By Barney Richardson

This year SARACCA embarked on a recognition process to bring uniformity to training in the safe handling of refrigerants regarding the registration of authorised refrigeration gas practitioners with SAQCC Gas.

This duty is performed by us as an accredited association member of SAQCC Gas with the responsibility to review and process applications for registration of authorised refrigerant gas practitioners in the refrigeration and air conditioning industry in terms of the pressure equipment regulations incorporated in the OHS Act.

South Africa, as a signatory country to the Montreal Protocol, has the obligation to abide by the requirements as set out by the Montreal Protocol and its amendments to ensure that all persons handling refrigerants are trained in the safe use and understand the requirements and responsibilities regarding the recovery of refrigerants and the phase-out of HCFCs and HFCs. There is also the additional knowledge requirement of handling the natural refrigerants.

Accreditation recognition is given to training providers who offer learning programmes aligned to the NQF registered unit standards and qualifications. This recognition must also be seen as an audit of the provider’s learning programme and assessment system. It ensures that learning and assessments result in a nationally recognised formal qualification. Applications have been made with DHET and QCTO to achieve this goal within a new National Skills Programme.

It is important that one high-quality standard of training is presented nationally. Only skills development providers that meet the minimum requirements will be accredited by SARACCA. All skills development providers having a core business as training of learners and apprentices for the refrigeration and air conditioning industry must be accredited by the Quality Council of Trades and Occupations (QCTO).

This is important. The accreditation must be valid for periods of three years on renewals. The refrigeration and air conditioning industry’s skills development is facilitated by merSETA as a quality assurance partner to QCTO, and is responsible for the quality assurance through its quality assurance section. QCTO is responsible for the quality assurance of registered qualifications which include the historically registered qualifications.

A recognised training centre must be equipped with a classroom and have the necessary refrigeration learning material available to hand out to candidates. There must be a workshop facility with serviceable cold and freezer rooms for students to work on and be assessed on recovery, pressure testing, evacuation and refrigerant charging.

Other refrigeration or air conditioning equipment from which the refrigerant can be recovered, pressure tested, evacuated and then charged with the appropriate refrigerant must also be available.

The candidates must have access to all necessary refrigeration trade tools and equipment such as recovery units, vacuum pumps, gas cylinders and so on, for the tasks forming the practical assessment.

A facilitator must be an experienced lecturer in the training of refrigeration and air conditioning who is a qualified refrigeration mechanic artisan and is registered with SAQCC Gas.

Trainers must be qualified and accredited by merSETA as assessors for the theoretical and practical assessments. Full and proper records of the training and assessments must be kept.

A moderator accredited by merSETA must do an internal moderation of the theoretical and practical assessments. The assessor and the moderator must not be the same person.

 Training Centre  Area of training  Contact Person
 ACRA  (Airconditioning & Refrigeration Academy) Kempton Park  All A1, A2, A3 & B2 refrigerants   Grant Laidlaw
 MCD Training Centre Vereeniging  All A1 & A3 refrigerants   Jannie Kotze
 Ifihile Training Academy Midrand  All A1 & A3 refrigerants   Ben Ackerman
Kwa Zulu-Natal
 Paddy’s Refrigeration and Air Conditioning  All A1 & A3 refrigerants   Leshen Padayachee
 Shukela Training Centre Mount Edgecombe  All A1 & A3 refrigerants   Kevin Crawford
 ACRA  (Airconditioning & Refrigeration Academy) Umbilo   All A1 & A3 refrigerants    Gordon Banks
 Dawsons Training Academy Durban   Automotive AC  Gary Dawson
Eastern Cape 
 IETISA  (Industry Education and Training Institute) Port Elizabeth  All A1 & A3 refrigerants    Craig Hendricks
 Simon Laford
Western Cape 
 Techniskills Montague Gardens  All A1,A3 & B2 refrigerants   Geoff Hobbs
 Ammonia Training Solutions (ACRA) Cape Town  B2 – Ammonia Only  Gerhard Koch
Northern Cape 
 ACRA (Ambient Control)  All A1 & A3 refrigerants    Frances Reineke

Revised 26 OPctober 2020

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