North Lindsey College
University Campus


01724 294030


North Lindsey College
DN17 1AJ

Level 3 Refrigeration Air Conditioning and Heat Pump Technician Apprenticeship Standard

Course Overview

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.

Address: North Lindsey College, Kingsway, Scunthorpe, North Lincolnshire, DN17 1AJ

Contact Number: 01724 709433



  • Legislation, Regulations and Standards – Understanding of relevant UK and international standards, technical and environmental legislation including health & safety, environmental protection, working with pressure systems, electrical circuits and flammable substances. Familiarity with industry Codes of Practice and other sources of up to date information and advice on technical safety and legislative aspects of their work.

  • Underpinning principles – Sound understanding of principles of thermodynamics, gas laws, psychrometrics, fluid flow, electricity, properties of refrigerant fluids and lubricants.

  • Data analysis – Ability to understand relevant diagrams, calculations, tools, charts, tables and formulae and apply them as appropriate.

  • System fundamentals – Understanding of the function and operation of system components and how they interact in a range of different systems and applications.

  • Sustainability – Understanding of environmental impact of refrigerants, maximising efficient system performance and mitigation of direct and indirect carbon emissions. Understanding of environmental technologies employed in the sector such as heat recovery, low GWP refrigerants, and other equipment which can be used to reduce heat gain, cooling load or energy use.

  • Skills

  • Safe working practices – Installation, commissioning, testing, fault diagnostics, rectification of systems, component/refrigerant suitability and selection. Working with pressure systems and electrical circuits and systems. Evaluating and mitigating risks of refrigerants including toxicity, flammability and other potential risks or hazards to self and the general public. Decommissioning, safe recovery and disposal of equipment and hazardous waste transfer

  • Control circuit application – Electrical and electronic control systems setting, testing and fault finding; and their integration with system-associated communication networks.

  • Mechanical operations – Positioning, fixing, jointing and testing of pipework, electrical circuits and water circuits where relevant.

  • Application of mathematical principles – Determining heating and cooling loads and selecting and balancing appropriate components and systems for maximum performance and efficiency.

  • Sustainable system operation – Using system operating parameters for efficient performance to achieve measurable and sustained reductions in carbon emissions. Routine and reactive service and maintenance, testing, fault finding, reporting and rectification. Retrofitting and retrofilling of existing equipment to lower GWP refrigerants including safety, reliability and environmental considerations.

  • Apprentices will be required to have or achieve a level 2 English and Maths.

    All apprentices must undertake an independent endpoint assessment which is an assessment of the knowledge, skills and behaviours which have been developed throughout the apprenticeship. The purpose of the assessment is to make sure the apprentice meets the standard set by employers and are fully competent in the occupation.

    There is no charge to the apprentice

    £18,000 – employer apprenticeship Levy payers will pay the full cost from their levy: employers with 49 or less staff with an apprentice ages 16-18 years will pay no fees; all other employers will pay 5%. Prices are subject to discussion and agreement based on circumstances.

    Call 01724 709433 Email
      • Course Title

        Level 3 Refrigeration Air Conditioning and Heat Pump Technician Apprenticeship Standard

      • Start Dates

        Students can start on various dates, usually any day of the year

      • Duration

        Typically, this apprenticeship will take 36 months to complete

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