UK: narrowing the natural refrigerant training gap

By Sabine Lobnig, Nov 25, 2010, 12:55 1 minute reading

According to the latest edition of the RAC Magazine, the UK's leading vocational awarding organisation will soon be offering a National Vocational Qualification level 3 course, designed to address the skills shortage in relation to refrigeration systems using natural refrigerants, including hydrocarbons.

City & Guilds will be accepting applicants for the course as of January 2011. Put together by industry experts at the British Refrigeration Association, the course will encompass 200 hours of training to cover aspects related to natural refrigerant systems at different stages:
  • Design
  • Installation
  • Commissioning
  • Servicing
The hours will be split between theoretical and practical sessions involving test rigs, while it will also cover health and safety as well as regulatory compliance issues.

A smoother transition to HFC-free stores

The City & Guilds qualification will ensure the provision of qualified natural refrigeration engineers and eventually enable major UK food retailers hold up to their commitments to switching over to HFC-free refrigeration technologies for cooling their stores.

Waitrose for example has pledged to roll out propane based refrigeration technology to all of its stores by 2020, while Sainsbury's, Marks & Spencer and Tesco have opted for natural refrigerant CO2 for their new stores.

Progress with F-gas training in the UK

Earlier this autumn, Refcom, the UK Department for the Environment and Rural Affairs released figures that indicated some progress in the UK with regards to complying with training requirements compelled by the European F-Gas Regulation.

According to the figures, as of September 2010 - just nine months away from the deadline for F-gas qualifications - over 70% of businesses held F-Gas company certification while only a quarter of engineers had obtained the new F-Gas qualification. This translated into 4,438 companies holding F-Gas registration and 6,723 engineers having full certification. 


By Sabine Lobnig

Nov 25, 2010, 12:55

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