Engineering Services SKILLcard and the Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Industry Board (ACRIB) have launched a joint ACRIB/SKILLcard scheme.
The new cards combine the environmental responsibilities of refrigerant handling under the ACRIB Registration scheme and the health and safety requirements of the Engineering Services SKILLcard into one single registration process.
The cards will independently verify that the holder has demonstrated competence in handling of various refrigerants as well as health and safety, and will display any additional relevant qualifications. Registration continues to be voluntary, but it is expected to rapidly become a mandatory requirement amongst end users.
The wallet-sized cards - White for refrigerant handlers under the construction related occupation scheme and Blue or Gold for technicians and engineers, who hold S/NVQ level qualifications - will each cost £35.
David Bostock, past ACRIB chairman who worked with SKILLcard to introduce this new initiative, commented: “The new ACRIB SKILLcard will combine the benefits of a single joint card scheme with more detailed information about the operative’s qualifications in various refrigerants including carbon dioxide and hydrocarbon. We expect take-up of the register to grow rapidly as a result of increased recognition amongst end users and demand for individuals to prove competence on sites. The ACRIB scheme currently has 5,000 operatives and there is the potential for this to increase to 15,000 or 20,000.”
Bruce Kirton, Chief Executive of HVCA subsidiary Welplan, which administers the SKILLcard scheme, said: “For holders, the new ACRIB/SKILLcard will enhance employment prospects, give access to many construction sites, and improve knowledge and awareness of health and safety in the workplace. For employers, it will help identify operatives’ training needs and be a badge of professionalism.”
Engineering Services SKILLcard, the industry-recognised scheme for the registration of personnel working in the building services engineering sector, has already issued over 100,000 cards on its various schemes.
Three types of new ACRIB/SKILLcards are available: White, Construction Related Occupation Refrigerant Handling card, stipulates that operatives meet SKILLcard health and safety requirements and hold an appropriate refrigerant qualification, such as City and Guilds 2079 ConstructionSkills J11, or ammonia qualifications; Blue, RAC Engineering SKILLcard, specifies that operatives have an NVQ/SVQ Level 2 or equivalent and an appropriate F-Gas qualification; and Gold, Skilled Worker’s card, requires operatives to have an NVQ/SVQ Level 3 or equivalent and an appropriate F-gas qualification.