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New F-Gas qualifications given Defra thumbs-up

The introduction of two new qualifications by City & Guilds has been validated by Defra for F-Gas qualification. The move follows confusion over their legality among training providers.

Refcom secretary Steve Crocker said: “We had a situation towards the back end of last year and the beginning of this year where training providers were training apprentices, only to find that they couldn’t guarantee that the modules they were teaching were a recognised equivalent to the existing F-Gas qualifications.

“It is important for companies to understand that there are choices in terms of F-Gas qualifications. City & Guilds has introduced two new qualifications and Defra has reassured me that they are valid for company F-Gas certification.”

Defra told Mr Crocker: “Learners will be issued with a certificate of unit credit demonstrating that they are F-Gas Category 1 competent once they have successfully completed either units 230/530 together or units 209/509 together, consisting of a multiple choice test and practical test. They will not have to wait until completing all of the other units from the 6187 or 7189 NVQ diplomas.”

The new qualifications join two existing qualifications – C&G 2079 Category 1 refrigerant handling and the Construction Skills J11 safe handling – that have been in place for the past four years.

 “When they go to college, they do these modules first so they become qualified under F-Gas and the ODS (Ozone Depleting Substances) Regulations,” said Mr Crocker.

“This means they can legally work on systems more or less straightaway and are therefore more ‘useful’ to their employer. Once they have completed the modules, they finish the rest of the course over two or three years.”

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