ACRIB was invited to make a presentation to the DEFRA F Gas Stakeholder meeting in October on take up of F Gas company and individual certification and efforts made to promote these requirements. The presentation below was given by Mike Nankivell, Chairman of the ACRIB F Gas Implementation Group.
The main issues of debate included:
Amendment to interim personnel qualification provisions relating to stationary refrigeration, air conditioning and heat pump equipment Regulation 21: Interim stationary equipment certificates for individuals - stationary equipment
Article 6.2 of Commission Regulation 303/2008 specifies that Member States may apply a system of interim certification for personnel holding an attestation issued under existing qualification schemes.
Currently, regulation 21(1) states that, for the purposes of Article 6.1 and 6.2 of Commission Regulation 303/2008, an individual who holds an interim qualification obtained before the date of the coming into force of the FGG Regulations 2009 (9 March 2009), is the holder of an interim certificate as regards the activity to which the interim certificate relates. However, it has recently become apparent that there are a number of personnel who have obtained an interim certificate after 9 March 2009 who cannot benefit from these interim provisions. This is also problematic for trainees who were enrolled on a course of training prior to 9 March 2009 but who had not completed their training and obtained an interim certificate by the 9 March 2009.
Article 6.2 of Commission Regulation 303/2008 does not specify a date by which an individual must obtain an interim certificate. The only requirement is that interim certificates referred to in Article 6.2 shall expire on the 4 July 2011 at the latest. Therefore, in order to allow both personnel who have obtained an interim certificate after the date that the FGG Regulations 2009 entered into force and trainees who are currently enrolled on a course, to benefit from the transitional provisions through to 4 July 2011, regulation 21(1) will be amended accordingly.
This amendment is a technical rather than a substantive change.
In accordance with EC Regulation 842/2006 on certain fluorinated greenhouse gases (the EC F gas Regulation), the Commission has a duty to establish minimum qualification and company certification requirements under Article 5 of the 2006 Regulation. These requirements mean that only appropriately qualified personnel should carry out skilled tasks involving F gases in order to avoid unnecessary emissions and ensure proper recovery of F gases and only certified companies should provide work with F gases that involves breaking into circuits. Member States then have to establish or adapt their own training/certification requirements to meet the minimum Commission requirements.
The minimum requirements for certification of personnel working on stationary refrigeration and air conditioning systems (RAC) containing F gases are set out in Commission Regulation EC 303/2008. Article 4.2 of Commission Regulation 303/2008 refers to four different levels of certification, which allow personnel to carry out different activities.
Regulation 20(1) of the Fluorinated Greenhouse Gases Regulations 2009 (FGG Regulations 2009), makes it an offence if an individual who recovers F gases installs, maintains or services equipment of any size, does not have a "stationary equipment qualification". A "stationary equipment qualification" is defined in regulation 20(9)(b) as a "valid certificate issued by the City and Guilds of London Institute or by the Construction Industry Training Board under Article 5.1, 5.3 or 5.4 of Commission Regulation 303/2008.
However, there are certain exemptions from these requirements, including transitional qualification provisions for personnel through to 4 July 2011 who already have an existing qualification or who are enrolled on a course of training to obtain a stationary equipment qualification.
19 June 2009
REFCOM has this week signed an agreement with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) confirming its appointment as a mandatory F gas company certification body for businesses operating in the stationary refrigeration, air-conditioning and heat-pump (SRAC) sector in Great Britain.
This concludes discussions between Defra and REFCOM to finalise the details of an agreement reached in principle in February 2009. A similar agreement is about to be signed with the Department of the Environment for SRAC businesses operating in Northern Ireland.
Company certification is a legal requirement under Sections 23 and 24 of the Fluorinated Greenhouse Gases (FGG) Regulations 2009 which became law in March this year.
To comply with the regulations, businesses that install, maintain or service stationary refrigeration, air-conditioning and/or heat pump equipment containing F gases must obtain by July 4th 2009 either an interim or full company certificate. Key to the new regime are the new personnel refrigerant handling qualifications City & Guilds 2079 and CITB J11-J14 which have been developed specifically to meet the requirements of the FGG regulations.
To obtain an interim company certificate, businesses must employ engineers holding either:
Interim certificates are valid until July 2011 to allow time for engineers to gain the new qualifications. After July 2011 all businesses must hold a full company certificate.
To obtain a full company certificate, businesses must employ engineers that have the new City & Guilds 2079 or CITB J11-J14 qualifications. In addition, businesses must also prove that they have in place appropriate recovery systems and refrigerant handling procedures.
Details on the F gas company certification are to be found at http://www.refcom.org.uk where Information is given regarding :
These qualifications enable refrigeration engineers to meet legal requirements in relation to the qualifications required to work with Fluorinated Greenhouse Gasses, otherwise known as F Gasses. The F Gas Regulations have been putin place by DEFRA to help EC countries meet the Kyoto protocol targets.
This qualification is set go live on 01 December 2008. Please refer to the handbook for details on the approval process.
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