forward to supporting all employers in the RACHP sector in implementing the new apprenticeship scheme from September 2016."

It is hoped that employers will be able to start Apprentices on the new scheme from September 2016.  Assessment Organisations (such City & Guilds) need to register for approval before they can begin developing materials for the new Apprenticeship (such as workbooks, on line exams, specifications for practical tests and setting up an independent end point assessment panels). It is a recommendation in the new Apprenticeship that input from professional institutes such as the IOR is gained in the development of these materials or qualifications, to ensure that current industry standards are met and that they satisfy Engineering Council Engineering Technician requirements.

Employers will be able to choose which Assessment Organisation and Training Organisation they want to use for the RACHP Apprenticeship, and allocate the matched Government funding accordingly. The government Apprenticeship website will list the options available to employers and explain how much funding is available in due course.

The new Standard and Assessment plans place a much stronger emphasis on core refrigeration principles and science, backed up with practical assessments.

For further information about the new Apprenticeship standard: refrigeration air conditioning & heat pump engineering technician (ready for delivery) click here.


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Fujitsu air conditioningUK:  Fujitsu has released details of its latest product training courses running from this autumn through to spring 2016.

In all their are 10 courses ranging from an introduction to Fujitsu products, to hands-on training courses in the installation, commissioning and troubleshooting of VRF central controllers, splits and multi-splits, VRF and mini-VRF.

There are also specialist courses on advanced service and troubleshooting, including Service Tool, Air to Water (ATW) systems, VRF system application and design, and a new course on their Design Simulator software.

The other new course is on the design, installation and commissioning of AHU DX Kit and Freeverter Options.

Fujitsu say their courses have been developed to make contractors much more fluent in designing and installing Fujitsu air conditioning and deepen knowledge of Fujitsu’s air conditioning products, their benefits and their ideal applications.

All of the air conditioning courses are taught by Fujitsu’s highly skilled in-house engineers and are free of charge and delegates receive a certificate on completion. The scheduled courses take place at Fujitsu’s state of the art training facilities at its headquarters in Elstree, Hertfordshire.

Click here to access the full list of courses or to download the training request form. Alternatively you can contact FG Eurofred at for further information.


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UK:  Daikin UK and Business Edge have joined forces to provide training for installers on the mildly flammable refrigerant R32.

The Business Edge training facilities, which have been providing HVAC training courses for 25 years (including all categories of F-Gas qualification since 2009), are the first in the UK to provide engineers’ access to train on ten R32 split systems.

Following the introduction of the F-Gas regulations and the move towards using low carbon refrigerants such as R32, installer training is becoming significantly important to the HVAC industry.

As F-Gas qualifications need to be proven, for example, at wholesalers when purchasing HFC refrigerants and equipment, the need to update and upgrade F-Gas certification is necessary for many installers, with engineers of all ages requiring a ‘refresh’ in their refrigerant knowledge.

Working alongside Business Edge to encourage engineers to continue their professional development, Daikin UK supplied the ten Daikin FTXM R32 split heat pump systems now in use at the Business Edge training facilities, as well as training course material put together by Daikin UK’s Legislation Expert, Graham Wright.

Alongside practical training, a classroom-based theoretical session provides engineers with vital safety knowledge specific to R32 installations, such as the required level of ventilation and the monitoring of potential flammable limits needed throughout the installation process.

For further information contact Business Edge on 02392 230 007 or email

Related Articles:

HFC-32 Refrigerant & Servicing


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UK:  Following the approval of the new Apprenticeship standard for the Refrigeration, Air Conditioning and Heat Pump (RACHP) Engineering Technician by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) earlier this year, the employers group with the support of the Institute of Refrigeration (IOR) and the Air Conditioning & Refrigeration Industry Board (ACRIB) is now working on the next stage of development of the RACHP Apprenticeship.  

Under the new Government standards, apprenticeships have to be supported with an Assessment Plan which outlines the principles for things like independent assessment of Apprentices at the end of their programme; quality assurance measures; examination methods; mandatory qualifications; the role of Training Organisations and Awarding Organisations.

The following diagram publshed on the Institute of Refrigeration website shows how the Assessment Plan for this Apprenticeship is developing (note this is only a draft and has not been approved or finalised as yet).  

RACHP Engineering Technician Apprenticeship - Proposed Assessment PrinciplesRACHP Engineering Technician Apprenticeship - Proposed Assessment Principles

RACHP Engineering Technician Apprenticeship - Required knowledge, skills, behavioursRACHP Engineering Technician Apprenticeship - End point assessment

Once the Plan is finalised and approved by Government, the next stage will be for funding to be approved and then Awarding Organisations and Training Organisations can register to deliver the Apprenticeship. There will be a lot more work around providing supporting workbooks, frameworks for gathering workplace evidence, guidance for employers, mapping evidence to Engineering Council standards; setting up independent Assessment Panels and End Test arrangements. Awarding organisations will also be able to develop qualifications to support the delivery of the standard, in association with industry.

Anyone wishing to be involved in the on going development process and consultations should contact the IOR here.

Related Articles:

New RACHP Apprenticeship Standard Gets Green Light

RACHP Apprenticeship Trailblazer Employers Group Revealed

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UK:  Daikin UK has opened a new £1.1m national training and technology centre in Woking, Surrey, demonstrating the company’s commitment to advancing the future of the industry by helping to meet the demand for suitably qualified and experienced engineers.

The new training centre aims to provide engineers with the specialist product and installation skills required to support the expansion of the air conditioning industry and encourage the growth of the UK renewables market.

The European heat pump market has seen significant growth in the last two years, opening up new business opportunities for installers, so it is now an urgent requirement for HVAC companies to have access to a wider skill base of design, installation and commissioning engineers to cope with demand for high quality installations.

The engineering skills shortage is seen as one of the biggest challenges for HVAC installation companies in the UK today. A recent report by Daikin UK found that 83% of HVAC companies are finding it very difficult to hire suitably qualified engineers.

Daikin’s survey also revealed that 99% of companies found product training from manufacturers useful, with 60% wanting training in the latest software tools, and the majority of companies preferring ‘hands on tools’ training over and above online or classroom based training.

John Durbin, Daikin UK’s Technical Sales Manager, who led the training centre development project, said: “Our UK training centres are designed to help raise the standards of UK HVACR engineers. At Daikin UK, we recognise the business potential for expertly trained installers and we want to help the HVACR industry to grow by training professionals to have the very latest product and service capabilities. We have listened to the market and we are addressing the issues they are facing at present by creating a variety of market-relevant courses.

“Practical, hands-on product training is in high demand and the new facility in Woking stands as an exemplar of this kind of teaching for the entire industry. We hope that installers will take the time to visit the new centre in Woking and see the array of courses and facilities we have available to help them develop their skills even further.”

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UK:  Cool Designs Ltd, the expanding Toshiba Air Conditioning distributor, has opened a new training centre in Glasgow, to serve installers North of the Border.

The new facility, based at College Milton, East Kilbride, will offer the full range of Toshiba courses, covering theory and practical skills in installation, commissioning and trouble-shooting.

It will also provide refreshers on the recent changes to F-Gas legislation, and what they mean for contractors and end users, in terms of the mandatory requirements on refrigerant leak tests, record keeping and certification of engineers.

Delegates on one of the first coursesThe centre is equipped with working examples of air conditioning systems, including Toshiba’s SMMS mini-VRF, enabling delegates to receive a thorough grounding in the principles of variable refrigerant flow systems and related controls.

CDL now operates three dedicated air conditioning training centres, with the other facilities located in Sunderland and Warrington. It also runs courses from Toshiba’s national training centre in Leatherhead.

Heading up CDL’s expanding training programme is training manager Peter Bradley, who has many years’ experience in the industry across a wide range of equipment types and application areas.

The company now has capacity to train more than 200 engineers a year. With access to Toshiba’s flagship facility in Surrey, CDL is now one of the largest providers of specialist air conditioning training among distributors in the UK.

Its programme includes a mix of scheduled and ad hoc courses, arranged to meet the needs of customers. CDL also offers external training on customers’ premises, to maximize time effectiveness for busy installation and service departments.

CDL’s commitment to training was an important element in the company’s recent success in a national industry awards, where it won the Distributor of the Year Award 2015.

Darrel Birkett, managing director, said: “We believe in investing in training, both for our own staff, our customers and for the industry as a whole. It is not just philanthropic but makes total business sense.

“One of the biggest constraints on the growth of the air conditioning industry is the availability of skilled engineers. As a successful and growing distributor, we have a responsibility to help grow the next generation, and make sure today’s staff are fully up-to-speed, on the technology, the environment and the regulations. That way everyone benefits.”

He added: “Toshiba have been extremely supportive, which has helped us roll-out the CDL training network in a fast-track programme.”

For details of upcoming courses, call East Kilbride on 01355 234776 or via CDL’s Sunderland headquarters on 0191 5496964.


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UK:  The Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) on the 12th Match 2015 published the new Apprenticeship standard for the Refrigeration, Air Conditioning and Heat Pump (RACHP) Engineering Technician.

This new standard has been developed by employers in the RACHP industry and details the occupational profile, knowledge, skills and qualifications required when carrying out an apprenticeship to become a refrigeration, air conditioning and heat pump engineer in the UK.

The new standards will replace all the current apprenticeship frameworks by the academic year 2017 to 2018.

Typical job titles

Refrigeration Technician/Engineer, Air Conditioning Technician/Engineering, Heat pump Technician/Engineer, Service Technician/Engineer, Maintenance Technician/Engineer, Commissioning Engineer.

Occupational profile

The Refrigeration Air Conditioning and Heat Pump (RACHP) Engineering Technician is a specialist occupation involved in planning, preparing and safely carrying out work activities in process, product and space cooling. Knowledge must be transferrable between any of the core activities of refrigeration, air conditioning or heat pumping. The work is carried out in a variety of applications essential for key UK business activities such as food production, product distribution, retail storage and display, transport and office climate control, manufacturing processes (eg petrochemical, pharmaceutical), IT/Datacentres and medical/healthcare services temperature and environmental control.

Key activities are: the design, installation, routine maintenance, reactive service, commissioning and de-commissioning of Refrigeration, Air Conditioning and Heat Pump systems. Technicians require a thorough competency in their understanding of the engineering principles of thermodynamics and the vapour compression cycle in order to perform operations. A fully competent technician works without immediate supervision, and liaises effectively with other trades and with end users.

Environmental, legislation and technology changes mean that the requirements for technicians in this sector are constantly evolving. European and UK Safety and Environmental legislation are key drivers in rapid technology changes in the sector which is responsible for an estimated 10% of UK greenhouse gas emissions and 16% of electricity use. RACHP Engineering Technicians have important responsibilities for the safety of themselves, work colleagues and the general public as well as minimising the environmental impact of cooling systems.

Requirements: Knowledge, Skills and Behaviours

Knowledge and skills for refrigeration, air conditioning and heat heat engineers in the UK from 2017


Typically 36 months would be required to gather sufficient practical experience.

Mandatory Qualifications

All apprentices must achieve a “Level 2 Certificate in F Gas and ODS Regulations Category 1” as this is a legal requirement under the EU F Gas Regulation 517/2014 to work on equipment containing Fluorinated Refrigerants.

Employers who recruit candidates without English or Maths at Level 2 or above must ensure that the apprentice achieves this standard prior to the completion of the Apprenticeship.

Link to professional registration

This standard is designed to meet the professional standards of the Engineering Council for registration as an Engineering Technician (EngTech) in partnership with the Institute of Refrigeration and CIBSE.


Level 3 is the appropriate level for Engineering Technicians who need to work without supervision and have a high level of responsibility.

To be reviewed

After three years


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UK:  In a major step forward in improving skills and encouraging young people to take up careers in the sector, the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) has today (12th March 2015) confirmed their approval of a new Apprenticeship standard for the Refrigeration, Air Conditioning and Heat Pump (RACHP) Engineering Technician.

The new standard developed by employers in the industry, with the support of the Institute of Refrigeration (IOR) and the Air Conditioning & Refrigeration Industry Board (ACRIB), will replace all the current apprenticeship frameworks by the academic year 2017 to 2018, and outlines the knowledge, skills and behaviours needed to achieve full competence in RACHP Engineering Technician job roles.

Skills Minister Nick Boles said, “Apprenticeships are a real success story. Through giving leading employers in your sector the power to design and deliver high quality apprenticeships we can give young people the skills our economy vitally needs.

"I congratulate the members of the Refrigeration, Air Conditioning and Heat Pump Engineering Trailblazer on their involvement in designing the new apprenticeships for RACHP Engineering Technicians, which we have published today.”

IOR President, Graeme Maidment said, “The Institute of Refrigeration is proud to be working with so many employers, trainers and with trade associations through ACRIB on this exciting, ground-breaking project. There is much more work to be done to bring this new standard to the market but we are confident that with continued high levels of support from employers, it will make an immediate and lasting contribution to the future of the industry.“

The chairman of the working group behind the new apprenticeship standard John Austin-Davies said, “Training to a consistent, and nationally agreed standard, is more important in this industry now than ever before. Our Industry is a major energy user, and in addition to the energy consumption there are other very significant environmental aspects, all of which mean that the technology is moving fast. We must be confident that we have a well-prepared workforce to install safely and correctly, and maintain working with optimum efficiency. The Apprenticeship Trailblazer programme is the best opportunity we have to make the step-change necessary.”

You can view the new Apprenticeship standard for future RACHP engineering technicians here 

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USA:  Highlighting its devotion to Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education, Emerson have launched a new ad, marketing and social media campaign, including YouTube star Hank Green in a television commercial set to launch tonight on CBS’ The Big Bang Theory.

The campaign is another “transformational” turn for a company whose consistent reinvention of itself over more than a century has led to its becoming one of the world’s engineering and technology leaders, and is the centerpiece of Emerson’s celebration of its 125th anniversary.

Emerson’s campaign goal is to inspire and empower the next generation of engineers by connecting science to technological advances and modern conveniences. In fact, Emerson sees the campaign as a new way to express its core brand idea of “Engineering Full-On.”

Emerson Chief Marketing Officer Kathy Button Bell said, “Hank is a relevant, wildly popular ‘Geek-Chic’ celebrity and the perfect person to tell our story his way to the young talent we need to join us on this journey.

“Young men and women can relate to Hank. He makes science fun and accessible in an easy-to-consume, colorful and often musical video format.”

Emerson has embraced and supported a wide range of STEM initiatives for many years in the communities where it operates. A multimillion dollar commitment to STEM and robotics programs through 2020 has supported or will expand activities within organizations and schools such as Girls Scouts of Eastern Missouri; STEMpact; Harris-Stowe University; University of Missouri-St. Louis; Girl Start in Austin, Texas; Air Camp in Dayton, Ohio; and Edina Public Schools, in Minnesota. The campaign announced today, however, marks its most ambitious effort in this area.

Emerson’s year-long 125th Anniversary celebration publicly launches with today’s campaign kick-off on CBS, in The Wall Street Journal and ringing the closing bell on the NYSE. In addition to the TV commercial, the campaign includes an “I Love STEM” destination on, print/digital advertising and a social media program. Also on February 19, Emerson will officially salute its 110,000+ employees with a special 30-second commercial called “Brief Moment of Joy,” which will air on CNBC, Fox News/Business and Golf Channel, spotlighting Emerson employees. Emerson will also continue running its award-winning “Never Been Done Before” TV, print and digital campaign.

For more information and to view the campaign, visit

About Emerson

Emerson (NYSE:EMR), based in St. Louis, Missouri (USA), is a global leader in bringing technology and engineering together to provide innovative solutions for customers in industrial, commercial and consumer markets around the world. The company is comprised of five business segments: Process Management, Industrial Automation, Network Power, Climate Technologies and Commercial & Residential Solutions. Sales in fiscal 2014 were $24.5 billion. For more information, visit


Fridgehub, providing information and resources to Refrigeration, Air Conditioning and Heat Pump Suppliers, Contractors and Retail Business Operators

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EUROPE:  Following the successful piloting and testing of the e-learning courses, REAL Alternatives has announced that the English language version of the REAL Alternatives Blended learning programme will launch on 19th March with a free webinar introduction.

The REAL Alternatives project, led by a consortium of educational institutions and bodies from the UK, Italy, Germany, Poland and Belgium is designed to improve knowledge of alternatives to high GWP refrigerants, and includes e-learning modules, supplemented with learning booklets, interactive tools and an e-library of user-generated industry information about alternative refrigerants.

The webinar starts at 2pm and closes at 3.15pm. It will feature the following presentations from industry representatives: 

The evolution of approaches to Refrigerant Emissions and Leakage reduction, from Graeme Maidment

  • The link between efficiency, cost and leakage
  • Good practice in design and maintenance of systems
  • Why Alternative refrigerants?
  • The blended learning approach (materials, library, e-learning and classroom)

Legislative drivers and limitations for moving to alternative refrigerants, Ray Gluckman

  • The impact of the F Gas Regulations
  • Challenges for the future of refrigeration use
  • The wider international context

REAL Alternatives: safety, efficiency, containment and training, Jane Gartshore

  • What is an alternative refrigerant and why are they different?
  • Design choices for minimising environmental impact
  • Delivering improved knowledge and understanding for technicians

The presentations will be followed by a demonstration of REAL Alternatives e-learning, library and training booklets and a Question and Answer session with webinar participants.  

You can register for the webinar at

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Fridgehub, providing information and resources to Refrigeration, Air Conditioning and Heat Pump Suppliers, Contractors and Retail Business Operators

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