By Barney Richardson

The introduction of the online certificate of conformance (CoC) for both Android and iOS platforms has resulted in the book form of the paper CoC being discontinued.

The CoC books are therefore no longer available and a CoC can only be issued via the online portal. The App can be downloaded from the PlayStore – search for the SAQCC Gas CoC and proceed with the installation. The site will ask if you are registered – in which case if not, you as the practitioner, will have to complete the safe handling of refrigerants course and assessment for registration as an authorised refrigerant gas practitioner with SAQCC Gas.

Registration is achieved by applying via submission of the application form and supporting documentation through SARACCA.

Once you have accessed the online site you will be required to provide details in the blocks shown. Make sure your details are correct, if they are not, contact SAQCC Gas or SARACCA to update your details. You will be asked to create your own unique password for the site. An email and/or SMS will be sent to you with an OTP code to complete the sign-on. A verification email will be sent with the link and login credentials. You will now be able to purchase Certificates of Conformity online.

Who is eligible to sign a CoC?

In the Category A group of only the practitioner with ‘A2’ registration for domestic, beverage coolers and light commercial refrigeration. The ‘A4’ registered practitioners who install and maintain room air conditioning units are permitted to sign a CoC. Others in that category ‘A’ group will not be able to sign a CoC as they generally work under supervision.

All practitioners registered as artisans in category ‘B’ are allowed to sign a CoC within their specialist field of expertise – for example those who work with synthetic F-gas refrigerants, carbon dioxide or Ammonia. In this group are also those practitioners who work on vehicle air conditioning and on refrigerated transport vehicles or in the marine refrigeration field.

Inspectors in refrigeration and air conditioning who are called on to inspect installations that they may not have been originally involved in may issue a CoC for the inspection confirming that the installation does conform to standards of engineering practice, workmanship and operation.

We see in the air conditioning and refrigeration industry, practitioners who don’t issue a certificate of conformity on the completion of an installation or service and repair work.

They say, “I was not asked for a certificate of conformity.” It is not the responsibility of the client, or the plant owner, or user to ask for this. The Pressure Equipment Regulations clearly state in Regulation 17 (3) – “An authorised person or an approved inspection authority shall issue a certificate of conformity after completion of a gas installation, modification, alteration or change of user or ownership.” It does not say that the client, or the owner, or user must ask such. What the regulations do say in Regulation 6 (2e), the user shall “ensure that a gas system has a valid certificate issued by an authorised person.” From this it is clear that it is an obligation of the practitioner who is registered as an authorised person to issue a certificate of conformity without being asked. It should be a matter of pride for the practitioner to show that his/her work is fully-compliant.

When it comes to large installations that are constructed on site from equipment, components and piping supplied by a contractor, there could be a number of practitioners, registered and unregistered, working on the installation. Certificates of manufacture of certain items of pressure equipment will also be required in terms of SANS 347. The senior person in charge of the site-work needs to take responsibility for the CoC which is then included into the handover documents, confirming the contractor’s work to the client. It is important to have documentation of the pressure equipment and components used to back up to the CoC and that there is compliance with all standards.

In the case of smaller equipment or units it is wise to include the manufacturer’s specification and handbook to show that the installation has been done correctly and is compliant.

Barney Richardson

About the author

Barney Richardson is the director of South African Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Contractors Association (SARACCA) and sits on various other boards within the HVAC industry, including the South African Qualifications and Certifications Committee for Gas (SAQCC) Gas.

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