The F-Gas certification body Refcom has claimed a recent audit revealed a 100 per cent compliance rate for randomly selected businesses on the register.
In a statement the organisation said: “The quarterly audit, a legal requirement as part of Refcom’s operating agreement with Defra, was carried out on a randomly selected group of 50 businesses on the Refcom register, and there will be three further audits this year.
“The audit revealed that eventually not one of the selected businesses failed the audit. The majority of businesses who took part in the audit were fully compliant with the F-Gas regulations. The minority who weren’t fully compliant received guidance and then became compliant.
“The results of the quarterly 2012 mandatory scheme F-Gas audit are very similar to the F-Gas audit carried out in 2011. The 2012 audit revealed that, in the first few months of 2012, there were slightly more straight passes than passes that needed to have non-conformances corrected.
“This successfully demonstrates the importance of having effective processes and procedures in place, equipping the in-scope engineers with the proper specialist tools and equipment, and the recording and maintenance of accurate refrigerant handling records.
“Those who refused further attempts at compliance in 2011 were suspended from the Refcom register. Refcom is currently investigating complaints made from within the industry and these on-going investigations are being reported to Defra.”
Refcom secretary Steve Crocker said: “The audit reflected exactly what we expected, namely that the F-Gas Regulations are working and companies registered with Refcom are either compliant or striving to be compliant.
“Taken as a whole, this is great news for the industry, which has repeatedly declared its desire for a fully compliant level playing field for all SRAC businesses.
“Refcom has been providing helpful advice freely to the industry since 1994, and the audit signifies that joining REFCOM guarantees compliance with the F-Gas Regulations.”
Mr Crocker added that the success of the F-Gas Regulations in promoting compliance, as evident in the audit, is further evidence that a phase down is not necessary and should not be made obligatory.
He said: “It is our view still, in line with ACRIB and AREA, that there is no need for a phase down as long as businesses keep the refrigerant contained within the system by using properly compliant businesses that use properly qualified and competent engineers.
“This, of course, is the whole ethos of F-Gas and why contractors in Great Britain and Northern Ireland have spent vast sums of money on training and compliance with F-Gas.”