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ACRIB calls for compulsory register

The Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Industry Board (ACRIB) has made an impassioned plea to the refrigeration and air conditioning industry to support its bid to create a compulsory register for refrigeration engineers.

The organisation is keen to mobilise support before the Government’s F-gas consultation deadline of October 3.

In its consultation document, the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) left out proposals for a register reasoning it had not seen a strong enough case.

Acrib proposes the two existing voluntary registration schemes – the individual engineer focused scheme run by ACRIB, and Refcom’s company focused scheme – should be made mandatory.

As well as being mandatory, it envisages the two registers being low cost, subject to an audit, and requiring members to renew qualifications at least once every five years.

At a press conference in London to rally support for its bid to influence Defra, ACRIB outlined benefits of a compulsory register such as allowing end users (who are liable for prosecution if violations occur) to confirm the qualifications of personnel carrying out work, discouraging the use of forged certificates, and allowing Defra to contact trained personnel to keep them informed of changes in legislation.

The last consultation on F-gas attracted a meagre 20-30 responses and ACRIB feels that feedback from ten times as many people may be needed to persuade Defra on this issue.

In addition, ACRIB said it was important that companies of all sizes, from large firms to one man bands provided input to the consultation.

ACRIB F-gas implementation group chairman Mike Nankivell concluded: “We need a strong message from industry if an integrated company and individual registration scheme is to be achieved. Without an appropriate steer from industry, we will find ourselves subject to a series of bureaucratic, ineffective and impractical solutions.”

For further information on how to take part in the consultation go to our F-Gas information page