RACHP Engineering Technician Apprenticeship Standard

RACHP Engineering Technician Apprenticeship Standard

UK:  The Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) on the 12th Match 2015 published the new Apprenticeship standard for the Refrigeration, Air Conditioning and Heat Pump (RACHP) Engineering Technician.

This new standard has been developed by employers in the RACHP industry and details the occupational profile, knowledge, skills and qualifications required when carrying out an apprenticeship to become a refrigeration, air conditioning and heat pump engineer in the UK.

The new standards will replace all the current apprenticeship frameworks by the academic year 2017 to 2018.

Typical job titles

Refrigeration Technician/Engineer, Air Conditioning Technician/Engineering, Heat pump Technician/Engineer, Service Technician/Engineer, Maintenance Technician/Engineer, Commissioning Engineer.

Occupational profile

The Refrigeration Air Conditioning and Heat Pump (RACHP) Engineering Technician is a specialist occupation involved in planning, preparing and safely carrying out work activities in process, product and space cooling. Knowledge must be transferrable between any of the core activities of refrigeration, air conditioning or heat pumping. The work is carried out in a variety of applications essential for key UK business activities such as food production, product distribution, retail storage and display, transport and office climate control, manufacturing processes (eg petrochemical, pharmaceutical), IT/Datacentres and medical/healthcare services temperature and environmental control.

Key activities are: the design, installation, routine maintenance, reactive service, commissioning and de-commissioning of Refrigeration, Air Conditioning and Heat Pump systems. Technicians require a thorough competency in their understanding of the engineering principles of thermodynamics and the vapour compression cycle in order to perform operations. A fully competent technician works without immediate supervision, and liaises effectively with other trades and with end users.

Environmental, legislation and technology changes mean that the requirements for technicians in this sector are constantly evolving. European and UK Safety and Environmental legislation are key drivers in rapid technology changes in the sector which is responsible for an estimated 10% of UK greenhouse gas emissions and 16% of electricity use. RACHP Engineering Technicians have important responsibilities for the safety of themselves, work colleagues and the general public as well as minimising the environmental impact of cooling systems.

Requirements: Knowledge, Skills and Behaviours

Knowledge and skills for refrigeration, air conditioning and heat heat engineers in the UK from 2017


Typically 36 months would be required to gather sufficient practical experience.

Mandatory Qualifications

All apprentices must achieve a “Level 2 Certificate in F Gas and ODS Regulations Category 1” as this is a legal requirement under the EU F Gas Regulation 517/2014 to work on equipment containing Fluorinated Refrigerants.

Employers who recruit candidates without English or Maths at Level 2 or above must ensure that the apprentice achieves this standard prior to the completion of the Apprenticeship.

Link to professional registration

This standard is designed to meet the professional standards of the Engineering Council for registration as an Engineering Technician (EngTech) in partnership with the Institute of Refrigeration and CIBSE.


Level 3 is the appropriate level for Engineering Technicians who need to work without supervision and have a high level of responsibility.

To be reviewed

After three years


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