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Responsible Refrigeration No 75

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Responsible Refrigeration No 75

On July 22, 2022, Posted by , In Director's Column, By , , With No Comments

Many refrigeration and air conditioning practitioners applying for registration with SAQCC Gas do not complete the application form correctly or in full. This places a burden on the SARACCA office which has the responsibility for assessing and verifying an application and recommending a category of registration to SAQCC Gas.

First up is the question to be answered “Position held in company?” this space is sometimes left blank. Then the term artisan or electrician or refrigeration technician is written, which is good provided the supporting trade test documentation is provided. Some applicants fill in this falsely in that they do not have a trade qualification.

The block below on the application is a request for details of the applicant’s trade qualification. And as is asked is the trade qualification certificate. The years of apprenticeship are important for the final assessment.

TRADE QUALIFICATIONS

Trade apprenticeship or     learner-ship 
Training periodFrom                                                                           To
Year trade test certificate issued 
Employer during Apprenticeship/learner-ship: 
Other Skills training attended and qualifications achieved   

Please remember to attach all certificates of trade and other courses and qualification

The trade qualification is important for the grading of applications because of the difference in skills between an artisan and a non-trade tested installer. An applicant must fill this information if he/she has passed a trade test. The important trades that we recognise for registration in category ‘B’ are;

                Refrigeration mechanic.

            Electrician with experience in refrigeration.

            Millwright with experience in refrigeration.

Another trade that does come up is a fitter and turner in the ammonia refrigeration sector of the industry. Then there are the auto electricians and motor mechanics who work with refrigerated transport and vehicle air conditioning. These are recognised depending on the experience in refrigeration and the skills acquired in these specialist fields.

 EXPERIENCE

Date fromDate  To  Employer  Experience and types of system worked on
    
    

The next part of the document that gives us a great deal of concern in assessing the category grading is the experience portion. We see many applications where the applicant gives an excellent detail of the type of work they do and types of refrigerant. This helps in deciding the grading category. Many simply leave this blank, which is of no help at all. Some in their wisdom just write “air conditioning” or “HVAC” or “Refrigeration”. What does this mean? It is meaningless and of no help. This now creates a delay in processing the application whether it is a first time or a renewal. An email request has to be sent then there is a delay in getting a reply which leaves the application hanging. The question now is do the applicants work on room air conditioners or roof top package units or central plant water chillers? Maybe they work on domestic refrigerators using R134a or possibly R290 and R600a, there is an important difference between the two. Refrigeration the plants they work on could be supermarket simplex systems or multiplex system, again a difference between the two. Could it be the plant is running on CO²? Is it a transcritical system or a cascade system? Maybe the refrigeration is serving a cold store on F gas or Ammonia. The information must be provided in a clear and readable form for us at SARACCA to make an informed decision and recommendation to SAQCC Gas for the registration. It makes it very difficult to confirm a category of registration when the experience information is scanty.

The qualification and course certificates are very important for us to be able to decide on the level of knowledge and competence. Especially the Trade Test certificate and NQF level 2, 3 and $ certificates if these are available. Other qualifications and courses attended which are related to the type of work being done must be provided. This is especially important if the applicant is an air conditioning unit installer and has attended courses given by the equipment manufacturer covering their product.

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